New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1922. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition of “the blue book of social usage” with a superficially sappy but largely affirmative impact on modern life, suggesting throughout, that today’s pervasive attraction to lights and commotion are not social instincts. Rubs to cloth at the extremities else fine in a jacket with tears and chips to the edges and folds, internal strengthening to the folds, and a darkened spine, else very good. This 1st printing is scarce in dustjacket and mostly unsung as such, since there are always copies for sale, but they typically lack their jackets or turn out to be later printings. fine / very good. Item #72
Etiquette means behaving a little better than is absolutely necessary. It is using hypocrisy as a tool for carving out felicity, so we pretend to be polite, practice it, and eventually we, in fact, become polite (fake it ’til you make it), and Post’s book organizes and elucidates 1,000 ways to do so. The text has been reworked and modernized many times to track changing lifestyles, but our book is the original, wide ranging enough to include the still useful (and pragmatic) guidelines of how to write a thank you note, or make an introduction, or walk the streets, and additionally the less useful (but more amusing) counsel on the responsibilities of a parlor maid, or how to manipulate a finger bowl, or how to address a Duke. I suspect you can open it to any page for an entertaining 10 minute read, and though it’s overladen with affected demands for groundless civilities, it’s always so prudent that the inch and a half it will take on your shelf will prove worth the space whenever you crave diversion, and also as a vaccination against collector’s focus acquiring the deadening effect of habit. Pure Americana baby.