British Military Spectacle: From the Napoleonic Wars Through the Crimea (Hardback)Scott Hughes Myerly (author)
Hardback Published: 29/11/1996
- Not available
In the theatre of war, how important is costume? And in peacetime, what purpose does military spectacle serve? This book goes behind the scenes of the British military at its height to show how dress and discipline helped mould the military man while serving to intimidate civil rioters in peacetime. Often ridiculed for their constrictive splendour, British army uniforms of the early-19th century nonetheless played a role in the troops' performance on campaign, in battle, and as entertainment in peacetime. Plumbing a wide variety of military sources, most tellingly the memoirs and letters of soldiers and civilians, Scott Hughes Myerly reveals how these ornate sartorial creations, combining symbols of solidarity and inspiration, vivid colour and physical restraint, enhanced the managerial effects of rigid discipline, drill, and torturous punishments, but also helped foster regimental "esprit de corps". Encouraging recruitment, enforcing discipline within the military, and boosting morale were essential but not the only conditions of martial dress. Myerly also explores the role of the resplendent uniform and its associated gaudy trappings and customs during civil peace and disorder - whether employed as public relations through spectacular free entertainment, or imitated by rioters and rebels opposing the status quo. Dress, drills, parades, inspections, pomp and order: as this illustrated book conducts us through the details of the creation, design, functions and meaning of these aspects of the martial image, it exposes the underpinnings of a mentality - and vision - that extends far beyond the military subculture into the civic and social order that we call modernity.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 240 x 170 x 24 mm
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