"I do like beautiful things and it has been my privilege to be able to enjoy them...also, I like a smoothly running organization"—Marjorie Merriweather Post
This is a new biography of Marjorie Post, illustrated with a wealth of historical photos, archival images, posters, and the souvenirs of an extraordinary life. As owner of Postum Cereal Company, Post wielded financial oversight of mansions on multiple estates, a yacht, fabulous jewellery, and an impressive art collection, capably creating and managing a twentieth-century life of luxury, complete with a butler, footmen, gardeners, and personal maids. But it was not Post’s ability to read a spreadsheet for which she was often noted in newspapers and magazines. While her good works made the news during times of war and economic crisis, her social gatherings, clothes, four marriages, four divorces, and her father’s suicide got more ink. Her life—in all its honourable, glamorous, and painful moments—was syndicated news, and not a private matter.
Post’s life was indeed one of privilege: in The Life Behind the Luxury we accompany her on a Mediterranean excursion aboard her yacht, the Sea Cloud, and travel to Camp Topridge on her plane for a “little weekend.” Author Estella M. Chung goes further, however, in revealing Post to be an astute business executive, a deeply caring and generous humanitarian, and a philanthropist.
Estella M. Chung is curator, co-chair of exhibitions, and director of collections at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Washington, DC. She is the author of Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post (2013).