Today we are continuing our Month of Manner’s journey looking at the life of Emily Post. At Budget Friendly Luxury, we believe that manners are bigger than your social class. As you will learn from Emily Post: proper etiquette can help anyone be a part of “Best Society”. Cultivating good manners just takes a little practice.
A Closer Look at Manner Maven: Emily Post
Manner Maven, Emily Post was born Emily Price in 1872 in Baltimore, MD. She began writing professionally when her sons left for boarding school. While Post was an accomplished writer, (she published 5 fiction books) she didn’t publish her first etiquette book until 1922 when she was 50 years old. Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politic and at Home was not only a best seller but it continued to be published and referenced decades after it was written. The phrase “according to Emily Post” soon entered our language as the final word on the subject of social conduct.
Post’s etiquette book was originally published for the super-rich. It helped to guide the housewife as to how to be a gracious hostess and a good cook. It provided a guide for hosting a perfectly charming dinner party. Post’s popular book was barely out a month when people began writing to her and asking her questions not posed in her book. Her answers to those questions populated later versions of her etiquette book. In addition to her successful book, she began an etiquette advice column that ran in 150 papers at the time and received over 26,000 letters a year.
Why is Emily Post Important Today?
Emily Post always believed that good manners began with consideration towards others. Many of her etiquette guidelines revolved around pleasing the largest number of people while offending the fewest. Post believed: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post appealed to the middle class because she strongly believed that having good manners would allow anyone to be a part of the “Best Society.”
Post wrote that being considerate, respectful, and honest was more important than knowing which fork to use. Whether it’s a handshake or a fist bump, it’s the underlying sincerity and good intentions of the action that matter most. She chastised the super-rich for not being respectful to those around them. She believe that on the manners playing field, we are all created equal.
Post’s family still operates a Manners Institute in Burlington Vermont today. Five generations of Posts have continued to make manners relevant. According to the Posts, though times have changed, the principles of good manners remain constant. Above all, manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. A manners lesson that we can all adopt.
Want to Learn More about Emily Post?
Sign up for her newsletter at the Emily Post Institute at www.emilypost.com (You will also find past advice columns here)
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