Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review - The Unmentionable History of the West

Really enjoyed this book.

Nancy Millar does a wonderful job of combining history and anecdotes into a well written book. Throughout the book you learn little snippets about what it was like to be a female during the settlement of Western Canada. As the title suggest she does this through discussing underwear, menstruation, pregnancy, child birth, wedding nights, sex, and the many other perils of being a woman. 

The book has images of old advertisements, health manuals and catalogues to help establish how such matters as unmentionables were dealt with. The phrasing often is quaint and humourous and it is well worth reading the fine print. She also discusses how the women's movement was effected by what society classed as unmentionables and how women were very important to the development of history in Canada.

I liked the book so much I sent a copy to my father, who reads a lot of history books, he was put off a bit by the topic at first but ended up really enjoying it. It is surprising sometimes how much the history of fashion can tell you about the development of society. So The Unmentionable History of the West is well worth the read be it for Canadian history or for the unmentionables covered.

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