I don’t know about you, but I really never thought of Emily Post as a person, but as a brand.
When I began to learn more about her as a person, I naturally assumed she came from an upper class family and decided, in her free time, to instruct us all on what was proper. Well, almost.
Emily Post was born of an upper class family and married into an even higher class family. At that point, my assumption fell short. Post went through a scandalous divorce that was splashed across the front pages of the New York papers. That trauma forged the Emily Post we came to know through her instruction in manners. But between society marriage and etiquette she also wrote a number of novels and interacted with the likes of Edith Wharton and Mark Twain. Then, in 1922, at the age of fifty, she published Etiquette.
Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners is a masterful exploration of the life and impact of Emily Post on American manners. Laura Claridge’s earlier biography of Norman Rockwell was ground breaking in revealing an American icon and the successes and heartaches that the public never knew. She does the same with Emily Post.
If you are interested in a copy, click on the dust jacket above. It makes a wonderful gift.