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English Army in the Regency|Napoleonic War

The Duke of Wellington, 1812-14; Francisco de Goya, 1746-1828; Housed in the National Gallery of Art, London Napoleonic War

While the Napoleonic Wars are rarely, if ever, mentioned in Jane Austen’s novels, they do provide a backdrop to many of the stories. Many of the male characters are, or had, a military connection. This is the first in what is intended to be a series of articles covering that military background to her works, in the hopes of fostering a better understanding of her works. As my own interest is focused on the land forces, most of the compositions will focus on the Army and Militia rather than the Navy, although there will be some overlap. This first section is intended to outline the basic functions of the Officers in the British Army of the time. Later sections will look at such things as the system of Purchase and promotion, how one was expected to be an Officer and a Gentleman,” the Militia, and other such topics.

British Army

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