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A Southern Belle Primer: Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma Paperback – August 1, 1991


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A Southern Belle Primer: Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma + Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too + Swag: Southern Women Aging Gracefully
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Main Street Books; 1 edition (August 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385416679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385416672
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.3 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Southern belle lives on, in a world of proprieties and protocols that would shame the Royal Family (and have). An uproarious guide to the manners, mores, and mystique of the legendary ladies of the South. What The Official Preppy Handbook did for the madras-and-penny-loafer set, A Southern Belle Primer does for the indestructible ladies from below the Mason-Dixon line.

From the Inside Flap

The Southern belle lives on, in a world of proprieties and protocols that would shame the Royal Family (and have). An uproarious guide to the manners, mores, and mystique of the legendary ladies of the South. What The Official Preppy Handbook did for the madras-and-penny-loafer set, A Southern Belle Primer does for the indestructible ladies from below the Mason-Dixon line.

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Customer Reviews

It is written in an easy to read format.
san clemente
Mrs Schwartz ratifies my southern belle credo like nobody's buisiness.
Whitney E.
This is a great gift to give to a friend, sister or for yourself.
Nicole D. Sollman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Whitney E. on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
After finishing my freshman year at Duke University, I was a little confused as to why most of the people I met were surprised when they found out that I had already chosen my silver pattern (Francis I) and that I was actually looking forward to Rush Week. And when I came back to the dorm incensed one afternoon because I had had to stand up on the bus while young men were sitting down, these same friends just stared blankly at me. After coming home for the summer and complaining to a fellow belle about my confusion and their inablility to sympathize, she told me to read this lovely book. After doing so, I felt once again that all was right with the world. Mrs Schwartz ratifies my southern belle credo like nobody's buisiness. She also presented many things that I had always known but was never aware that I had known, like why it was WRONG to wear red during rush, and why I was scandalized to see women going to class in pyjamas. Many of my yankee girlfriends considered my outlook on life to be somewhat superficial, but after reading this book I realized that this is because they were never taught to "sparkle" and because they were not raised to believe with all their hearts that they were princesses. A SOUTHERN BELLE PRIMER is a must-read for anyone looking for re-affirmation of his or her southern views, or for anyone confused about what that southern heritage actually is.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By J. Williams on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mrs. Schwartz hit the nail on the head! She talks about how a girl learns to sparkle, silver patterns, the importance of the Junior League, and so much more.

As a northern Belle (Detroit), I was completely tickled when I read this book. She confirmed so many of the things my mother and grandmother (both Alabama Belles) taught me when I was growing up, such as why I had to take ballet class. Turns out ballet class is the perfect place for a girl to learn to sparkle, and boy did I learn! (Ballet is also a good way to get girls accustom to wearing hosiery.)

Mrs. Schwartz explains the personality behind the silver pattern a girl chooses. I've read the section a million times, however, I'm still torn! My mother is a "Grand Baroque" girl. Grand Baroque girls have a sense of the dramatic, but also have a literary bent. My grandmother is an "Eloquence" girl. Eloquence girls like nice things and are extremely loyal. I'm a little of both, but I dare not mix silver patterns, that would just be tacky. Though I can't pick which one I should get, I've known since I was four years old that those two are the only patterns I'd ever consider. And don't tell my Grandmother, but the older I get, the more I learn toward "Grand Baroque."

"Southern Belle Primer" explains the Junior League's role in the South. Specifically, the Junior League is a volunteer organization. It flows directly into the vein of selflessness and consideration that Belles are taught to give everyone, thereby making life better for all they come in contact with.

I'll say this last little bit, then I'm finished. For Belles born outside the South, Mrs. Schwartz said "...sometimes the stork gets off course and deposits Southern Belles in Detroit, Hollywood, Washington, Las Vegas, even London and Paris.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I liked this book for its honest humor and its gentle but no-holds-barred look at Southern womanhood, its traditions and manners. I particularly enjoyed the section on weddings and all of the traditions involved in a Southern wedding, including the sip-and-see and the substitute bride. The section on sororities and their importance in the scheme of life in the south was an interesting one too.
I chuckled at the first chapter's title "Who Are Your People?" because although I have lived my life barely straddling the Mason-Dixon line, this is still an often-asked question!
While some may put down these kinds of traditions, I found many of them to be touching. And in today's on-the-move society, isn't it nice to have the stability of tradition in one's life?
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "pixietoes" on August 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
For all you ladies who have dreamed of becoming southern belles, Ms. Schwartz has written a book to explain exactly why you may never succeed. It is not something you can achieve through training, it is something given at birth, like a legacy. However, this book will help you to RECOGNIZE a southern belle, in the event that you wouldn't know one without a hoop skirt. It also teaches the importance of Junior League, a proper chicken salad and finding a husband whose mother's tastes in silver don't clash with your own. For anyone whose love affair with the south didn't end when Rhett walked out, and anyone who love a good laugh, served with canned cream of mushroom soup and velveeta cheese.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ebf9q on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mother and I, both raised in the South, laughed and laughed while reading this book. It was so funny to us because ever single word in it is true. From the iced teas pitchers and deviled eggs platters to the silver pattern I selected for my wedding registry and joining the Junior League.

I am giving this book as a gift to my friend, who is a Brit marrying into a very southern family. She will hardly know what hit her otherwise.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
at long last! Finally, written proof for my Yankee friends, that I really am telling the truth when I tell them tales of silver pattens (including the silver pattern zodiac), Southern Sorority Rush, cotillions, cooking with co-cola, and many other instutitions of Southern Gentility. For years, my Yankee friends have laughed when I have sent sub-standard iced tea back in restaurants, served deviled eggs, and tried to explain the difference between "darlin;", "cute", "sweet", "precious" and "nice". I'm going to buy a copy of this book for each and every one of my friends not fortunate enough to be born South of the Mason-Dixon line!
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