Cantinières and vivandières were women who served as official, uniformed combat auxiliaries of French army units from 1793 to the eve of World War I. Technically non-combatant spouses of active-duty soldiers, they fought and died in every conflict from the wars of the Revolution through colonial campaigns in Algeria, Mexico, West Africa, and Indochina. At a time when women were strictly controlled by the Napoleonic Code, cantinières owned property, traveled widely, and exercised a fierce independence from their husbands. However, despite their actions, they passed largely under the radar of the growing feminist and anti-feminist movements that flourished in France from 1792 onward. Based on extensive archival research as well as published sources, Intrepid Women is the first serious book-length study of a previously ignored aspect of women's and military history.
1. An Uncertain Existence: Vivandières in the Royal Army
2. "Absolutely Necessary": Vivandières in the Armies of the French Revolution
3. Expanded Opportunities: Cantinières in the Armies of Napoleon
4. "Useful and Necessary": Cantinières and the Constitutional Monarchies
5. The Second Empire: The "Golden Age" of the Cantinières
6. The Third Republic and the End of the Cantinières
"... a major and valuable accomplishment. It is gratifying to see these formidable women given their story and their due.June 2011"~American Historical Review
"Overall, this is a well-written, richly detailed and satisfying book on a topic that has been unfairly ignored, and deserves greater attention. . . . With this book, [Cardoza] dispels many shadows surrounding the French cantinières and provides an engaging and insightful portrayal of their lives."~H-France Review
"Cardoza's book is well-written, thorough, very readable, and most of all, original. As a result of his painstaking research, Cardoza easily convinces his readers of the importance of the cantinières to both military and feminist history. He corrects questionable assertions that had remained unchallenged until now and rightfully points out what other historians and feminist scholars blatantly missed or ignored altogether.34.6 Nov-Dec 2011"~Women's Studies Intnl Forum
"[The author] is to be congratulated on his attempt to shed some light on the role of the cantinière in both war and peace. The role of women in war has been overlooked for far too long.February, 2011"~H-War
"[T]his is a well-researched and innovative account. The 'intrepid women' of the French army have found their historian."~European History Quarterly
"This exemplary work is a riveting account, written in a very accessible style that shows the benefits of women's history to readers of many disciplines."~Women's History Review
"This is an excellent, pioneering, and always interesting study of an area of French military history that has now found its historian."~Alan Forrest, University of York
"A richly detailed account, well written and continually engaging from start to finish."~Margaret Darrow, Dartmouth College
For more information about cantinières and vivandières, visit the author's website.