"THE ONLY DEATH THAT FRENCHMEN FEAR IS NOT DEATH IN THE TRENCHES BUT DEATH BY THE EXTINCTION OF THEIR NATIONAL IDEAL": FIRST EDITION OF FIGHTING FRANCE, WITH EDITH WHARTON'S SIGNATURE ON A TIPPED-IN LEAF
WHARTON, Edith. Fighting France From Dunkerque to Belfort. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915. Octavo, original red cloth.
First edition of this collection of articles on France during WWI, featuring a frontispiece and 12 illustrations, with a tipped-in leaf bearing Edith Wharton's signature dated "Paris. Dec. 1. 1916."
As Wharton's writing became increasingly popular, she felt ostracized from New York society, prompting her move to France in 1907. During WWI, she "enlisted her pen in persuading the United States to come to France's aid. In Fighting France, a series of essays based on Wharton's visits to the front lines, she wrote eloquently of her 'vision of all the separate terrors, anguishes, uprootings and rendings apart… all the thousand and one bits of the past that give meaning and continuity to the present" (ANB). Wharton worked with refugees in Paris and Belgium, for which she was awarded the French Legion of Honor, and is buried in the American Cemetery at Versailles. Without rare dust jacket.
Only a couple spots of foxing to interior, mild toning to cloth extremities, and small pen mark to spine. A near-fine signed copy.