Anne E. Duggan


Maiden warriors in the classical Chinese and French traditions fight to support the regime of a patriarchal monarchy. Defending family honor and feudal order, these heroines prove that women are indeed necessary to the state. In Ikeda’s manga The Rose of Versailles and Demy’s film adaptation of the manga, however, the maiden warrior ends up fighting instead to dismantle a monarchical feudal order, which comes to a head in the French Revolution. Demy goes further than Ikeda in challenging the tradition of the maiden warrior by questioning the implicit class prejudices underlying the order that upholds forms of aristocratic heroism.