Ungovernable: The Victorian Parent's Guide to Raising Flawless Children

Ungovernable: The Victorian Parent's Guide to Raising Flawless Children

by Therese Oneill


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From the author of the "hysterically funny and unsettlingly fascinating"* New York Times bestseller Unmentionable, a hilarious illustrated guide to the secrets of Victorian child-rearing [*Jenny Lawson]

Feminist historian Therese Oneill is back, to educate you on what to expect when you're expecting . . . a Victorian baby! In Ungovernable, Oneill conducts an unforgettable tour through the backwards, pseudoscientific, downright bizarre parenting fashions of the Victorians, advising us on:

- How to be sure you're not too ugly, sickly, or stupid to breed

- What positions and room decor will help you conceive a son

- How much beer, wine, cyanide and heroin to consume while pregnant

- How to select the best peasant teat for your child

- Which foods won't turn your children into sexual deviants

- And so much more

Endlessly surprising, wickedly funny, and filled with juicy historical tidbits and images, Ungovernable provides much-needed perspective on — and comic relief from — the age-old struggle to bring up baby.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316481908
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 156,918
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Therese Oneill is the New York Times bestselling author of Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage and Manners. She can be found online at www.writerthereseoneill.com.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Welcome, Unfit Mother 3

1 How Do I Prepare My Sacred Vestibule to Best Receive My Husband's Life-Germ?: The Ins and Outs of Fruitful Conception 11

2 How Much Violence and Lager Should My Fetus Be Exposed to as a Means to Ensure Sturdy Character?: And Other Pregnancy Tips 39

3 If Suffering in Birth Is Ordained by God, May I Bite a Towel During Delivery Without Offending Him? On the Occasionally Fatal Privilege of Childbirth 67

4 My Child Will Eat Neither Mush, Mucilage, Porridge, Pablum, Gruel, nor Loblolly. Is Pickiness God's Way of Culling the Herd? On Feeding Children 103

5 A Study of Technique Regarding Spanking, Birching, Caning, and Whipping: A Complete Guide to Disciplining Your Child 131

6 How Do I Raise a Menstruating Daughter Without Causing Brain Damage, Nerve Failure, or General Impudence?: And Other Thoughts on Education 157

7 My Young Son Refuses to Engage in Fisticuffs or Play Games with Greased Livestock. Is It Too Late to Prevent His Inevitable Homosexuality?: On Turning Boys into Men 183

8 How May I Distinguish Healthful Amusements My Child Might Engage in from Those That Are Satan Disguised in the Raiment of Light and Joy?: On Appropriate Recreations for Children 213

9 How Many Leeches Should Be Applied to a Broken Bone and What Weapons Serve Me Best in the Valiant Struggle Against Rectal Worms?: On Maintaining General Health 245

10 The Successful Mother: Are You She? 261

Bibliography 267

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