- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Non Basic Stock Line; Reprint edition (Oct. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802139418
- ISBN-13: 978-0802139412
- Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 0.5 x 18.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,434,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Art and Power of Being a Lady Paperback – 1 Oct 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
At least a quarter of the text is made up of self-congratulatory and often conflicting quotes on What A Lady Is, and the rest is written in a rather irritating southern-belle manner - every other sentence seems to start "A lady NEVER..."
I've come to the conclusion that if you are even thinking about purchasing books on etiquette, you probably already know more than the authors - in which case, save your money and start saving towards those essential pearl-handled fish knives!
For the rest of us, who spent our teens climbing trees rather than paging through glossy magazines, if we finally realise that we need to work on how we appear to others, this book is a helpful guide on the self-improvement journey towards more lady-like behaviour. Of course it must be taken with a few spades of salt, but I found the chapters on hospitality (no, the party is not for ME, it's for my guests) and manners useful. And the tip on keeping my home stylish, rather than, well, a tip, by always taking something with me when I leave a room, has helped me to raise my (hitherto rather low) standard of housekeeping. If you aspire to rise above the vulgar and egalitarian asexuality of the modern world, this little book will at least start you thinking in the right direction. If you realise you need help, this is not a bad place to start.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I knew this book was great at this very moment: I've been reading a lot of books on ladylike behavior (Emily Post, Miss Manners, guides to table settings, parties, etiquette in different formal/semiformal settings, etc) which have all been immensely helpful - I recommend you read these as well for traditional manners and other info! - but this book cast a whole new (alarming) light when I was watching my usual "trash" reality TV. Suddenly, after reading the description of how a woman has integrity, acts with grace, always says "please" and "thank you," gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and behaves gracefully, always giving a smile even when she's "mad" (she takes a deep breath, counts to ten and lets it roll off her shoulders, not stooping to their level), I was instantly disgusted by the behavior of the women I saw on these shows that once before had entertained me. Their behavior was certainly unladylike. Something just clicked. Can't necessarily put it into words, but I recommend this book indeed.
I was drawn to this book because the cover and the contents were very clear about a lady being able to speak up for herself and others, being able to make the first move, and to generally be a holder of power.
If you have an executive bent, or are in the business world at all, this definition of being a lady may resonate with you, because us ladies have a very fine line to walk between being assertive versus being pushy; being authoritative versus being a b----, and being thoughtful and prudent without being seen as weak. To me, a lady knows how to walk all those lines. And ladies always, at all times, even when misbehaving, have class.
I also liked the emphasis on ladies being good, to-the-last, kinds of friends. I have a little peeve about how women can so quickly put relationships with men ahead of long-term friendships, but that's not going to change any time soon.
This is not at all the last word on what being a lady means. It really does not give the definitive, clear guidance for walking all those narrow lines I mentioned above. And it's a bit light on work. And there's no mention of being a lady within a family, which can be the hardest place to be a lady. But this book is an intelligent, modern and useful guide to start the discussion. It may not be ideal for teens, but it would work for 20-somethings and up. In a way, this book is essentially just about manners in action.