Monday, May 4, 2009

Louise Wooster, change in plans?

I went to the Birmingham Public Library tonight, and made friends with the librarian with whom I share a good friend. I told her I was looking for dialect studies of 19th century Alabama... especially autobiographies. She brought over several books, but one I had heard about before caught my immediate attention. It was the autobiography of Louise Wooster... famous Birmingham Madam from the 19th Century. I had read short stories of her before, especially of her work during the cholera outbreak. She seemed like a colorful character.

I picked up her book and started to read... and couldn't put it down until the library kicked me out (well, not really... they just closed). :)

There is some speculation as to whether or not some of the events she accounted for actually happened (as she was one to embellish), but most of it is fascinating fact after fact. The elements of her story had all of the ones I had been searching for... drama, tragedy, love, hate, sex, historical fact, controversy, fantasy... it's all there! Even with a little bit of New Orleans, Mobile & Montgomery sprinkled in. The great cholera epidemic is another thing that has always fascinated me about Birmingham's early beginnings, and she was there front and center.

So am I changing my idea? Maybe. Gonna sleep on it. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment