The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? Ladies, welcome to the 19thcentury, where arsenic is a face cream, opium is a medicine, and all of your underwear is crotchless. (I'll get back to that in a minute.)

In the spirit of Texts from Jane Eyre and Schott's Miscellany , UNMENTIONABLE is your guide to the secrets of life as a Victorian lady, giving you detailed advice on how to maintain your youth (if you see a wrinkle, just rub lead on it!), how to please your husband (stop talking), how to manage your monthly "unwellness," and more.

Learn how much laughter is permitted a lady on the street (none). Find out what's underneath those elegant ball gowns (whalebone corsets, crinoline cages, and crotchless pantalettes - for quick bathroom access under all that hardware). And most importantly, come away with a new appreciation of the fortitude of our great-grandmothers.

Irresistibly charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and featuring dozens of images from 19th century publications, UNMENTIONABLE will be beloved by Jane Austen fans and is the perfect gift for women of all ages.

Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316357913
Characteristics: viii, 307 pages : illustrations


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STPL_JessH Sep 13, 2019

This book was laugh out loud funny in many chapters! I really enjoyed Oneill's writing. That said, I was disappointed by the lack of notes. I am sure this was a choice made for "the ease of reading" but I would have preferred more context for some of the claims made.

I was also disappointed that Oneill focused almost entirely on white women. She shies away from a discussion of slave labour saying something like "we'll just leave that in history." I'm not sure if this is because her focus is privileged women's lives or if she is just hesitant to add her voice to a discourse about the daily lives of women who were enslaved? If you're reading this book for historical context, best to choose a more reputable source. If you are interested in an absolutely hilarious and fun read, then this book is for you!

Jan 29, 2019

If you are at all curios about what it was "really" like for women back in the Victorian era - Then - Therese Oneill's brutally frank and equally humorous book "Unmentionable" should provide you with some very eye-opening answers.

Believe me - This graphically revealing book of non-fiction concerning etiquette, marriage, and sex for the Victorian woman is sure to alter your outlook on a period in history that, until now, was always thought to be so neat, tidy, and wholesome.

Dec 22, 2018

To be used for Victorian era scenes -- 1985, Shahzadah Nasrullah's visit with Queen Victoria

Dec 04, 2018

Author gleefully take away rose tinted glasses off of fans of Regency Romance, Victorian British literature & certain manor TV series and stomped on them. Reality of back then so nauseating, but it make me wonder the health craziness & plastic surgery happy of the elites today.

Nov 21, 2018

Are you ready for the "Unmentionable"??

Containing numerous illustrations, along with some scandalous honesty, and plenty of biting wit - "Unmentionable" bravely opens up the doors to the reality of what it was "really" like being a woman back in the Victorian era.

And, let me tell ya - It certainly wasn't the sweet, neat, purified, wholesome period in history that you've been erroneously led to believe that it was. No way.

Written by humorist, Therese ONeill - "Unmentionable" is (Indeed) a real eye-opening look at the past, especially from the angles of sex, marriage, and manners.

Apr 15, 2018

A great read that brings you back in time... smells, sights and horrors. You will appreciate all that modern day has to offer after reading this hilarious book!

LiztheLibrarian Feb 14, 2018

This book was both very informative and entertaining, and truly horrifying. What people believed as far as science, health, etc was startlingly wrong.

Feb 07, 2018

I couldn't quite shake the mind-bending mental image of Miss Manners being pottie-mouthed in an "oh, so refined" way. I did chuckle through the book, which is full of interesting facts. The one drawback is that the style of the book means that there's no foot- or end-notes supporting the points being made, though there is an extensive bibliography.

Jan 23, 2018

If you are a fan of beautifully depicted historical romances such as those written by Jane Austen, but find your mind frequently drifting to thoughts of the "unmentionable" yet practical concerns of daily life, such as "how did they go to the bathroom?", this book is for you. Filled with fascinating, factual information about how life in those romantically-remembered days wasn't exactly rose-scented, and was really pretty darn dirty when compared to modern standards. Relayed in an easy-breezy style that I found enjoyable and at times quite hilarious. Find out all of the dirty (quite literally!) secrets that made up daily life in Victorian times, and have a good laugh while you're at it.

LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

I love historical romances, but there are so many things NOT covered in those stories. Well, this book covers them. And EWWWWWWW! Funny (and gross) facts, but some really insightful historical facts about practices and people you might not have heard of. Did I mention funny? Oneill is hilarious. If you don’t like frank and salty talk, this book isn’t for you. But if you do, read it and then come talk to me about it!

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