By Scott Myerly
within the theater of struggle, how very important is dress? And in peacetime, what function does army spectacle serve? This publication takes us backstage of the British army on the peak of its brilliance to teach us how costume and self-discipline helped to mildew the army guy and tried to seduce the hearts and minds of a kingdom whereas helping intimidate civil rioters in peacetime.
frequently ridiculed for his or her constrictive attractiveness, British military uniforms of the early 19th century still performed a robust function within the troops' functionality on crusade, in conflict, and as dramatic leisure in peacetime. Plumbing a large choice of army assets, such a lot tellingly the memoirs and letters of infantrymen and civilians, Scott Hughes Myerly unearths how those ornate sartorial creations, combining symbols of cohesion and idea, brilliant colour, and actual restraint, more suitable the managerial results of inflexible self-discipline, drill, and torturous punishments, but additionally helped foster regimental esprit de corps.
Encouraging recruitment, imposing self-discipline in the army, and boosting morale have been crucial yet no longer the one services of martial gown. Myerly additionally explores the function of the resplendent uniform and its linked gaudy trappings and customs in the course of civil peace and disorder--whether hired as public relatives via dazzling unfastened leisure, or imitated through rioters and rebels opposing the established order. costume, drills, parades, inspections, pomp, and order: as this richly illustrated publication conducts us throughout the info of the production, layout, capabilities, and which means of those facets of the martial snapshot, it exposes the underpinnings of a mentality--and vision--that extends a long way past the army way of life into the civic and social order that we name modernity.
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Extra resources for British Military Spectacle: From the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimea
Officers, who were required to report deviations from the regulation dress, often attempted to alter styles themselves. «® Relations between a corps and an inspector-general were affected by this conflict, and disputes over authority in other contexts were often both reinforced and symbolized by the desire to control designs. ®' Some inspectors continually harassed the corps they were sent to review. "'" The opinions of reviewing officers might differ considerably.
T h e highland feather bonnet shared most of these disadvantages (although it was supposed to be equipped with an oilskin cover). After a long march, soldiers would spend hours restoring their dress and equipment to a pristine condition rather than resting: "A march will never be admitted as an excuse for dirt and slovenliness. "^^ In 1 8 3 1 , the Clothing Board recommended a reduction of only 22 The Spectacular Image three ounces in the one-poimd, fifteen-ounce shako, the most it could be decreased without weakening its design.
T h e wearing of military dress is a matter of discipline rather than a question of individual taste, and all aspects of the image—the arrangement of the clothing, equipment, and body posture—are subject to enforcement (there are exceptions, as we will see). As symbols of state authority, military images were not selected solely to gratify a monarch's individual taste, since they always served as advertisements of the state; indeed, they displayed the state's martial glory and power as well as the army's discipline.
British Military Spectacle: From the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimea by Scott Myerly