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The Mysterious Voodoo Queen
Ina Johanna Fandrich's book is not a biography of New Orleans’ Voodoo icon Marie Laveau (1801-18881) per se, although it contains a wealth of carefully collected data about her. Rather, it explores Laveau’s significance as the quintessential figure within a larger movement: the emergence of influential free women of color, women conjurers of African or racially mixed origin with strong ties to the Roman Catholic Church and a deep commitment to the spirits of their ancestors, who had considerable influence over the city despite their marginalized social and religious status. The heyday of this movement coincided with Laveau’s lifetime.