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Marianne Martindale (Catherine Tyrell, Mari de Colwyn) is an English writer and columnist. As Miss Martindale, she is the public face of Aristasia, an all-female subculture who dress in 1950s period costume and attend a "school" at her West London home. Aristasia is a feminine version of the Greek word aristos, which means 'the best'. Martindale received national attention in the British press in the 1990s for her advocacy of corporal punishment.
Martindale's writings include The Female Disciplinary Manual, Disciplined Ladies and other stories, and The District Governess, published by The Wildfire Club, which Martindale co-founded. From 2003 to 2005, Martindale wrote the Ladies' Column in The Chap magazine and was Aristasia's media representative. She discontinued this in accordance with the then-nascent Bridgehead Doctrine, which discourages Aristasians from publicly commenting on "foreign" (i.e. Earth) culture and politics.
Martindale is known for her practice and advocacy of corporal punishment, with a related 1992 conviction for actual bodily harm. This led to criticism from some Aristasians, who felt that in the public eye she was associating the movement too much with its minor disciplinary aspect. Some non-Aristasians have characterized Aristasia as an "S/M fantasy group" as a result of this. However, Martindale's recorded statements and interviews made clear her dislike of S/M, and her belief in discipline as spiritual and purifying.
Some British newspapers, notably The Guardian, criticized Martindale for her correspondence with John Tyndall of the far-right British National Party, but Martindale always maintained that, as an Aristasian, she was neutral on matters of "Tellurian" (i.e. Earth) politics. Martindale is a royalist and imperialist, but with loyalty only to the Aristasian monarchy and empire.
Martindale is known for her 1950s style of dress, and her traditional Queen's English diction. These are in keeping with the aristocratic ideals of Aristasia, which include idealization of femininity and the belief that an "Eclipse" of the 1960s marked the end of Western culture. She refers to the world outside of Aristasia as "The Pit".
On human society:
|“||What I hate, personally, about the Pit, is the Pit tries to destroy everything of beauty, everything of innocence. Every positive aspect of the human psyche is crushed, distorted, ridiculed, perverted, and damned by the Pit. And my personal contribution to Aristasia is that wonderful moment, when you bring a girl out of the Pit, and you see the strain go, and you see the tiredness go, and you see the defenses go.||”|
|“||Coming here is like entering into a completely different world, rather like going Through the Looking-Glass in Alice, or through the back of the wardrobe in Narnia.||”|