Magazine article The New Yorker

South for the Winter

Magazine article The New Yorker

South for the Winter

Article excerpt

"Earthly paradise discovered. Come," the artist Francis Picabia telegraphed his wife in 1909; Picabia was vacationing in Cassis, on the Cote d'Azur, and thought he should share the place's benefits. In FRENCH RIVIERA (Assouline), Xavier Girard examines the flight south. Phillippe Collas and Eric Villedary, in EDITH WHARTON'S FRENCH RIVIERA (Flammarion), look at the same migration: "Hundreds of pale, nostalgic, young invalids" known as "winter swallows" sought the seaside cure in the South of France. Even a glimpse of the Riviera's pale, clear light and scrabbly landscape could inspire visitors to drop anchor and set up camp, or--if you were Queen Victoria--build a chalet with four hundred bedrooms and two hundred and thirty-three bathrooms and order Scotch Guards and Bengali officers to carry the tea service. The English invaded first; after the First World War came the Americans. …

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