Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Art and Power of Being a Lady

by Noelle Cleary

“A dashing and entertaining little book.” –Liz Smith, New York Post

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 192
  • Publication Date October 14, 2002
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3941-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 7.13"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

A guide to life that reclaims the word “lady”–and calls for a return to the respect and civility that are sorely lacking in modern life

“I think a lady is someone who shows grace under pressure, a lady is someone who can assert herself without being perceived as harsh, a lady is someone who gets the job done without sacrificing femininity.”–Paula Zahn

“Lady”: the word brings to mind a host of associations, probably many undesirably restrictive and outmoded. And best-sellers like A Return to Modesty, For Common Things, and even The Rules tout a return to traditional values that for most modern women sounds more like a return to the bondage of the nineteenth century. No, thank you.

Enter The Art and Power of Being a Lady. Civility, grace, elegance, self-respect, and respect for others–all of these are qualities exemplified by powerful women, not doormats. They are timeless values that some of our greatest icons–from Rosa Parks and Audrey Hepburn to Oprah Winfrey and Madeleine Albright–have exemplified. These traits serve a lady in all of her doings–from throwing a spectacular dinner to giving a speech before the House of Representatives to getting her significant other to do the dishes. Being a lady is about knowing what you’re worth and about knowing you shouldn’t be asked to do everything. It’s about rewarding those who do you a good turn and knowing that the best response to the rest of them is to rise above it. It is the grace that makes a busy life easier, and the power to say no when it’s necessary. In that light, being a lady sounds pretty good. The Art and Power of Being a Lady is the book that will help every woman achieve it.

“A sense of priorities, of social responsibility . . . To live life paying attention is really critical. . . . I think someone who behaves elegantly is someone who pays great attention.”–Candice Bergen on what makes a lady

A Lady Does:
Know she’s a catch
Recognize that being late is stealing time from other people
Know the difference between assertive and rude
Treat service people with respect and gratitude
Know how and when to flirt
Handle a breakup or an awkward social situation gracefully
Value communication and discretion in all relationships
Know how to party–and how to throw a great party
Set an example for others
Engage in acts of kindness and generosity

A Lady Doesn’t
Stay silent when someone is being hurtful
Wait for a man to open the door for her (but thanks him if he does)
Forget the boundaries of PDA
Ever let someone drive while intoxicated
Groom at the table
Ever forget that her friends are her most precious asset
Let a man beat her at sports when she’s a better player
Date her friends’ exes
Renege on an invite if she gets a better offer
Sell herself short

Ten Who Are Ladies:
Madeleine Albright
Candice Bergen
Mia Hamm
Audrey Hepburn
Lauryn Hill
Oprah Winfrey
Rosa Parks
Julia Roberts
Liz Smith
Paula Zahn

Tags Etiquette


“A dashing and entertaining little book.” –Liz Smith, New York Post

‘make no mistake: real ladies aren’t elitist, prissy or superficial. As this book explains, ladies are leaders, champions, and role models. Regardless of your age, race, religion, appearance, or sexual orientation, there’s no excuse NOT to be a lady today. . . . And that’s the only “rule” you need to know!” –Billie Jean King, tennis legend, founder of Women’s Sports Foundation and president of World Team Tennis

“Women will love, appreciate, and use this book in their daily lives–but men really need to read it!” –Julianna Margulies, actress

“I was halfway through this book when I realized I’m a man. However, I loved it anyway.

” –Steve Martin, actor/writer

“Isn’t it wonderful to envision the return of real “ladies’ to our society? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? With with and charm and their own distinctly modern twist, these two young authors set out to explain why and how women should aspire to being ladies, because they are definitely coming back into style!” –Letitia Baldrige, former social secretary to the Kennedy White House and author of A Lady, First and Letitia Baldrige’s Complete Guide to the New Manners for the “90s