You may find yourself asking, “So who was Emily Post?” While for some her name is synonymous with manners and etiquette (and large books,) for others that association goes to Miss Manners (the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Judith Martin) and still for others the question is “Woah, wait a minute. People are actually etiquette experts?!! That’s a thing?!” (Yup.)
Emily Post was alive from 1872 – 1960. Her life started in the age of the horse and buggy, watched the first roadways across the continental United States get built, saw America through both the start and end of the prohibition of alcohol, the great depression, and ended with peace, love and microwave ovens.
Known as a prominent New York society woman in the early 1900s, Emily, the daughter of famed architect Bruce Price, became famous for her practical and humorous advice on etiquette.
A modern woman, Emily divorced her husband at young age and used her writing skills to support herself as a single mother of two. She supported many causes, but she was particularly outspoken on the end of alcohol prohibition. While Emily never let alcohol cross her lips she believed absolutely that the government must not interfere with what she considered citizens’ rights.
Though much of Emily’s early work was fictional she was given the opportunity to write about manners and etiquette and the more she dove into the topic the more she found she had to say.
Upon it’s publication in 1922 (when she was 50), Emily’s book, Etiquette, topped the nonfiction bestseller list and the phrase “according to Emily Post” soon entered the American lexicon as the last word on the subject of social conduct. (Etiquette also ranked as the second book most likely to be stolen from public libraries, the Bible ranking number one.) It was 627 pages.
Americans liked this elderly figure who made them laugh, gave them confidence and delivered a certain quality that encouraged anyone of any background to be considerate and aware of those around them. Emily’s numerous books, a syndicated newspaper column, and a long running network radio program not only brought Emily into the average American home, it made her a figure of national stature and importance throughout the rest of her life.
Emily’s work has been modernized with each edition of Etiquette (19 of them to date), but her focus on consideration, respect, honesty and practicality has remained the backbone of the Emily Post brand’s advice since the first printing in 1922.
“Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” – Emily Post
The Emily Post Institute was founded by Emily in 1946 as a way for Emily’s family to carry on her legacy and continue her work. The Institute is now run by the 5th generation of the Post family. There, cousins, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning manage the Institute’s content and training programs which consist of a large collection of books ranging in topics from children and parenting, wedding, business, entertaining and even golf to train the trainer programs, as well as eLearning and in-person seminars. The cousins together host the Awesome Etiquette podcast which airs weekly and answers modern day questions on etiquette and manners.
For more on the Emily Post Institute and the Post family, please visit www.emilypost.com
“Whenever two people’s lives come together and affect one another. You have etiquette. Etiquette is not some rigid code of manners; it’s simply how people’s lives touch one another.” – Emily Post