Regiment of Women
By: Clemence Dane (1888-1965)
Set in a small town in Edwardian England, Regiment of Women is about the relationship between two teachers at a private girls' school. One of them, Clare Hartill, is in her mid-thirties and runs the school in all but name. Most of the girls are devoted to Hartill and gladly suffer under her strict but charismatic rule. The other teacher is Alwynne Durand, an attractive nineteen-year-old woman who lives with Elsbeth Loveday, her unmarried aunt and guardian. When Durand starts teaching at the school she is immediately popular with her students but also excites Hartill's attention. The two women become close friends, and the couple also travel abroad together during the summer holidays. Although Loveday and Hartill hardly ever meet, a strange kind of antagonism develops between them, each woman fighting to spend more time than they do with Alwynne Durand and to be the dominant person in Alwynne's life.
Famous for its veiled references to lesbian relationships, this novel was said to have inspired Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness". - Summary by Beth Thomas
Dedicated to Beth Thomas