British Military Spectacle : From the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimea
By Scott Hughs Myerly
It was only after I had read some way into this book that I realised that it must have been some kind of thesis. When did people start writing them so well?
It isn’t encumbered with that annoying pseudo-intellectulese that people who generally present theses are so proud of to confuse the reader. In fact the points it does present are in strikingly simple and wonderfully readable.
The issue Myerly discusses is the development of the British army in the first half of the nineteenth century, basically the Napoleonic Wars until Crimea and it is a fascinating period.
He discusses the changing attitudes to discipline, uniform, recruiting and life in general in the army – but also the effects the army had on civilian life and vice versa.
There is an enormous bibliography at the end of the book, followed by extensive footnotes (some 100 pages). If you don’t like footnotes then I can assure you they don’t interfer with the reading in the text but help do help to clarify issues for those that want to delve deeper into an issue.
The only reason I have marked the book down from 5 stars was really a bit trivial, I found the last couple of (more…)