History professor’s book offers fresh perspectives of war

News Page 12th November 2015

A book offering new perspectives on the history of war by an academic at the University of Northampton has been published.

A launch party was held at Park Campus on Wednesday 7 October to mark the release of ‘Embodying the Militia in Georgian England’, by Associate Professor of History, Matthew McCormack.

The book establishes new links between the histories of war and gender, arguing that military reform was informed and driven by concerns about politics, nationalism, and gender.

As Matthew explains: ‘The militia was a hugely important institution in the eighteenth century. At a time when Britain was regularly in danger of a French invasion, but when the regular army was seen as oppressive and expensive, the militia drew upon civilians in a part-time capacity. Because these were civilian men defending their country, this was seen as a virtuous act of citizenship. Much like supporters of national service today, the designers of the militia thought it would be a source of social regeneration. They also celebrated the supposed valour and patriotism of militiamen, so it tells us a lot about Georgian notions of masculinity.’

Matthew’s research focuses on eighteenth-century Britain and he has published widely on masculinity, politics and war. His books include ‘The Independent Man: Citizenship and Gender Politics in Georgian England’ (2005) and several edited collections. He is currently the editor of ‘Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies’.

The book is published by Oxford University Press and is available on Amazon.

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