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born 1872

Emily Post was not always synonymous with social decorum and no-nonsense manners. Until middle age, she was a moneyed daughter, a socialite inhabitant of Henry James's Washington Square, a wealthy wife and mother of two. 

It was her rocky marriage to financier Edwin Post...and its spectacular public breakup ~ with more than a whiff of blackmail and infidelity ~ that led the long-time writer to produce a book that cemented her as America's heroine of good taste. Etiquette, originally published in the early 1920's and now in its 18th edition, is still found on bookshelves in homes and businesses.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Emily Post (15)

"I really quite honestly hope that everything will not be so easy as to be entirely colorless."

By Motor to the Golden Gate | 1916

"Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners."

Etiquette In Society, In Business, In Politics And At Home | july 1922

"Try to do and say those things only which will be agreeable to others."

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home | july 1922

"Etiquette, remember, is merely a collection of forms by which all personal contacts in life are made smooth."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Life, whether social or business, is a bank in which you deposit certain funds of character, intellect and heart; or other funds of egotism, hard-heartedness and unconcern...You can draw nothing out but what you have put in."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory."

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home | july 1922

"If you know any one who is gay, beguiling and amusing, you will, if you are wise, do everything you can to make him prefer your house and your table to any other; for where he is, the successful party is also."

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home | july 1922

"Only the very small mind hesitates to say 'I don't know.'"

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home | july 1922

"There is no reason why you should be bored when you can be otherwise."

Etiquette | july 1922

"If you find yourself sitting in the hedgerow with nothing but weeds, there is no reason for shutting your eyes and seeing nothing, instead of finding what beauty you may in the weeds."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Life is too short to waste it in drawing blanks...It is up to you to find as many pictures to put on your blank pages as possible."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Training a child is exactly like training a puppy; a little heedless inattention and it is out of hand immediately."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Nothing appeals to children more than justice."

Etiquette | july 1922

"Dahlias really make me sick!"

in the garden | july 1928

"Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is the code of sportsmanship and of honor. It is ethics."

The New York Times | september 1960
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {august 2014}