Oneill is mad funny. She uncovers the lifestyles of [mostly upper class] women in the Victorian era through their clothes, sex lives, and bodies using sarcasm and wit. Basically, everything is dirty, people’s sex lives were a mess, and being a wife/mother involved endless physical labor. Somehow the book’s tone almost makes their circumstances even sadder than if her research were presented in a more traditionally academic way. It’s crazy how misunderstood women were/are.
P.S. I have a book out that’s about dating as a single mother. It’s available here and here and in person if you’re located near me in New Jersey.