Picture of the Day: August 17 | HistoryNet MENU

Picture of the Day: August 17

6/12/2006 • Picture of the Day

‘The Dictator of Correct Behavior’
A 1941 profile of Emily Price Post called her ‘the American dictator of correct behavior,’ an apt description since her book on etiquette sold more than 650,000 copies in its first 20 years. Born into high society in 1873, Post wanted to write novels but she turned to etiquette when she discovered the poor quality of existing books on the subject. For her, however, ‘nothing is less important than the fork you use’–rather, etiquette was the art of making other people feel comfortable. Post delivered her message with wit and style in radio broadcasts and a daily column printed in 160 newspapers. Emily Post died in 1960.

Photo: Library of Congress

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