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Southern Ladies and Gentlemen

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  337 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Looking for guidance in understanding the ways and means of Southern culture? Look no further. Florence King's celebrated field guide to the land below the Mason-Dixon Line is now blissfully back in print, just in time for the Clinton era. The Failed Souther Lady's classic primer on Dixie manners captures such storied types as the Southern Woman (frigid, passionate, sweet, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 15th 1993 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 1st 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 522)
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Riot. So funny at times I could not read anymore. "The Self-Rejuvenating Virgin" is the only sex educaation any man or women needs! Listen, I was never upset at Bill Clinton's lying about Monica. Y'all just don't understand the Southern mind. It can rationalize anything. Of course it never happened. They didn't do anything in bedroom ... after all. No gay guy can go without reading "He's a Little Bit Funny, But He's Nice." Southern rules for gay men in the south. King is rapier sharp.
Feb 26, 2008 Catherine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: real southern ladies
Recommended to Catherine by: my Mother
I'm not really sure if this paperback version is the same as the old hardbcover edition my mother gave me years ago, but if it is, I loved the old one. It takes someone raised in the south by true southern women to appreciate and relate to this book. My, what memories I have!
A gift from a good friend. King is hilarious--a kind of cranky old Virginian Garrison Keilor, with her biting regional observations. I'm only a few pages in but find myself laughing and nodding my head at every paragraph. Admittedly, this is a nonscholarly approach that relies on anecdote, and that's why it's so enjoyable. In fact, King's thesis, one might say, is that any cold sociological approach to the quirks of southern culture is bound to fail miserably because it can't get inside the pric ...more
Sep 12, 2008 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Southerners, Southern Ladies, people who like to laugh, Scarlett O'Hara and Margaret Thatcher
I know there are good writers and funny writers and every once in a while you get someone who is a great writer who can make you laugh. Florence King is one of those people. (She's also a great Southern Lady who was Raised Right, even if she did go a little off the tracks later.)
READ THIS. It's a fascinating look at how Southerners are and why they are that way.
From Chapter 5 "You Can Tell She's Got Good Blood. She's Delicate" or: Pelvic Politics and Bad Nerves

"Gentlemen planters do not take stu
Janis Ian
I am forever grateful to Beth Flood, who handed me this and "Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady" when I first moved to Nashville from LA and told me I'd learn more about my new culture and home from them than I'd learn in a hundred years by myself. These books have saved me from abject humiliation on more than one occasion, and been a light in the darkness on many others. I keep 5 copies on hand at all times, to hand out to other foreigners moving south.
Jan 08, 2008 Stacy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stacy by: Jim Whitehead
Shelves: fiction
I read this book in college at the suggestion of a creative writing professor. I loved the whit and insight of Ms King. It is most enjoyed by Southerners, but could be appreciated by all. I have gone back to certain chapters over and over when I needed a good laugh. I'll let you read for yourself and guess at what those are!
Jun 05, 2007 Stephy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone with someone "Southern" in their life!
Recommended to Stephy by: Duane T. Sawyer, may he Rest In Peace.
This is the book that helped me understand my Mother, who was sometimes a Rock, other times a Dear Old Thing. I damned near fell out of my chair laughing as I recognized so many of my mother's traditional sayings and behaviors. I have since bought it for my siblings and many friends.I hope you like it as much as I do.
Interesting but dated perspective on cultural habits in the south. funny from a historical perspective, and also as a debutante reading that old crap was funny. Found it in the Travel section at SF public library though ?!?!?
May 20, 2008 Mandy added it
Hilarious. One of my favorite books about why the north & south Are Different. One of the first books bestowed upon me by my late mother-in-law, for which I will be forever grateful.
Apr 15, 2008 Kieffala rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kieffala by: I had to read it after Stet, Damnit!
Shelves: satire-politics
This book is excellent. I love Florence King's unapologetic upfront writing. A definite must-read for anyone moving to the South from ANYWHERE else, but particularly from the North.
Funny and insightful and wicked, but not as clear and clean as some of her later writing or even as the re-written chapters from this book that made it into her anthology
A humorous look at Southern stereotypes in men and women. Racy stuff, madam.
fantastically un-politically correct
Andy Green

