This little book was evidently enormously popular, since it ran to at least 17000 copies in 1900. Polite society at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries was very concerned with 'correct' behaviour in all situations, and scorned those who were unaware of the accepted conventions - so a little reference book to assist one in making one's way in society was invaluable. Although written by an American, and presumably aimed principally at an American market, the advice offered would be equally appropriate to European society, whether British or Continental.
Dr. Orison Swett Marden (1848–1924) was an American inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded 'SUCCESS' magazine in 1897. His writings offer common-sense principles and virtues for a well-rounded, successful life. Many of his ideas are based on New Thought philosophy. His first book, "Pushing to the Front" (1894), became an instant best-seller. He later published 50+ books and booklets, averaging two titles per year.
Our copy is in very nice condition for its age, bound in darkish red cloth with title, author's name and decorative motif in black on the front, with a thin black double-line border, and a single thicker black line border to the cover itself. Title, author, publisher and motif are repeated on the spine. Minimal signs of wear externally. Inside, the binding is firm and almost all pages clean but very slightly browned. Some signs of foxing on the edges of the text block, but no migration into the pages. There is one pencilled underlining, on p.31, warning against the perils of debt - particularly appropriate to our modern society, perhaps! The text is enhanced by B/W portraits of four 'successful' people: the young Queen Victoria, Empress Josephine, Abraham Lincoln, and President Andrew Jackson.