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Gentlemen of Uncertain FortuneHow Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen's England$
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Rory Muir

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300244311

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300244311.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Army

The Army

(p.242) Chapter Eleven The Army
Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune

Rory Muir

Yale University Press

This chapter explores a career in the army. It shows how such a career took a considerably different shape to a career in the navy. Young men joined the army later but then usually served continuously so long as the country was at war, while even at the height of the conflict with Napoleon naval officers spent much time ashore and on half-pay. Neither career was well rewarded, but there was a greater chance of a financial windfall for officers in the navy. The navy was also much more competitive, while the ability of officers in the army to purchase promotion gave them greater independence. A naval officer depended on many things to secure an attractive position as a captain, commodore, or admiral. An army officer's progress through the ranks was much smoother, oiled by purchase if necessary, and it was only when he had been promoted a colonel or a major-general and was looking for employment on the staff that he needed the support of a superior officer or the Horse Guards.

Keywords:   army careers, military, army officers, promotion, army commissions, war

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