Tag Archives: biography

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

Apparently, I haven’t read a biography in awhile. I really enjoy reading them, even more so when I know very little about the subject. I do consider myself an etiquette aficionado, and I looove advice columns so this book seemed kind of awesome. That, and my dear Carolann recommended it to me!

I love reading about etiquette because I really do believe that it’s place in society isn’t to cause class friction or to make someone feel holier than thou, but to provide firm guidelines so everyone can be on equal footing and know what to expect. What’s cool is that’s apparently how Emily felt as well.

Some thoughts:

  • I was really into learning more about “The Gilded Age” and some of the etiquette of the time. Calling cards, dance cards, etc. It fulfilled some of what was bugging me about wanting to know more in the Gemma Doyle trilogy.
  • Okay Claridge, I get it – Emily has some “daddy issues.” It took awhile to get through the book, because at least the first half felt like lots of separate stories and while they were each compelling, I didn’t feel the need to stay up late and see what happened. Even worse was that each story seemed to hammer home that “Emily has Daddy worship issues.” I get it.
  • I disagree with most of Emily’s politics, and found them pretty classist, which only half-surprised me. Part of was hoping that her love of etiquette would help her transcend those boundaries, but then again – I think there is only so much a person can change.
  • But wow, did she change. The person at the beginning of the bio seemed nothing at all like the person at the end. It’s amazing to think about how much our country has changed, in so short a time frame. I wonder what will be at the end of my (hopefully long) life.
  • I found myself wondering if I would like her. I think I would, but I also got the sense that she may have been very difficult.

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