Chapter

1915—Volunteers

Hazel Hutchison

in The War That Used Up Words

Published by Yale University Press

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780300195026
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780300213249 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.12987/yale/9780300195026.003.0002
1915—Volunteers

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This chapter recounts how American writers in Europe, not pressured into polarized positions—either for or against the war, dispersed across a remarkable range of opinions and activities in 1915. Disillusioned with American political leadership, attracted by the camaraderie of service, haunted by the scale of suffering, and inspired to help as they could, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Mary Borden all faced difficult choices about where to place their allegiances and their energies. In 1915, Wharton and Borden both volunteered as nurses for the French Red Cross. Wharton wrote about her impressions of Paris, resulting in the publication of Fighting France, a set of articles for Scribner's that were printed as a single volume. Borden wrote The Forbidden Zone, a startling and experimental account of her impressions of the war considered as one of the great texts of the First World War. Meanwhile, James supported the Ambulance Corps through newspaper interviews.

Keywords: Henry James; Edith Wharton; Mary Borden; French Red Cross; Fighting France; The Forbidden Zone; Ambulance Corps

Chapter.  19576 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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