Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
Source: Received a print copy to review from the publisher
Well-researched and full of nifty little bits of information on what Victorian life was really like for women. The author takes us back to mid-century 1800s and switches between US and England telling us what our life as a wealthy woman would be like going into detail about the naughty bits, the toilette, the marriage bed, disease, etc. She also takes us downstairs as we learn to deal with servants, housekeeping and cooking. The book is easy-breezy to read and the author takes a laissez-faire attitude pushing jokes and puns throughout. As a voracious reader of Victoriana mostly interested in the downstairs and back alleys, I didn't find much I didn't already know but it was fun having a book devoted to the topics. The only thing that annoyed me was the author's poking fun at everything. It started off cute but just got more and more irritating as the book went on, until I got to a point where I just wished she'd stop. It would have been wiser, and easier on the reader, if she had opened each chapter with the teasing and sarcasm and then got down to the business at hand of imparting her knowledge.