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Advancing with the Army

Medicine, the Professions and Social Mobility in the British Isles 1790-1850

Advancing with the Army by Marcus Ackroyd
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A detailed biographical study of the members of the army medical service during the Revolution and Napoleonic wars that charts their background and life both in and outside the army. It demonstrates how a group of medical practitioners from relatively humble backgrounds could use social contacts and experience forged in the army to become an established part of the educated British imperial elite. - ;Providing the first ever statistical study of a professional cohort in the era of the industrial revolution, this prosopographical study of some 450 surgeons who joined the army medical service during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, charts the background, education, military and civilian career, marriage, sons' occupations, wealth at death, and broader social and cultural interests of the members of the cohort. It reveals the role that could be played by the nascent

professions in this period in promoting rapid social mobility.

The group of medical practitioners selected for this analysis did not come from affluent or professional families but profited from their years in the army to build up a solid and sometimes spectacular fortune, marry into the professions, and place their sons in professional careers. The study contributes to our understanding of Britishness in the period, since the majority of the cohort came from small-town and rural Scotland and Ireland but seldom found their wives in the native country and

frequently settled in London and other English cities, where they often became pillars of the community. - ;incorporates the rich variety of individual lives, and these vessels float easily on the ever flowing tide of date. - J. E. Cookson, Social History of Medicine;Rich in illustration, clear in analysis and solid in conclusion... a testament to team-work, seamless prose, and historical modesty. - Roger Cooter, English Historical Review

Oxford University Press, UK; January 2007
419 pages; ISBN 9780191514838
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Title: Advancing with the Army
Author: Marcus Ackroyd; Laurence Brockliss; Michael Moss; Kate Retford; John Stevenson
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