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Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair Hardcover – April 16, 2009

2.5 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Being an extremely low-born and gauche person, I rely heavily on the Countess for tips on good manners and etiquette. She has also taught me how to be more sassy and alluring."
-Simon Doonan, creative director of Barney's New York, author of Eccentric Glamour

"Forget what you think you know from television: this lady walks the walk and talks the talk. She's a real doll, comfortable in her own skin and real, and if you're thinking about buying this book, it's one you will keep for yourself and send to friends who - like you - didn't know they needed it."
-Whoopi Goldberg

"My collections are about giving opportunities to women to express their feminine side. LuAnn understands the importance of femininity and shares her savoir-faire with you in this book."
-Catherine Malandrino, fashion designer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Countess Luann de Lesseps is one of the six stars of Bravo’s hit reality show “The Real Housewives of New York City” and has taught etiquette on numerous morning television shows. She lives with her family in New York, the Hamptons, and Gstaad.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; First Edition edition (April 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592404681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My problem with Ms. de Lesseps is that she uses etiquette as a weapon. Etiquette has the still-relevant function of making others feel comfortable. Misanthropes such as Ms. de Lesseps are making manners seem to be outdated and pretentious. A good ettiquette book should teach you the opposite. Ms. de Lesseps missed a golden opportunity to make the television-watching public aware of ways to improve their interactions with others. She may be interesting to watch through the declasse lens of a reality television camera, but class she will never possess.
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By ABM on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book was pretty bad. I cringed (and yawned) while I read it. If you want to know how fabulous "The Countess" thinks she is and how marvelous she thinks her life is, then this is the book for you. Emily Post she is not. I was actually a little embarrassed for her.
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Format: Paperback
Usually I'm very picky about Amazon reviews being on the actual product and nothing else. However, as the Real Housewives of NYC star that she is, I feel Luann's reputation from the show can be fairly included in my review of this book.

So I just have to say, what gave her the nerve to write and have published a book on etiquette, of all things? Watching the Real Housewives is a guilty pleasure of mine, I love to see how ridiculous these women act. It never ceases to amuse me how these women all run around pretending to be classy & ladies when their behavior is atrocious. These girls hardly act like well bred ladies of society. Please.

Luann, while not the worst offender on the show (I'm talking to you, Ramona & Kelly), lacks class and decorum needed to be taken seriously when selling a book such as this. Her regal facade slips quite often. Just today I watched her give a lunch lesson to her daughter's friends (how lucky for them, right?) on etiquette and she chastised a girl for having her elbow on the table. I kid you not, the very next episode Luann has lunch with Bethanny and had her elbow on the table practically the whole time. This book, and her personality, is preachy and condescending. She talks the talk, but she doesn't walk the walk.

Let's face the fact that without the show, no one other than her circle in New York would really know who this lady is. No one would buy this book, she's pulling a profit on this book because of the show. So it's very amusing to read this book, and then sit down and watch her behavior on tv. Calling her friend a "lucky b****" for not having a husband. Calling her friends out on their rude behaviors in public (hardly classy). Talking down to her friends and giving unsolicited advice.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not so much a "how to" or an etiquette book, it is, like everyone else has stated, a book about her fabulous life as the Countess.

Unless you want to learn how to transform yourself from a nurse into a Countess into a reality TV personality, or you are genuinely interested in her from the Real Housewives show, I would highly not recommend this book.
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By Traci on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After reading the book and watching her show, I find Luann a huge disappointment. No where in her book was the part about offering advice when not asked for it, speaking in condescending ways to those around you, and correcting everyone around you as much as possible. As a Native American, as she admits to being, I was raised that to speak too much was to make a fool of yourself. Perhaps she needs to go back to those childhood lessons.
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Format: Hardcover
I figured I would check this book out for entertainment purposes, because watching the real housewives of NYC is a total guilty pleasure of mine. Sadly, the entire time I was reading it, I could not get over the fact that this woman seems to have NO manners in her everyday life. It made the book comical at best.

The majority was just stories of her life, as she tried to relate them to certain manners and etiquette. The most embarrassing section of course was "how to make a man fall in love with you and keep him in love with you" or some such nonsense. Clearly, she's not really the best one to be giving advice in THAT situation, being it seemed even before they separated, she and her husband lived separately, in different countries.

I find nothing wrong with people not knowing the complete catalog of manners. Some of them have gone in and out of fashion, or are no longer relevant. When manners are used, I appreciate them instead of expecting it all the time. If you don't know or were never taught that particular etiquette, how are you suppose to use said manners. No big deal. I like to think that pointing out someone's bad manners IS having bad manners. It's rude. BUT! If you promise that you are of the utmost class and manners, you best use it in your everyday life and be a good example. The "Countess" does not do that.

She's a fashion model/nurse who married into title and money. Every time she introduces herself as the Countess or reminds someone to call her Countess on the show, I feel embarrassed for her, because it's of poor class to always be pointing that out to people. She's clearly insecure and thinks telling people her title will make her more important.
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