This book is a detailed study of the domestic background of life in the Victorian army. It describes the lives of women who lived on the edge of the regimental community as wives, daughters, prostitutes, lovers and workers. It examines the development of policy on marriage of men in the ranks and discusses the links between the military regulation of marriage and Victorian legislation on prostitution. The early history of the service family and the sources of welfare available to families - the poor law, philanthropy, and the regimental system itself - are examined in the light of attitudes to soldiers' marriages. Women of the Regiment reveals the hitherto unexplored role played by the military in shaping Victorian social policy, domestic ideology and attitudes to sexuality. Its originality lies in its feminist discussions of an institution notorious as a male stronghold; as such it makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the nature of masculinity and women's oppression.
1. Introduction; 2. The Victorian army; 3. 'Mrs Thomas Atkins': the regulation of marriage; 4. 'Legalised seducers': the obligation of a soldier to maintain his wife and children; 5. The service family; 6. 'That which a woman does cheerfully out of barracks...': regimental employment of wives; 7. Prostitution and venereal disease; 8. Poor relief; 9. Philanthropy; 10. Epilogue: discipline and division.