Cover for FERBER: Personality Plus: Some Experiences of Emma McChesney and Her Son, Jock. Click for larger image

Personality Plus

Some Experiences of Emma McChesney and Her Son, Jock

Edna Ferber, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Show Boat and Giant, achieved her first great success with a series of stories featuring Emma McChesney: a smart, stylish, divorced mother who in a mere twelve years rose from stenographer to traveling sales representative to business manager and partner of the T. A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat Company.

In this second of three volumes chronicling the travels and trials of Emma McChesney, the plucky heroine trades in her traveling bag and coach tickets for an office and a position a T. A. Buck Jr.'s business partner. Along with this well-earned promotion comes the home–-with a fireplace–-that she had longed for during her ten years on the road.

Her dashing son Jock, now twenty-one, has just entered the business world himself with the Berg, Shriner Advertising company. His colleagues believe that with his heritage he "ought to be able to sell ice to an eskimo." Indeed, Jock dazzles them with his keen business sense and exemplary work ethic, but goes overboard on the charm and ends up alienating clients, unnerving his boss, and even patronizing his business-savvy mother. When his company takes on the challenge of creating a zippy advertising campaign for T. A. Buck's no-frills petticoats, Jock comes through, but not without a reminder that mother always knows best.

In this bracingly modern novel, first published in 1914, Ferber contrasts the virtues of talent with those of experience to provide a fresh, readable, and smartly entertaining contest between a mother and her adult son.


"As in all Miss Ferber's work there is a certain fine, human quality in these stories which makes a swift and irresistible appeal." –- New York Times

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