Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort

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9781474406925: Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort
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Edith Wharton, known primarily for her novels of American high society, was also a war writer. She was one of the first woman writers to be allowed to visit the war zones in France in 1915 and report back on what she saw. This resulting collection of six essays - five of which were originally published in American magazines - presents a fascinating and unique perspective on wartime France by one of America's great novelists. Written with Wharton's distinctive literary skills to advocate American intervention in the war, this little-known war text demonstrates that she was a complex and accomplished propagandist. However, these eyewitness accounts also demonstrate a troubling awareness of the human cost of war. Incorporating a wealth of previously unpublished archival material and images, this critical edition aims to bring this neglected text into the field of Wharton studies, allowing critics and enthusiasts to reevaluate her contribution as a war writer and to assess the significance of this period for her literary development.

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Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was an American novelist and a short story writer. She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (in 1921, for The Age of Innocence). She was also one of the few foreigners allowed to travel to the front lines in France during the First World War. Her articles written about this period were collected in Fighting France. Throughout the war Wharton worked with refugees and in 1916 she was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in recognition of her support for the displaced.
Alice Kelly completed her PhD on women's writings of the First World War at the University of Cambridge, having previously studied at the University of Sussex, Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and the University of Oxford. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Yale University. She is co-editing a volume of essays entitled Shaping Modernism: Katherine Mansfield in Context.

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