Trendspotting Oh, Behave! From grandes dames of good behavior and modern advocates of fabulousness, manners make a comeback. "Emily Post is the literary It Girl of the moment, and she has Joan Didion to thank for it. Despite the fact that she's been dead for nearly fifty years, Post and her seminal guide to good manners, Etiquette, have come up in nearly every review of Didion's best-selling new memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. Critics can't resist mentioning that in the dark days after her husband's death in late 2003, Didion found great solace in the "Funerals" chapter of Etiquette's first edition, published in 1922. Psychologists, poets, and philosophers could theorize all they wanted about the stages of grief and how to cope, but in Post, Didion found the reasoned voice that really offered relief. It was the relief of ritual -- of an established code of conduct that could safely transport her from one difficult moment to the next, without the burden of hand-wringing analysis."
About the Author
Emily Price Post was born in October of 1872 or 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland to Bruce and Josephine Lee Price. She was homeschooled and, later, attended finishing school in New York City. In 1892, she married Edwin Main Post, a banker from a widely known family in the social circles of Long Island. The couple had two sons, Edwin M. Post, Jr. and Bruce Price Post, who died in 1927. Subsequently, Mr. and Mrs. Post were divorced. As well as Etiquette, which was in its eighty-ninth printing at the time of her death, Emily Post wrote other works, including fiction and short stories. In addition, she wrote a cookbook, The Emily Post Cook Book. In 1946, Emily Post founded the Emily Post Institute. She died on September 25, 1960, and her name has lived on in the public domain as synonymous with etiquette.