Book Review: A Motor-Flight Through France by Edith Wharton

A Motor-Flight Through France by Edith WhartonA road trip in France – that’s a vacation. Edith Wharton cataloged three of her trips, writing magazine articles about her trip for the Atlantic – over 100 years ago. When I learned about this book I had to read it. My sister and I took a road trip around France last autumn. It was marvelous. I knew Wharton’s trips would be different than ours, but I still wanted to read her adventures. A Motor-Flight Through France is a mixed read.

Wharton’s descriptions were imaginative and insightful. I would look at a cathedral and see a beautiful building. She would look at one and compare the architecture styles, the impact on the village, the view of the approach, the differences in interiors, etc. In the early 20th century (1905 – 1908 or so) there weren’t freeways although there were some major roadways. Wharton and her companions traveled through the countryside and small towns. She appreciated the approaches to the towns versus the view seen from the roadside as they drove in from their different routes.