Women Writing on the French Riviera

Travellers and Trendsetters, 1870-1970


Destination for artists and convalescents, playground of the rich, site of foreign allure, the French Riviera has long attracted visitors to its shores. Ranging through the late nineteenth century, the Belle Epoque, the ‘roaring twenties’, and the emancipatory post-war years, Rosemary Lancaster highlights the contributions of nine remarkable women to the cultural identity of the Riviera in its seminal rise to fame. Embracing an array of genres, she gives new focus to feminine writings never previously brought together, nor as richly critically explored. Fiction, memoir, diary, letters, even cookbooks and choreographies provide compelling evidence of the innovativeness of women who seized the challenges and opportunities of their travels in a century of radical social and artistic change.

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Rosemary Lancaster, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Western Australia, Chevalier des Palmes académiques, is the author of Je Suis Australienne, Remarkable Women in France, 1880-1945 (2008) and Poetic Illumination: René Char and his Artist Allies (2010).
List of Illustrations

Part 1: Art and Illness

1 Marie Bashkirtseff’s Quest for Glory: the Nice Years and After

2 ‘Ordered South’: Katherine Mansfield in Menton

Part 2: High Life on the Riviera

3 Fact and Fiction: Alice Williamson’s Monte Carlo

4 Bronislava Nijinska: The Ballets Russes Years

5 The Riviera and the Rich: Rebecca West’s The Thinking Reed (1936)

Part 3: The Mediterranean Idyll

6 Rebirth in Saint-Tropez: Colette’s Break of Day

7 An Invented Childhood: Honoria Murphy in Antibes

8 Flavours of the South: the Culinary Revolutions of Elizabeth David and Julia Child
Selective Bibliography
All interested in women’s travels and travel literatures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially feminine writings and the social and cultural history of the French Riviera.
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