"A young woman enters an Angela Brazil timewarp of gender [sic] apartheid; first gymslips are raised, then
weals . . . immaculate . . .its prose is an accomplished pastiche"The Daily Telegraph (England)
The Feminine Régime takes the reader into another world: a feminine world with its own laws and its own standards. A world of scent and lipstick, hats, gloves and nylon stockings. Maidservants are the absolute property of their mistresses. Uniformed, grown-up schoolgirls are educated with old-fashioned school discipline. The courts of this hidden Empire sentence women to canings, strappings and sentences of "Punitive Service" as maids under severe discipline.
But the most fascinating thing about the book is the fact that it is not a fantasy. The hidden Empire in which the action takes place is a reality to which the authoress herself is proud to belong. While the book and its events are fictional, the background against which it takes place is not, and in the course of a breathtaking story we are taken on a conducted tour of that world, seeing private homes, schools and courts.
We see from within the life of a "slavey", the lowest grade of maidservant, subject to the discipline of all the other maids as well as her mistresses. We attend an Imperial school ruled by a formidable mistress with a stiff strap. We experience schoolgirl canings -- including one of the most intense and powerful caning scenes ever written -- and public, judicial chastisements.
Yet The Feminine Régime is not just a "flagellation novel". That is what makes it unique. It is a literary masterpiece. Beautifully written in prose which The Daily Telegraph's reviewer described as "cut-crystal"; deeply philosophical, trenchant, witty and moving; filled with memorable characters and unforgettable incidents.The Feminine Régime really is the first serious novel of female discipline.
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