1904. Stuart was the daughter of a wealthy family of planters and
slaveholders, as well as lifelong residents of Louisiana. She was
educated at private and public schools in New Orleans. These
experiences provided the information for her tales about Creoles
and Italians. Her writing began after her husband's death.
According to several interviews, she wrote before breakfast and
afterwards until lunch, then exercised in the afternoon. The Story
of Babette begins: It was Mardi Gras night in New Orleans. Canal
Street, as far as the eye could reach in either direction-out
towards the river or back in the direction of the swamp lands-was a
surging mass of people. The deep balconies, the galleries of the
old French town, overhanging the banquettes on either side the way,
were crowded beyond their strength, and many would have fallen but
for the temporary support of heavy timbers put in for the occasion.
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