A medieval cure for antebellum nostalgia

“[Some former slaveholders] sought to ‘drown our troubles in a sea of gaiety,’ reviving the aristocratic social life of the antebellum years as if nothing had changed.

“Tournaments straight out of  ‘Ivanhoe,’ complete with knights adorned with lances and plumed helmets and ladies competing to be crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, made an incongruous reappearance  — although in one North Carolina community, the cult of medieval nobility waned after blacks organized a Tournament Association of their own.”

— From “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (1988)

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