A Motor-Flight Through France

Af: Edith Wharton



In the early years of the 20th Century, Edith Wharton took the road trip of a lifetime across France with the celebrated author, Henry James (author of ‘Turn of the Screw,’ later adapted for TV, featuring ‘Downton Abbey’ star Michelle Dockery). Accompanied by Edith’s husband, their chauffeur, and Wharton's two dogs, they travelled the French countryside, stopping wherever inspiration struck.

The result, ‘A Motor-Flight Through France,’ is a chronicle of the French villages, towns, and cities they visited. Wharton, with an innate appreciation for architecture, perfectly captures the beauty of turn-of-the-century France, detailing their stop-offs with evocative descriptions. From the food, they ate to the people they met, ‘A Motor-Flight Through France’ is an important chronicle of the country at a time when Italy was setting its military sites on it. A superb read for Wharton fans, and those with an interest in history and travel.

Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937) was an American designer and novelist. Born in an era when the highest ambition a woman could aspire to was a good marriage, Wharton went on to become one of America’s most celebrated authors. During her career, she wrote over 40 books, using her wealthy upbringing to bring authenticity and detail to stories about the upper classes and she went on to become the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, for her novel 'The Age of Innocence'. She moved to France in 1923, where she continued to write until her death. Her works have been adapted to the screen countless times. The most recent examples are Martin Scorsese's 'The Age of Innocence' (1993) starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder and Terence Davies' 'The House of Mirth' (2000) starring Gillian Anderson and Eric Stoltz.

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