Advancing with the Army:Medicine, the Professions and Social Mobility in the British Isles 1790-1850: Medicine, the Professions and Social Mobility in the British Isles 1790-1850

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OUP Oxford, Jan 4, 2007 - Medical - 418 pages
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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 nascentprofessions 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 andfrequently settled in London and other English cities, where they often became pillars of the community.

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About the author (2007)


Dr Kathryn Retford - Author - Lecturer in History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr John Stevenson - Author - Reader in Modern History, Worcester College Oxford

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