Third Snow(Mon)day in row

New books:

Osman, Julia. Citizen Soldiers and the Key to the Bastille. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Abstract:
The French army experienced rapid and dramatic change from the 1750s to 1789—and it took the rest of the country with it. Wracked from defeat in the Seven Years’ War, where Amerindian warriors and rugged Canadian militiamen had shown the French army its weaknesses, French officers and philosophers set to work imagining and forging a new kind of army in France: a citizen army, the likes of which had not been seen since the glory days of ancient Greece and Rome. These writers found encouragement for their ideas in the home-grown patriots of the American Revolution and resistance from those who relied on tradition and well-ingrained privilege. By 1789, French officers would declare their citizen army realized, but in the process they would spark a Revolution they could not control.
I think that David Bien guy just may have started something (Interpreting the Ancien Régime collects his major works together in one place).
And then there is this book, which does go back into the Ancien Régime:
Morrissey, Robert. The Economy of Glory: From Ancien Régime France to the Fall of Napoleon. Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan. Chicago; London: University Of Chicago Press, 2013.
Abstract:
From the outset of Napoleon’s career, the charismatic Corsican was compared to mythic heroes of antiquity like Achilles, and even today he remains the apotheosis of French glory, a value deeply embedded in the country’s history. From this angle, the Napoleonic era can be viewed as the final chapter in the battle of the Ancients and Moderns. In this book, Robert Morrissey presents a literary and cultural history of glory and its development in France and explores the “economy of glory” Napoleon sought to implement in an attempt to heal the divide between the Old Regime and the Revolution. Examining how Napoleon saw glory as a means of escaping the impasse of Revolutionary ideas of radical egalitarianism, Morrissey illustrates the challenge the leader faced in reconciling the antagonistic values of virtue and self-interest, heroism and equality. He reveals that the economy of glory was both egalitarian, creating the possibility of an aristocracy based on merit rather than wealth, and traditional, being deeply embedded in the history of aristocratic chivalry and the monarchy—making it the heart of Napoleon’s politics of fusion. Going beyond Napoleon, Morrissey considers how figures of French romanticism such as Chateaubriand, Balzac, and Hugo constantly reevaluated this legacy of glory and its consequences for modernity. Available for the first time in English, The Economy of Glory is a sophisticated and beautifully written addition to French history.
Anybody else notice how we early modern Europeanists are now paying $90-$100 for books that barely have 200 pages of text?
Makes me want to revise my Ostwald Index: in addition to calculating the ratio of (number of pages)/(years covered) and the well-known (number of pages)/(book price), we should also calculate the ratio of (book price)/(years covered). Just when we now have access to all these sources, we’re unable to put them in our books. <Sigh>

About those Swiss

Perhaps readers can provide some guidance to a fellow skulker. He seeks information (including citations) on the Swiss Guards of the Dutch Army in the middle of the 18C. The only possibilities that come to my mind require reading knowledge of either Dutch or French:

Van Nimwegen, Olaf. De Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden als grote mogendheid. Buitenlandse politiek en oorlogvoering in de eerste helft van de achttiende eeuw en in het bijzonder tijdens de Oostenrijkse Successieoorlog (1740-1748). De Bataafsche Leeuw, 2002.
Probably the best bet would be the new volume in the Het Staatsche Leger series by H.L.Zwitzer et al on the18C Dutch army:

Zwitzer, H. L., J. Hoffenaar, and C. W. van der Spek. Het Staatse Leger / Deel IX + Twee Losse Kaarten / Druk 1: De Achtiende Eeuw 1716-1795. Édition : 1. Amsterdam: Bataafsche Leeuw, 2012.
Zwitzer also has an older work that might include some small detail: “De militie van den staat”: Het leger van de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam: Van Soeren, 1991.
From the French perspective, there’s always:
Zurlauben, Beat-Fidel. Histoire militaire des Suisses au service de la France, avec les pièces justificatives: dédiée à S.A.S. Monseigneur le Prince de Dombes, Colonel-général des Suisses et Grisons. 8 vols. Chez Desaint & Saillant, c1758.
Any other suggestions?

Now it’s your turn

The first week of the Spring semester, and as usual I’m behind already. I’m teaching the Historical Research and Writing course, a senior seminar on Late Stuart England, and my Religion, War and Peace in Early Modern Europe – tomorrow’s lesson: the Old Testament!

So I’ll just throw this out there until I have time to compose a real post:

A colleague wants to know what the latest consensus is (if one exists) about the old saw that British red coats in the American Revolution stood up proud and tall in nice straight linear formations while American militiamen fired at them behind trees and rocks with their rifles.

I’ve read Spring’s With Zeal and With Bayonets Only and Grenier’s First American Way of War and a couple of the recent works on Native American warfare, but since several skulkers focus on the American Revolutionary era and since I have enough trouble keeping up with works on Europe between 1650 and 1750 while doing my own research, I thought I’d check to see what the current status of the topic is. So for this post only, consider this EMEMH blog temporarily a EMAMH blog.

