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A Motor-Flight Through France (Classic Reprint)

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1440052798
ISBN-10: 1440052794
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A portrait of a long-forgotten France, a country that, when Wharton ranged over it in her 1904 Panhard-Levassor, was largely unchanged from medieval times."—New York Times Book Review

"Those who have been charmed with Mrs. Wharton's novels will not be disappointed by her venture into the unfamiliar role of a travel writer."—New York Times (1908)

"Wharton's reflections will still charm those who've been and those who dream. A nice addition to American literature as well as travel collections."—Library Journal

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (June 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440052794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440052798
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,449,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Wharton at her best. Absolutely charming descriptions of travel through France, the houses, the people, the countryside. Delicious repartee with her traveling companion, Henry James. The new e-book edition is beautifully produced, and the introduction by travel writer Lavinia Spalding is a Must Read. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Edith Wharton has written two books worthy of being read by everyone, "The Age of Innocence" and "A Motor-Fight Through France." Ms. Wharton was a wealthy New Yorker and in a day when most could not afford to do so (before WWI) she set out by automobile with her husband and her friend Henry James to tour the French countryside. This might not seem a "big deal" today, but visualize a country where one could only travel by train and out of the way places were inaccessible except by wagon or oxcart.
The book contains descriptions of several trips. One trip takes the reader in a big swoop from northern France to southern France and back. She visits the home of Madam Dudevant (George Sand) and a number of churches and other buildings of historic interest. There are only a few old photographs in the book, so one might need to consult another source to fully enjoy her descriptions of various places. I've taken a few courses on French arcitecture and visted France several times and I still had to consult other books--but it's worth it. Some of the French countryside has been altered and some of the older places are gone. The most memorable visits are to Nohant, home of George Sand. It is obvious Ms. Wharton considered Sand a spiritual mentor.
In her other books and articles, Ms. Wharton covered Spain, Italy and points of interest in the Mediterranean. She later visited the front during WWI and became a war correspondent for an American newspaper. This book covers the halcyon days before the carnage when the world was younger and more innocent.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't read much of Wharton prior to this, however am grateful that I chose this new e-book edition to reacquaint myself with her. I loved the introduction by Lavinia Spalding, as well as the gorgeous publication of this edition. The description of place is a great insight to another age of travel, and one that we often forget existed--a nice way to see differently.
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Format: Paperback
A book of this title ought to be about the wind rushing through one's hair as the countryside flashes past. Instead we read only a tedious & obsessive account of church architecture, which renders the book's title extraordinarily misleading. It puzzles me how a writer with such immense human understanding can write a travel book with absolutely no mention of any encounter another human being; either native Frenchmen or her fellow traveller, Henry James. She wasn't to know this since cars were such new technology, but travel in cars cannot do otherwise than totally seal off the traveller from his environment. This was a huge and sadly missed opportunity to describe travel at the dawn of the motoring era: before traffic jams, before towns bordered by terrible bland industrial parks and out of town shopping malls, before ring roads, freeways, and ubiquitous Macdonalds.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a fascinating look into the early days of automobile touring and, understandably, a very different view of France than the traveller sees today. However I was not aware from its Amazon description that this was an enlarged photocopy of the Scribner 1908 edition of Edith Wharton's A motor flight through France. The print has bcome so furred in the process of enlargement that it is extremely unpleasant to read. The illustrations are almost useless.
If Amazon is going to sell Bibliolife and other photocopied reproductions, could they please ensure they are described accurately on their web page. I would never buy another.
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