by Ian Beckett
New York/London: Hambldon Continuum, 2006. Pp. xv, 272.
Illus., notes, biblio., index. $29.95 paper. ISBN:185285510X
A look at the British Army during the Victorian era (1837-1900), from its roots as a semi-amateur force still anchored in the glories of the Napoleonic age to its development into a modern army by the eve of the First World War.
Prof. Beckett, a specialist in the Great War, approaches the question of the professionalization of the British Army by focusing on the works and deeds of a great number of officers and a few civilians. Most of these people are today largely forgotten, but in their day, whether by their brilliance or their ineptitude, they pushed the British Army forward toward a more professional, techinically sophisticated force.
In the process, the book gives the reader a look at how the British Army adapted to new technologies, varying threats, and changing social attitudes about military service.
A good read for anyone interested in the British Army, little wars, and the Great War.