Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners

Last week I finished reading this biography of Emily Post by Laura Claridge. It was fabulous! I had read about it several months ago, and thought it looked interesting. I read some favorable reviews, and put it on my public Amazon wishlist. Then I pretty much forgot about it. Until, that is, my sweet sister gave it to me for Christmas! (Thanks again, Lauren!)

It's long. It took me a while to get through (and I started a few books in the meantime), but it was great. Claridge is a talented writer, and the biography almost reads as a novel. Also, the chapters are short, which keeps things moving along nicely.

Before I read this book, all I knew about Emily Post was that she wrote a big book about etiquette. But there is so much more to her life!

Did you know, for example, that her father was a famous architect and that she was, by all accounts, very talented in that field as well? Or, did you know that she wrote several successful (and a few less successful) novels long before she published her etiquette manual? There are more delightful tidbits about her life as well, but I don't want to spoil them all for you! You need to go read it!

More than anything, I closed this book with an appreciation for all that Emily Post accomplished later in her life. At the ripe old age of 26, I am already starting to feel like I have missed the boat to achieve some of my goals. And I also lament the fact that I don't know exactly what I want to do yet. Emily Post didn't write about etiquette until she was well into middle age. She redefined herself multiple times, and that was so inspiring to me.

Has anyone else read this book yet? Does anyone else have a copy of Etiquette? Any Emily Post fans out there?

image from amazon.com

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