Adultery and blackmail in the background of America’s spokesperson of etiquette? These were not the dark sins from her closet, however, a relation stood closely by.
Baby boomers most likely remember Emily Post (October 1872 to September 1960) as the authority of etiquette. Born Emily Price, she was the only child of famed architect Bruce Price, who designed Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, the American Surety Building in New York, as well as many others. She attended Miss Graham’s finishing school in New York.
She met Edwin Post at a ball at a 5th Avenue mansion. A chic wedding ensued. After their move to New York, she had two sons, Edwin Main Post, Jr. and Bruce Price Post in 1893 and 1895, respectively. However, her husband gallivanted with want-to-be actresses and chorus girls, resulting in blackmail. The marriage ended in divorce in 1905.
Post began her career as a writer, beginning with articles and stories. She wrote the novels Flight of the Moth (1904), Purple and Fine Linen (1906), Woven in the Tapestry (1908), The Title Market (1909), and The Eagle's Feather (1910).
In 1922, she produced the book Etiquette (full title Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home). It became a best seller. After years of radio, in 1946 she founded The Emily Post Institute.
Emily Post’s successor, Elizabeth L. Post, passed away on April 24, 2010 at the age of 89. Peggy Post, wife of Emily’s grandson, gives etiquette advice in Good Housekeeping magazine.
Thankfully, Emily Post persevered regardless of her difficulties and the art of teaching manners continues.