Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Monstrous Regiment (novel)
Terry Pratchett is known for his combining of political and social commentary with humor, and for readable, interesting fantasy. Published in 2003 as a part of his Discworld series, his novel Monstrous Regiment takes its name form the misogynist 16th century tract by John Knox, the full title of which is The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.
The story is primarily based in Borogravia, a highly conservative country whose people live according to the increasingly psychotic decrees of its favored deity, Nuggan, who is believed dead. The list of "Abominations Unto Nuggan" include Borogravia's neighboring states, resulting in little Borogravia having a particularly bellicose nature. The uncertain whereabouts of Nuggan leads the inhabitants of Borogravia to deify their Duchess, to whom they pray instead.
The protagonist of the tale is Polly Perks, who takes her name from the folk song Sweet Polly Oliver. Polly's brother Paul is missing in action after fighting in the Borogravian army, so she sets off to join the army in order to find him. Women joining the army are regarded as another "Abomination Unto Nuggan". To ensure her entrance into this male-only institution, Polly decides to dress up as a man (women doing so is also an Abomination Unto Nuggan) and starts calling herself Oliver. While signing-up she meets one Corporal Strappi, and the corpulent Sergeant Jackrum. Despite her apprehensions regarding Strappi she confirms her intent to enter the army by "kissing the Duchess"; that is, she kisses a painting of the noble. We see that there is a shortage of troops, with a Vampire, a Troll, and an Igor also being allowed to join up. Gradually, Oliver discovers all is not well or good in the army. The remainder of the book is about her struggle to come to terms with this new world, and to find her brother.
Monstrous Regiment translations
- Чудовищная рота (Russian)
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