Therese Oneill takes you back in time and she writes this book as if she is speaking directly to you First, she helps you understand what you need to wear before you start your day because you can t just walk around naked and your 21st century clothes just won t do in the mid 1800s.
Then she explains how to use the bathroom I bet a lot of you wondered how to use the potty when you re wearing all those petticoats and pantaloons and cages.
She also warns you that in spite of watching all those dreamy Jane Austen movies, that life in the mid 1800s was anything but clean and rosy and smelling divine And yes, I know Jane Austen takes place before the Victorian period, but not a lot changes during these times.
And that the Industrial Revolution caused havoc with a girls skin, clothes and keeping a house clean.
She tells you what to do about that time of the month, how to attract a man really girls, that s the only way a decent middle to upper class woman survives , Victorian era etiquette and horror of horrors Victorian medical practices.
She doesn t travel much to the lower side, to the peasants, servants, and pioneer women We all know how tough life was for those women She has decided to place you, dear reader, in the lap of luxury where you will be expected to marry well and run a household of servants.
And I think that s fair considering how much that era has been romanticized around the well to do I mean, who wouldn t want servants who will throw you a party whenever you want one while you take all the compliments for it Or bring you a cup of tea with cucumber sandwiches Or have dinner on the table, the children ready for bed, and the laundry all done.
But life wasn t all romance and roses for these women Certainly better off than their poorer sisters, they still had to deal with dirt that s a nice name for it , blood, childbirth, misogyny without even having a name for it , unfair social punishments and expectations, illness, and stupid men Yes, I mentioned misogyny before but I think we can have another category called stupid men.
By the end of the book, you will be grateful that you are living now and not back then Because if you were to go back in time and live then, most of you would end up either dead or in a mental hospital.
In our era of MAGA this book dispels the notion that the good old days were a time worth returning to Great reading with lots of shocking revelations tempered with a healthy dose of humour Further proof religious beliefs hold back progress A lesson we are still struggling with today.
Great book Fun and easy read with great info inside This was SO good Loved the humor and all of the information While mocking things that seem strange to us now the author was really respectful of the way lives were lived in the past 100% would recommend.
Good read Very Entertaining and filled with interesting facts Would recommend t
For a factual book, Unmentionable is strangely riveting and hard to put down Here is a real author, not just someone writing words to convey meaning.
Laugh out loud funny in many places, this book doesn t shy away from serious subjects and I m not talking about sex and showering and all the other fascinating nitty gritty of Victorian female life which Oneill covers in loving detail However this author is no pontificator or hectorer she assumes intelligence in her readers and leaves them to make up their own minds.
The conceit of the author taking the reader by the hand as she travels back in time to the Victorian era is brilliantly well executed This concept is used not only to give the book shape, but also to draw comparisons between the Victorian age and today and sharpen the ever present humour.
A completely satisfying book.
Exceptionally engaging and easy to read while highly educational and insightful, this book offered me exactly what I have always found to be the most interesting aspect of history what was it like to actually live back in those days The jovially patronizing tone of the book feels a bit much at the start, but then the author s intention to really give us a feel of what it was like to live as a woman back in the day , never considered wholly human, truly intelligent or fully adult, becomes abundantly clear as a device to do exactly that.
I rather enjoyed this book and readily recommend it to anyone who has ever wondered, did our ancestors really live like this This is one of those books you can pick up and dip into without having to read cover to cover though that s what I did The kind of book I would be delighted to find in someone s loo and I mean that in a nice and definitely not insulting way It is weighted towards the American experience of Victorian, which is unusual and not exactly what I wanted, but fascinating nevertheless.
Full of excellent facts, the sort you can throw into a conversation Did you know that corn husks were used as loo roll in the US when over in the UK we were using shirt tails or rich men were and squares of newspaper Do you want to know the many uses that arsenic was put to in the cosmetic world Are you aware that a lady shouldn t cross the road to greet a friend on the other side, that she should hold a conversation only while walking and definitely not stand still in the road And then there s the whole issue of Mr Kellog yes, he of the cornflakes.
Fun, silly and in places shocking, though I have to confess I found the dear reader approach in the end just a bit irritating.