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Society as I Have Found It

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By: (1827-1895)

Society as I Have Found It by Ward McAllister is a fascinating look into the elite world of New York high society in the late 19th century. McAllister, a prominent socialite and arbiter of good taste during this era, provides readers with an insider's perspective on the customs, etiquette, and social hierarchies of the time.

Through his witty observations and personal anecdotes, McAllister offers a glimpse into the glamorous lives of the wealthy and well-connected individuals who defined "society" in New York City. His insights are both entertaining and enlightening, shedding light on the social norms and expectations that governed the behavior of the upper crust at the time.

While some of McAllister's views may be outdated or elitist by today's standards, his keen eye for detail and sharp wit make Society as I Have Found It a compelling read for anyone interested in the history of American high society. Whether you're a history buff, a fan of Gilded Age literature, or simply curious about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, this book is sure to entertain and educate. Highly recommended for anyone looking to peek behind the velvet curtain of the New York elite.

Book Description:
Mark Twain illustrator Dan Beard recalled discussing McAllister’s book with Twain. “It was before Webster & Company failed that Ward McAllister’s book appeared, and when he sauntered into my studio one day, I said:
‘Mr. Clemens, have you read Ward McAllister’s book?’
‘Yes; have you?’ he replied.
‘Indeed, I have. I have read it through several times, and intend to read it again. It is one of the most humorous books I ever read.’
‘That’s so,’ said Mark, ‘that’s so. Now, I will tell you something. I spent three months writing a satire on that book of Ward McAllister’s. And when I got through, I again read McAllister’s book, and then my satire, and then tore the blamed thing up. Some things are complete in themselves and cannot be improved upon, and I take off my hat to Mr. McAllister.’”
Wikipedia says: "McAllister's downfall came when he published a book of memoirs entitled Society as I Have Found It in 1890. The book, and his hunger for media attention, did little to endear him to the old guard, who valued their privacy in an era when millionaires were the equivalent of modern movie stars."
N.B. - NOT included in this recording is the author's extensive collection of period stationery, found at the end of the book.

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