Comment away!

Où est le Michigan?

Faithful skulker John Grenier points us towards a recent exhibition at the University of Michigan Library’s Special Collections on 18C British fortifications in the Americas.

A Salon story on it is here, while the online exhibit is here.

And no, your memory isn’t failing you. Oxford University’s Museum of the History of Science also held its own exhibit entitled “The Geometry of War” back in 1996. You can check out its online catalog here, which deals more with instruments of war (hey, there’s a book title in there somewhere I think).

Speaking of memories, I have fond ones of Michigan’s library, which offered innumerable printed riches to an interloping grad student from “that state down south.” I spent many a dime on photocopies there – this was in the days when libraries still kept 18C books in the stacks, rather than hide them away in rare book rooms. But maybe it’s for the best that Ohio State’s library recalled the copies of Deidier’s 1757 Le parfait ingénieur français and Lamberty’s 1724 Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire du XVIII siècle that I had on a floor bookcase for several years – I’m lucky my cat didn’t pee on them.

The staff at EYM (the library’s OCLC code – another tidbit you needed to know pre-Google Books) were also incredibly helpful. On one of my research jaunts to the land of maize and blue, they were kind enough to digitize several dozen maps from Pelet’s atlas companion to Vault’s Mémoires militaries, and even place them online. And, of course, Michigan has been at the forefront of Hathi Trust, which means that I can finally throw away all those paper copies I made 15 years ago of the Europische Mercurius and Santa Cruz de Marcenado’s Reflexions militaires. So thanks to the Spauldings, who made much of it possible:

Stephen Spaulding Collection

And, if  you plan a trip there, don’t forget to take a peak at the 18C Spanish mortar nearby.

 

Devonthink update

In case anybody wonders whether DTPO can handle large databases, here are the current stats for my main WSS database:

WSS db as of 2015.01.05

WSS db as of 2015.01.05

Read More…

Text Creation Partnership available

For those who like to poke around in early modern holes and corners, the digital texts of about 25,000 English publications from the late 15C up to c. 1800 are now freely available. The collection is reported to include works from Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and Evans Early American Imprints. I think there are one or two works on military history in there somewhere, if you’re willing to look.
Currently hosted at the Oxford Text Archive.

Another missed book

Guess I need to check with Liverpool University Press more often. This one slipped through the cracks of my existing Google alerts and publisher email notifications:

Linch, Kevin, and Matthew McCormack, eds. Britain’s Soldiers: Rethinking War and Society, 1715-1815. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014.
Abstract: The British soldier was a fascinating and complex figure in the century between the Hanoverian accession and the Battle of Waterloo. The ‘war and society’ approach has shed much light on Britain’s frequent experience of conflict in this period, but Britain’s Soldiers argues that it is time to refocus our attention on the humble redcoat himself, and rethink historical approaches to soldiers’ relationship with the society and culture of their day. Using approaches drawn from the histories of the military, gender, art, society, culture and medicine, this volume presents a more rounded picture of the men who served in the various branches of the British armed forces. This period witnessed an unprecedented level of mass mobilisation, yet this was largely achieved through novel forms of military service outside of the regular army. Taking a wide definition of soldiering, this collection examines the part-time and auxiliary forces of the period, as well as looking at the men of the British Army both during their service and once they had been discharged from the army. Chapters here explore the national identity of the soldier, his sense of his rights within systems of military discipline, and his relationships with military hierarchies and honour codes. They also explore the welfare systems available to old and wounded soldiers, and the ways in which soldiers were represented in art and literature. In so doing, this book sheds new light on the processes through which soldiers were ‘made’ during this crucial period of conflict.
Chapters include:
Introduction: Kevin Linch and Matthew McCormack
PART 1: Nationhood
1 ‘The eighteenth-century British army as a European institution’, Stephen Conway
2 ‘Soldiering abroad: the experience of living and fighting among aliens’, Graciela Iglesias Rogers
PART 2: Hierarchy
3 ‘Effectiveness and the British Officer Corps, 1793-1815’, Bruce Collins
4 ‘Stamford standoff: honour, status and rivalry in the Georgian military’, Matthew McCormack
PART 3: Discipline
5 ‘“The soldiers murmered much on Account of their usage”: military justice and negotiated authority in the eighteenth-century British army’, William P. Tatum III
6 ‘Discipline and control in eighteenth-century Gibraltar’, Ilya Berkovich
PART 4: Gender
7 ‘Conflicts of conduct: British masculinity and military painting in the wake of the Siege of Gibraltar’, Cicely Robinson
8 ‘Scarlet fever: female enthusiasm for men in uniform, 1780-1815’, Louise Carter
PART 5: Soldiers in Society
9 ‘Disability, fraud and medical experience at the Royal Hospital of Chelsea in the long eighteenth century’, Caroline Louise Nielsen
10 ‘Making new soldiers: legitimacy, identity and attitudes, c. 1740-1815’, Kevin Linch
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