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Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me: Lessons in Grace and Elegance Paperback – 2 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071956669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719566691
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The fairy godmother doling out advice is the eminently stylish Lucia van der Post, who manages never to patronise her reader or - as other guides do - write as though she has been lobotomised . . . Her tips on simple but treacherously difficult things like how best to wear black are vital reading' (Vogue)

'Poised, elegant and idiosyncratic, Lucia is the grande dame of style . . . Good advice was never so glam' (Eve)

'Finishing school in a book' (Daily Mail/ Weekend)

'This fantastic style companion reveals the secrets of achieving an uber-glam woman-of-the-world lifestyle . . . This book could change your life for the better. Even your mother would approve' (Now Magazine)

'Winsome tome packed with shrewd fashion advice . . . it's a big cut above all the other fashiony "how-tos". No "how to face the paparazzi" rubbish here, just common sense, and a dash of glamour' (Sunday Times/ Style)

'Packed with golden rules from style queen Lucia' (Look)

'A compendium of wardrobe, cosmetic and all-round advice from The Times style writer' (Grazia)

'Every inch as gorgeous as a book on style should be' (Glamour)

'Lucia Van der Post's finishing school manual for the 21st-century is the most pleasurable, at once insightful guide and a delightful fantasy' (Evening Standard)

'A mother, grandmother and respected journalist, she gets her priorities right - be charming, don't take offence and spend less time tidying and more time reading. Enchanting' (London Lite)

'Supremely elegant guide ... a compendium of useful information applicable to every conceivable situation ... a delightfully eclectic book, it's destined to be a lifelong companion' (Good Book Guide)

'Anyone searching for a style companion to steer them through the maze of modern-day etiquette and gracious living will find it here.' (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

An indispensable guide for all women: learn how to be glamorous and stay glamorous with Lucia van der Post.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Veronica Barrett on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Although there is no way I can begin to afford designer clothes etc., I just love the beautiful way this book is written. It made me feel that, by looking at myself, my wardrobe, and my home with a critical eye I could really make some 'elegant' improvements - even if only to making sure there's a vase of lovely flowers somewhere where I can see them most of the time! A very enjoyable read, and some wonderful websites to browse through and 'train' one's eye with. Money is not the be-all and end-all of it, it's ingenuity that counts!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By KT on 18 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I did read this book from cover to cover but it wasn't at all what I expected. I was hoping for wisdom and advice. The words of wisdom were few and far between. Most of the advice wasn't overly useful either. I felt it was only really appropriate for people in the same situation as the author i.e. extremely wealthy and living in London. I really am not going to spend £300 on an antique linen bed sheet for the single bed in my guest room!!! Identifying specific expensive products and then saying you can get something cheaper but pretty good in Boots just emphasized the theme of the book that you can only have style if you're wealthy. For me it was more of an insight into how the other half live but I didn't feel it gave much useful advice that was relevant to me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By bookworm on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps this book should come with the rider " Most useful for people with plenty of spare cash, need to start living a life and who live in central London"?! If most people could afford one tiny part of what she offers up as advice that is " insightful. Practical and poignant" according to the blurb on the back cover, well my dears we would not need to ask our mothers anything! We would probably just keep staff to do it all anyway! Sorry, I do not wish to sound cruel, but this is a book that only a very few privileged people could truly describe as Useful. I actually found it quite insulting when she describes starting out married life, very poor and living in a four storey terraced house in London ...... And suggesting that all women should get an Eve Lom facial treatment, or the latest in skin peels etc that cost £3000 ....but only every 2 years!
And as for those of us who live in the provinces and can't ' just pop in to Southall to buy 10 saris to hang as curtains" ....... Or haunt the SW3 emporia .....oh dear, what will become of US?!, Sorry, but I wasted good money on this. It is already on its way to the charity shop but I really felt compelled to write in the cover a word of warning!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Lisa Wigg on 10 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a good read already I have just recieved this book I find it hard to put down i havnt finished but have a good flick through and now starting to read properly. I am surprised it has a low rating yes some of the Ideas and stores mentioned are expensive but you can get a idea or tips on fashion beauty etc but adapt it to you and look for cheaper alternatives Take some of the Ideas but just adapt them see what works for you. If you like to read a book on ways and tips you can try and be elegant and graceful in different areas of your life and adapting ideas this is the book for you.If on the other hand you want to follow all ideas to the letter some stores expensive than this may not be the book for you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on 13 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Let's face it. What could we expect from the editor of a gaudy glossy magazine and founder of the extravagent "How to Spend It" series? Elegance is defined here by quoting Paris Hilton: "Dress cute everyday."
"Cute" has nothing to do with elegance. Nor with grace for that matter. You get told how to gracefully throw away all the clothes you just spent a fortune on.
Here's what I think happened: Someone wanted to do all her friends a favor by publishing her own little book of addresses - where to buy what, products as well as services. This would increase her wealth and their business. Then they needed a name for it. "Things I wish my mother had told me" could be read the wrong way, so they added "Lessons in Grace and Elegance". A total misnomer.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura Shapland on 30 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
What a waste... of paper, time, and money. A book only for those who, like the author have both time and money in infinite proportions. This is little more than an advertising directory for people in the world's largest cities who will keep your house, entertain your guests and raise your children. If you are looking for genuine, intelligent advice go for Camilla Morton's 'How to Walk in High Heels' and it's follow up, 'A Year in High Heels'. Both more informative and better written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maria S on 3 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almost did not buy the book after reading negative reviews. And how happy I am that I did!
The book is fantastic and does what the title says.
What is more important that there are specific advice with contract details, where to buy, where to do and so on. Pleasure to read and easy to navigate!
The comments of that it is only targeting to someone who lives in W. London and wealthy is unfair as advice given on the best you can get (this means that in some cases it is more expensive products, however cheaper alternatives are also given and sometimes are recommended instead of high end alternatives).
In essense read this book as it gives shortcuts to many things that are important in our lives. Enjoy!
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