Shedding the constraints that existed for women in turn-of-the-century America, Edith Wharton set out in the newly invented "motor-car" to explore the cities and countryside of France. Originally published in 1908, A Motor-Flight Through France is considered by many to be the very best of Wharton’s outstanding travel writings. While Wharton’s novels are darkly funny and deliciously catty, and her short stories are populated by adulterers, murderers, and artists, A Motor-Flight Through France captures all of the riches and charm of France during the Belle Époque in gorgeous, romantic prose. Like many Americans, Wharton was utterly beguiled by France at the dawn of the twentieth century, and in this volume her brilliant sketches of "l’Hexagone" provide an enchanting and indelible portrait of the land during this era. But Wharton’s travelogue is as much about the thrill of travel as it is about place. With the automobile in its infancy, Wharton was experiencing the countryside as few people ever had, liberated from the ugliness of train yards and the constraints of passage by rail. “The motor-car has restored the romance of travel,” she wrote, and readers of this wonderful book will be grateful to experience it through her eyes.
About the Author
Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, known for such classics as The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921. A member of the New York elite, Wharton drew on her experiences as part of society to critique its inner workings and the conflict between personal desires and societal norms. Wharton died in 1937, leaving behind a rich literary legacy.
Schriber is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Northern Illinois University.