Obsessive friendships lead to tragedy in this early-twentieth-century novel about a charismatic schoolmistress, a naïve new teacher, and an impressionable student–with an afterword by Melissa Broder, author of Milk Fed and The Pisces.
Clare Hartill is a brilliant, commanding educator at a private all-girls boarding school: the undisputed queen of her own small kingdom. But her tightly controlled world is disrupted when she meets Alwynne Durand, a nineteen-year-old teacher with no formal training. Alwynne’s innocence and openness endear her to the secretive Clare. Alwynne is drawn to Clare’s intelligence and sophistication. The two women fall headlong into an all-consuming friendship and begin planning a life together.
But their relationship is tested when an exceptionally gifted student named Louise enters their orbit. Louise will do anything to win Clare’s approval. Meanwhile, Clare’s jealous and manipulative nature slowly pulls Alwynne away from her friends, her students, and her family–anyone, in fact, who is not Clare Hartill.
Written in the early twentieth century by queer writer Winifred Ashton (writing under the pseudonym Clemence Dane), Regiment of Women is a complex tale of love and power that asks: How well do we truly see the people we love? And what are we willing to sacrifice for them?
The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance.