Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners
Like her masterwork, Etiquette, Post was truly a woman who changed with the times. Born into a wealthy Baltimore family, she was raised in society and married Edwin Post, a businessman prone to making risky investments—not an uncommon trait for a Gilded Age gentleman. Though she had a strong interest in architecture passed on to her by her father, Bruce Price, she lived the typical life of a young, married homemaker until her husband’s infidelity lead to a divorce. Emily’s career as an author followed soon after. Post’s journey from Gilded Age society princess to author and career woman is engaging, and Claridge’s in-depth research illuminates facets of Post’s life that many readers may not know about. Though Emily Post’s name is now synonymous with privilege and wealth, Post was a strong believer in upward mobility, and she felt that treating others with respect and dignity made one a better person than wealth or upbringing. Claridge describes Post’s revisions made to Etiquette to keep the work relevant as times changed, making this fascinating biography as much a history of Emily Post’s time as it is of her life.