Sunday, May 14, 2017

In 1915, journalist Emily Post set out from New York to investigate whether it was possible to drive comfortably across the country to San Francisco in an automobile. 7 years later she wrote her book on etiquette

Emily Post began her career as a writer at the age of thirty-one. Her romantic stories of European and American society were serialized in Vanity Fair, Collier’s, McCall’s, and other popular magazines. Many were also successfully published in book form.

Originally published by Collier's Weekly, By Motor To The Golden Gate describes her travels with her cousin Alice and her son as she embarks on the 27-day car trip across America, complete with the elements that make any road trip memorable: the nauseating climbs along muddy roads, the elegance of stylish downtown hotels and the “eccentric topsy-turviness” of Midwestern cities.

 A first-hand account of elite automotive travel, it also shows the history of the southwest, particularly in the myths that made towns such as Santa Fe "authentic" tourist destinations, and provides contemporary comments on class and ethnicity.

 A new introduction includes a biographical sketch of Post and explains the context of her journey in the heroic age of motoring. Accompanying the text are many original photographs, sketch maps showing the route, and Post's meticulous daily lists of expenditure, a valuable historical document showing the price of everything from car repairs to tips. You can read the book online at

Price met her future husband, Edwin Main Post, a prominent banker, at a ball in a Fifth Avenue mansion. Following their wedding in 1892 and a honeymoon tour of Europe, they lived in New York's Washington Square. They also had a country cottage, named "Emily Post Cottage", in Tuxedo Park, which was one of four Bruce Price Cottages she inherited from her father.

Emily divorced Mr. Post in 1905, because of his affairs with chorus girls and fledgling actresses, which made him the target of blackmail.

When her two sons were old enough to attend boarding school, Post began to write. She produced newspaper articles on architecture and interior design, as well as stories and serials for magazines including Harper's, Scribner's, and The Century.

She published her first etiquette book when she was 50

Upon the publication of her Etiquette book, the phrase “according to Emily Post” soon entered our language as the last word on the subject of social conduct. Mrs. Post, who as a girl had been told that well-bred women should not work, was suddenly a pioneering American career woman. Her numerous books, a syndicated newspaper column, and a regular network radio program made Emily Post a figure of national stature and importance throughout the rest of her life.

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