Freed from the dependency upon the timetables and routes of the railway, the early years of the 20th century were a golden age for motorists. This book describes three of Wharton's journeys in this era, travelling in a chauffeur-driven Panhard with servants and luggage sent on ahead. The journeys are: a three-week run from Boulogne to Clermont-Ferrand to Paris in May 1906
a circuit of the South-West, the Pyrenees and the Rhone Valley in March-April 1907, accompanied by Henry James
and a short weekend in Picardy in 1907. Wharton wrote of her "flights" for the "Atlantic Monthly" and collected them into the present volume, which was first published in 1908.