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The Art and Power of Being a Lady Paperback – 1 Oct 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Format: Paperback
Unless you were raised Mowgli-style by a tribe of wild apes in the jungle, do not expect to learn anything new from this book. The first two chapters on dignity and grace are promising and the final chapter on social responsibility is quite inspirational in this day and age, but the rest is just blindingly obvious rhetoric about keeping your house tidy and not swearing in front of your boss.
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!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perhaps most women have an innate sense of fashion, class and femininity. These women are most likely to buy this type of book, and then moan that its contents were completely superflous.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 30 Jan. 2012
By t - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think while some of the negative reviews have some merit - doesn't teach you how to set a table, encourages "when to have a keg" at a party, and other things people seem to get up in arms about because they're "not ladylike" - basically what I took away from this book was this: if we are women in a man's world who are expected to act like men at work and be on par with the boys in order to succeed, when do we "act like men" and "act like a lady." While this is not your old southern girls guide to how to be a lady, they offer some valuable tips. If you want to learn how to set a table and throw a dinner party, don't go this way. The key was their guide to integrity. I think it's a great read for a modern woman who has to take care of herself and "act like a man" in a lot of ways, but how to be a lady when and where it counts.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars purchased for my best gals 22 Mar. 2016
By SarCar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a conservative chic, I love this book. My husband has always called me a lady and this book just follows through with it. You can be conservative, liberal, indie, hippie, who cares, but you can always be a lady. AND use it to you potential. :)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic definition of a lady, or the best book possible, but definitely helpful 20 Aug. 2012
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. At the time I first read this, my circle of friends, most of them either from the Upper East or West Side of NYC, started talking about being a lady one day, and we realized the whole "being a lady" thing was a slippery concept. It definitely means different things to different people.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written 12 Oct. 2011
By emptyvessel14 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This was a great book; fun to read and informative. It was not "heavy" reading but more inspirational. The writers give a fresh perspective on what defines a Lady, and unlike many books I have read on the subject, they don't chalk it up to the way you dress or the perfume you wear though they do discuss fashion and the like. They don't insist on wearing high heels (unless you love them) and encourage minimalist make-up. Being a lady comes from the inside and this book helps you cultivate the kind of woman you want to be. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars and then go from there to explain what it looks like to attain that particular definition of ladyship 3 Mar. 2016
By Amandah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First premise of the book is to redefine what it means to be a lady, and then go from there to explain what it looks like to attain that particular definition of ladyship. Didn't like this one.
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