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The New York Times bestselling, "hysterically funny and unsettlingly fascinating" (Jenny Lawson) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood.
Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? 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 crotchless. (Why? Shush, dear. A lady doesn't question.)
UNMENTIONABLE is your hilarious, scandalously honest (though never crass), illustrated guide to life as a Victorian lady, offering detailed advice on:
~ What to wear ~ Where to relieve yourself ~ How to conceal your loathsome addiction to menstruating ~ 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 ecstaticallygrateful to live in an age of pants, super absorbency tampons, epidurals, anti-depressants, and not-dying-of-the-syphilis-your-husband-brought-home.)
About the Author
Therese Oneill lives in Oregon and writes humor and rare history articles for many different popular outlets, including Mental Floss, The Week, The Atlantic, and Jezebel. She lives with her husband and children near Portland. She can be found online at www.writerthereseoneill.com where she runs a popular history and narrative blog.
"Hysterically funny and unsettlingly fascinating. This book is full of awesome."—Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy
"Oneill uncovers the filthy, untidy, licentious conditions of nineteenth-century women's lives that novelists of the period often glossed over...brilliantly conveyed with fascinating illustrations."—Elle
"Oh, did Constant Reader's heart lift after
turning page the first. It's hard to imagine
a woman - or a teenage girl - who won't love this book."—The Washington Post
has created a book so excellently informative about the Victorian period, it
should be shelved right next to Dickens for reference. Your stomach will
hurt so much from laughing, you'll be thankful you're not wearing a
"Unmentionable transports us back to the world of middle-class 19th-century women,
with special emphasis on the messy details that costume dramas airbrush out...With a 4-year-old's scatological glee, Oneill details the logistics of old-time peeing, pooping, gestating,
menstruating and mating...For Oneill, Victorian time travel is a tour
of horrors that makes us thankful to come home to tampons and toilets."—New York Times
"If Unmentionable does not secure the Pulitzer Prize for Most Fascinating Book Ever, the whole gig is rigged. Hilarious, horrifying, shocking and revelatory, this book is for every girl who pictured herself running through a field of wildflowers in a silk dress and Little House on the Prairie boots, only to discover she has nits in her hair, her clothes have never been washed and she sleeps with her poop under her bed in a bowl. A miracle of a book and one of my favorite reads ever, Unmentionable will be my go-to gift this year. All hail Therese Oneill for uncovering all of that dirty, dirty laundry."—Laurie Notaro, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Looked Different on the Model and Housebroken
you've ever felt like you should have been born in another time, Unmentionable
will disabuse you of that sensibility, and it will do so charmingly."—Vice/Broadly
"Flat-out hysterical (and occasionally alarming)...Read it and be very, very glad you're a woman of modern times."—Good Housekeeping
"Oneill writes from the perspective of an
all-knowing, slightly cheeky Victorian woman giving guidance to the
contemporary woman. The result is a thoroughly researched but hilarious look
into daily life of the Victorian woman."
"A fascinating look into the shocking pseudoscience of the 1800s, in which Oneill sheds new light on the origins of today's misogyny, double standards, and just plain mystery surrounding women that, maddeningly enough, persist."—Booklist