Edith Wharton and the Great War in France
Public talk by Hermione Lee, invited professor at the Paris IAS.
The talk is about Edith Wharton's commitment to Paris and to France from 1914 to 1918. A wealthy and famous expatriate American novelist, who had been living mainly in Paris since 1907, she used her fame, money, writing and influence in the service of France and dedicated her considerable energies (Henry James called her the great "generalissima") to persuading her American countrymen to enter the war. In the anniversary year of the outbreak of the First World War, Edith Wharton's role in war-time Franco-American relations makes a dramatic story, well worth reconsidering.
Professor Dame Hermione Lee is President of Wolfson College, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Formerly Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature at Oxford, Hermione Lee has written widely on women writers, American literature, life-writing, and modern fiction. She has notably published major biographies of women writers, including lives of Virginia Woolf (1996), Edith Wharton (2007) and Penelope Fitzgerald (2013).