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The Edwardian Army - Bowman & Connelly


Gareth Davies
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I have just read a review (in the British Army Review) of Timothy Bowman's and Mark Connellys' book 'The Edwardian Army - Recruiting, Training and Deploying the British Army 1902 - 1914'. Apparently it was published over 12 months ago but this is the first I have heard of it (a search of the GWF revealed no mention of it). Has anyone seen it? The BAR review is pretty positive but the price (£63) is scary to say the least and, frustratingly, PCL don't have it on their shelves yet.

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I have just read a review (in the British Army Review) of Timothy Bowman's and Mark Connellys' book 'The Edwardian Army - Recruiting, Training and Deploying the British Army 1902 - 1914'. Apparently it was published over 12 months ago but this is the first I have heard of it (a search of the GWF revealed no mention of it). Has anyone seen it? The BAR review is pretty positive but the price (£63) is scary to say the least and, frustratingly, PCL don't have it on their shelves yet.

It is exceptionally well researched. The bibliography alone runs to 12 pages.. Well worth the money in my view. The Army went through massive structural change during the period between the Boer War and the Great War. It is a particularly interesting part of the history of the British Army and helps understand the challenges of mobilising for the Great War. The chapters are:

1. The Officer Corps

2. The Other Ranks

3. Training and Doctrine

4. The Auxiliary Forces

5. The Public Face of the Army

6. The British Army and the British Empire.

The authors both worked at the University of Kent - Bowman (Senior Lecturer in Modern British History) and Connelly (Prof of Modern British History). Well worth the money. I think it is possible to get it for slightly less. than £60.

MG

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Thank you Martin.

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Academic book prices, ie poor promotion (now review copies sent out to the specialist mags), low print run and high prices. Hence book disappears. Academic book publishers seem to be totally clueless.

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Academic book prices, ie poor promotion (now review copies sent out to the specialist mags), low print run and high prices. Hence book disappears. Academic book publishers seem to be totally clueless.

Did you mean "no review copies ......".?

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Academic book prices, ie poor promotion (now review copies sent out to the specialist mags), low print run and high prices. Hence book disappears. Academic book publishers seem to be totally clueless.

...and print quality, paper quality is unnecessarily high.....Oxford University Press (the publisher) also published Mark Harrison's "The Medical War: British Military Medicine in the first World War", another exceptionally well researched book and a similarly exceptionally high price at £64.

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Obtained a copy for less than £60 on Abebooks. Having started to read it I can only endorse Martin G's comments in post #2.

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Can anyone come up with a way of getting it past the current Mrs B?

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Can you hang on a few weeks? Not sure if you are aware, there is an important (some say too financial) festival towards the end of December............. Exchange slippers and hankies for book tokens.

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In the same mould is K W Mitchinson's "England's Last Hope: The Territorial Force 1908-14"

Beautifully researched by another academic who worked at the Centre for First World ar Studies at the University of Birmingham. It is the second in a trilogy examining Britain's auxiliary forces. Anyone wanting to go further back might also consider "The Late Victorian Army 1868-1902" by Edward M Speirs which has a 22 page bibliography. I would consider these books and the book in the OP to be definitive accounts; all written by academics with a bent for minute detail.

MG

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Sounds like one for the local library. I will put in a request.

Old Tom

Hampshire Libarary Service won't touch it with a barge pole at that price, I'm told. I've ordered it from Amazon anyway.

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My copy was waiting for me when I arrived at work this morning (thank you Amazon Prime!). One of my (ahem) "coleagues" looked at it and remarked it had no pictures. That apart, it does look rather good.

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'My copy was waiting for me when I arrived at work this morning'. How are you planning to get it indoors, without Mrs B noticing?

Anyone noticed this one - Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One by Kate Adie. Yes, a celeb, but a very fine journalist IMHO.

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'My copy was waiting for me when I arrived at work this morning'. How are you planning to get it indoors, without Mrs B noticing?

Well, my Brompton bag is quite commodious and I normally end up shutting the downstairs up at bedtime, so it's all a matter of timing. Ways and means, old boy. Ways and means.

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'commodious' - Thought that was a Roman portable loo?

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Wouldn't know about that - I never had the Latin.

On a serious note, I was having a browse through the book last night and I must say it looks fascinating; I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

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Steven, had you heard of the book before this thread?

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I remember breaking out in a cold sweat when I saw it in Foyles, at that price. Ah well, another to go on various book search engines until it approaches real world pockets. I regularly make a case in book reviews that 'if only a cheaper paperback...' (even if for the academic market). It worked once - with Steve Badsey's study of the Cavalry from South Africa to WW1. Otherwise I keep hoping. Like the £75 study on British Army Communications in WW2....

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Steven, had you heard of the book before this thread?

Yes: I'm pretty sure I saw it reviewed somewhere, but it didn't strike a chord until this thread and (in particular) Martin's review/report.

I know £63 is a lot of wonga, but it does look like a very important book for my area of interest, and for anyone with an interest in the British Army in the GW. I also console myself with the thought that I don't drink much, I don't smoke and I don't go out with expensive women so all in all it's considerably less than if I smoked 20 a day or sank a bottle of wine a night.

Also of interest is the fact that it doesn't display the price and it doesn't actually look like a book that's cost £63, so if and when anyone sees it who you'd rather didn't, she (has to be a she) won't necessarily realise what you've been up to.

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Yes: I'm pretty sure I saw it reviewed somewhere, but it didn't strike a chord until this thread and (in particular) Martin's review/report.

I know £63 is a lot of wonga, but it does look like a very important book for my area of interest, and for anyone with an interest in the British Army in the GW. I also console myself with the thought that I don't drink much, I don't smoke and I don't go out with expensive women so all in all it's considerably less than if I smoked 20 a day or sank a bottle of wine a night.

Also of interest is the fact that it doesn't display the price and it doesn't actually look like a book that's cost £63, so if and when anyone sees it who you'd rather didn't, she (has to be a she) won't necessarily realise what you've been up to.

I asked the question because I was curious if I could devise a way of posting things on the GWF which would encourage you to bung £60 in my direction on a regular basis B)

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' It doesn't look like a book that's cost £63'

You knpw, that's a bit disappointing, you'd want it covered in hand-tooled red leather, the title in the brightest of gold leaf, at £63. Mind you, the most expensive volume of the British OH that I own is an original of 1917 Vol I, Arras. It had seen so much life that it didn't look worth 7 shillings, never mind the £70 I forked out!

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Many years ago (30 +), I bought the history of the 3rd Monmouths in a book fair in Cambridge. When I got back to work I showed it to a member of staff my team, whose response was "£9! For a second hand book!!".

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Cost versus benefit!

Such a difficult area, and the "do I buy or not ?" is difficult.

As a working dad with a full time at-home wife and four hungry and shoeless children my only possible approach in bookshops to second-hand British Army manuals and Orders was to "price it up" before opening the cover. Less than or equal to my figure I bought it, a little more and I haggled, considerably more and it went back on the shelf.

Now that I am very retired the bench mark has shifted upwards, and the income from horse trading is helping, so that if I want it, I buy it after a few deep breaths. Queen Victoria's Regs, General Orders, Army Orders, ACIs, and King's Regs are not cheap, but they are not getting any cheaper so ..................

Last week I paid £73 including postage to fill a QVR Regs gap ........... it was the only show in town. This balances the occasional silly 99p volume at a car boot.

You just need to take a deep breath and encourage the wife to add to the Imelda Marcos reserve shoe collection [she will do that anyway].

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