Day Five

Today we're visiting the 7th arrondissement, and today's walk is, at least at the end, a little longer than the earlier ones.  Begin on the beautiful quai Voltaire, just across the Seine from the Louvre.  There at the Hôtel de Quai Voltaire, number 19,  Willa Cather  stayed and worked for two months in 1920.

Hotel de Quai Voltaire

Turn left at the end of the Quai (just at the entrance to the Musée d'Orsay) onto the rue du Bac.  Then take the first left, onto the rue de Lille.  Richard Wright lived at number 9 in the apartment of a friend when he first moved permanently to France in 1947.

And at number 19, Harry and Caresse Crosby, who ran the Black Sun Press, one of the many small presses that published avant-garde writing in the 1920s, owned an apartment which they rented to Archibald MacLeish in 1927

19, rue de Lille

Turn back and return to the rue du Bac, turning left (away from the Seine) and follow it to number 44.  MacLeish also lived at this address where he bought an apartment after having moved from that of the Crosbys.

44, rue du Bac

Backtracking once more, return up the rue du Bac a block or two until you come to the rue de l'Université.  Turn right onto this long street.  The Hôtel Lenox is located at number 9.  There the twenty year old  T.S. Eliot moved in 1910, when it was a pension.  He stayed there for a year.

Go back up this street until you come to the rue de Bellechasse.  Turn left, follow it across the major street of St-Germain-des-Prés until you reach the rue de Varenne.  Turn left, walking past the Hôtel Matignon and many other government buildings, until you come to number 53. Edith Wharton lived here for ten years--from 1908 to 1918.  Her stay is commemorated with a plaque--the only one I found in both French and English--which describes her (not entirely accurately) as the first American writer to expatriate to France.

The last stop in the 7th arrondissement is some distance away--back on the rue de l'Université, but at the other end of an uncharacteristically long street (at least for Paris).  The walk is a pleasant one, though.  Walk back up the rue de Varenne till it ends.  On your left is the wonderful Musée Rodin with its peaceful garden full of Rodin's sculpture.  It's one of the real pleasures of Paris, especially when the weather is nice.  (If you want to cheat, there is a métro stop here which will save some shoe leather.)  If you feel like walking, turn right on the boulevard des Invalides.  On your left, you'll see the majestic dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, under which is the enormous tomb of Napoléon.  Continue up this street along (or, better, cutting across) the beautiful esplanade leading away from the Invalides.  Once more, you'll find the rue de l'Université.  Turn left and follow it all the way to its end.  At number 169, there was once a house, which no longer exists, where Mark Twain and his wife lived for six months beginning in November 1894.  The closest métro stop is just to the right, across the Pont de l'Alma--now perhaps a more important tourist attraction as it was in the tunnel there that Princess Diana had her fatal car accident.  Just outside the métro stop is the torch that has become a memorial to her.

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