Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Have you ever dreamed of living in the time of Jane Eyre? Gone With the Wind? Do you desire to float around in big hoop skirts and highly styled hair to lounge around while men and servants wait on you hand and foot? Well this book is here to squash your dreams! Living the Brontë life was anything but glamorous. In fact it was downright disgusting at times. Unmentionable will pluck you out of the 21st century and drop you smack dab in the middle of the 19th century, giving you a tour of all things important to the Victorian woman. From examining crotch-less undies and corsets, to daily ablutions, to understanding why a woman should not lick their parasol, to...oh my god, what is up with all that silverware, to understanding your place as a wife and mother without being labeled as hysterical, Unmentionable will thoroughly, and hilariously cover all of these subjects.
Therese Oneill does a wonderful job of using 19th century resources, including ads, medical books, and photographs to present the reader with the sordid details of Victorian life for women young and old. Her humor lightens the mood as you travel through time. Some are laugh out loud moments, some are a bit uncomfortable. The reader is sure to be shocked and amazed, and at times horrified. Ultimately, today's woman will appreciate the modern times we live in.
View all my reviews