"An excellent foreign traveler's account of Chicago, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, New York City, and travel by ocean liner and train. The book provides wonderful commentary on gender relations and the contrast between Americans and the French." --Perry Duis, author of Challenging Chicago: Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920
This fascinating account of a French woman's impressions of America in the late nineteenth century reveals an unusual cross-cultural journey. Traveling to Chicago in 1893 because of her husband's collaboration on the fountain sculpture for the World's Columbian Exposition, Madame Leon Grandin was initially impressed with the city's fast pace, architectural grandeur, and social and cultural customs. Having gained an appreciation for the freedoms she experienced as a woman in America, she was reluctant to return to Paris, where she was all too aware that clearly defined social constraints still prevailed. Grandin's curiosity and interior access to Chicago's social and domestic spaces produced an unusual travel narrative that goes beyond the usual tourist reactions and provides a valuable resource for readers interested in late nineteenth-century America, Chicago, and social commentary.