"[Dr. Jonathan Latham of Boston] met a lovely, patrician creature who extended a gracious invitation to a dinner party. [...] His hostess, he decided, was the last of the great ladies, an untouchable yet infinitely alluring ice maiden. Three hours later, watching her sip daintily at her tenth bourbon, Latham was certain he felt a stroke coming on. She still looked beautifully aristocratic; she had yet to slur a single word, yet a startling change had come over her personality. Latham's
First read this book many years ago, and I've never forgotten it. It may be that only real Southerners will appreciate it; I laughed all the way through.

Southern Ladies & Gentlemen
More uneven than Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, but really shone in the anecdotes about her own life. The story about Mrs. Urquhart has stuck with me the most.
If you are interested in the southern culture this is a must read. King explains every character type in the southern playbook with great attention to detail. She supports her theories with personal experiences (hilarious), clever analysis, and a good dose of history.

I would caution that this is not a beginners guide to the south, she explains a number of things using references only someone familiar with the south would understand and refers to southern inspired movies/television/books a lot.
Piratejenny0 Potrzebie
Florence King is absolutely, hands-down, the funniest damn Southern author I've ever read. Her books are sharp, acerbic, witty and bitchy with that "Oh My GOD! Did I actually read that right? (yes you did, and now you're peeing in your pants with laughter) style that recalls the phrase, "A Pen Warmed up in Hell"

"Date I read this book?" Ha! I've read this and "Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady" (Equally bitchy/Grab Yer Depends Funny) a dozen times - each.

Lori Brockelbank
A laugh out loud book. Love it :)
Bill Jackman
People who wish to understand the south, should read this. I grew up in Montana but still recognized every character in this. Many people who grew up in New England, the Mid West, or California have often thought a southerner would be offended by the descriptions, but I have heard exactly the same words from Women spanning a couple of generations, "Finally, a book about me!"
Love this one almost as much as Florence's best "Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady."

In this one, she writes of the Southern woman:

"She is required to be frigid, passionate, sweet, bitchy, and scatterbrained – all at the same time. Her problems spring from the fact she succeeds."
This book should have been titled Southern Ladies and Gentlemen Have Sex. I found it dated, irreverent, and trashy.
My full review can be found here.
Nov 13, 2008 Dana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Auzelle Epeneter
This book was hilarious--a great, very self-aware look at the South and all its quirky characters, complete with sharp, witty criticism on sex, identity, good ol' boys, brides, Yankees, and old women. A really fun read.
Amy Brennan

If you are a Southerner, you already know this book, but read it anyway just for the fun of it. If you are a Northern transplant to the South, this should be required reading.
Absolutely hilarious book.
John Beck
Though somewhat dated, this book remains an entertaining and hilariously accurate description of culture in a large part of the American South.
Somewhat amusing about the manners and mores of the South, but quite trashy due to Ms. King's obsession with sex.
Lynn Shurden
Love all of this, even the second time around. I read this when it first came out and have rediscovered. How fun!
An interesting, mildly humorous look at life in the South.
Mary Milek
Explains competitive recruitment at Southern strongholds.
Uneven, but in parts, absolutely laugh out loud funny.
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Born in Washington, D.C. in 1936 to a bookish British father and a tomboy American mother, Florence King spent her childhood living with her parents, her maternal grandmother, and her grandmother's maid.

King showed talent in French, but unable to pursue it as a major at American University, she switched to a dual major of history and English. She attended the University of Mississippi for graduat
More about Florence King...
Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look At Misanthropy The Florence King Reader Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye When Sisterhood Was in Flower

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