• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Personality, Politics and Patronage in the Late Victorian Army

British officers of the Guides Infantry, c1879

Join Professor Ian Beckett as he explores the late Victorian Army and the complex relationships between its leading figures.

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In the late Victorian period, the British Army was seen as one of the finest in the world with its soldiers expanding the British Empire’s reach across the globe. One of the central pillars of this Army was its officer corps.

Officers were charged with keeping order in the ranks and embodying the Army’s values. The professional lives of some of these men vary from simplistically mundane to excitingly complex with many factors influencing the path of a career from one officer to the next. 

Join Professor Ian Beckett as he explores both the external and internal factors that affected the careers of Army officers, including their wealth, their wives, their politics, and even the favour of higher-ranking officers.

Professor Ian Beckett retired as Professor of Military History from the University of Kent in 2015. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he has held chairs in both the US and the UK. He was Chairman of the Army Records Society from 2000 to 2014.

His book 'A British Profession of Arms: The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army' was published by Oklahoma University Press in 2018. 'Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana' (Oxford University Press, 2019) is about to appear in paperback. He has also just completed 'The British Army: A New Short History' for Oxford, which will be published in 2022.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."