ABOUT THE BOOK:
Ladies, welcome to the 19th century, where there's arsenic in your face cream, a pot of cold pee sits under your bed, and all of your underwear is
UNMENTIONABLE is your hilarious, illustrated, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood, giving you detailed advice on:
~ What to wear
~ Where to relieve yourself
~ How to conceal your loathsome addiction to
~ What to expect on your wedding night
~ How to be the perfect Victorian wife
~ Why masturbating will kill you
~ And more
Irresistibly charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and featuring nearly 200 images from Victorian publications, UNMENTIONABLE will inspire a whole new level of respect for Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlet O'Hara, Jane Eyre, and all of our great, great grandmothers.
(And it just might leave you feeling ecstatically grateful to live in an age of pants, super absorbency tampons, epidurals, anti-depressants, and not-dying-of-the-syphilis-your-husband-brought-home.)
READ AN EXCERPT:
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill is a 2016 Little Brown US publication.
Based on a review written by one of my Goodreads friends, I knew I had to check this book out. I’ve waited for months for a copy to become available at the library, but it was worth the wait.
The author transported me back to the Victorian days to experience
The author exhibits a riotous sense of humor as she describes the lifestyle you would expect to live if you were transported back in time.
The habits of the Victorian age are curious, dangerous, and disgusting, and of course oppressive, especially for women.
It’s fascinating and horrifying all at once, but the author’s wit offsets some of the more cringe worthy topics like hygiene, for example, and because the era was so restrictive, the book could have become a little nauseating, or depressing if not for the author’s well timed jokes.
There are authentic illustrations and photos of clothing articles, and of real ads found in newspapers and magazines, which advertised weight loss products, as well as some rather scandalous items that hinted at pregnancy prevention, which had to be carefully worded since it was illegal to pass out information about birth control.
I variety of subjects are covered, which range from dangerous cosmetics, to undergarments, to the lack of indoor plumbing, the very strange ideas about women and sex, mostly written by men, of course, and the mannerisms and expectations a woman should know when having a social gathering.
While the Victorian era is one of my favorite fictional time periods, by the book’s end, I was relieved to find that I had been safely returned to 2017.
Once you’ve finished reading this book, you will appreciate the things we take for granted and will be even more thankful for the great strides taken to release women from the restricted lifestyles they once endured.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Therese lives in Oregon with her family, many friends and a wine bar. She and her husband have been together sixteen years and gave two children.