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FRANCES PARKINSON KEYES

 

 

Frances Parkinson Keyes was a prolific novelist and wealthy New Englander who moved to New Orleans in the 1940s while researching for Crescent Carnival, a novel about the history of Mardi Gras. In 1944, she rented the second story of the Beauregard-Keyes House and paid her rent by restoring the house to its former glory. She liked to write about wherever she lived, and her time here produced some of her most famous novels, including, Dinner at Antoine's, Madame Castel's Lodger, and The Chess Players. Although initially, the house served Mrs. Keyes as her winter residence, in later years the house became her permanent residence. A great number of parties were thrown here, and some of Mrs. Keyes's famous guests include the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1950, Ella Brennan, and silent film stars Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis. Her friendship with Laure Larendon, General Beauregard's granddaughter, led to many Beauregard heirlooms being gifted to the house. Frances Keyes died here at the house in 1970, and the Keyes Foundation she established continues to operate the museum today.

 

 

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