Posted by Ken on January 09, 1998 at 14:36:33:
In response to So clear!, written by ElaineL on January 09, 1998 at 11:36:02
] Interestingly, it is only now, when I have a connection with a particular passion (JA's writings and times) I find myself interested in England's/Europes military needs and engagements. The connections are much clearer now.
Which is ironic, because Austen deliberately skips mentioning very much about the outside world and what is happening in it!
] A question, though, if he had been in charge of the battalion in training, would it have been likely/possible he would have been called to serve in the Peninsular War?
It could have worked either way, and he could have switched from one site to the other, assuming his regiment was in Spain--if not, he probably wouldn't be over there. I haven't read any biographies or studies that would tell me which was most likely. My guess is that he would have stayed on hand as much as possible if he had the slightest appreciation of Wellington.
] Maybe another question while I'm at it--what did these gentlemen do if they sold their commision? In the US, currently, it seems many go into politics. But England's system seems very different than this. Would a younger son of an Earl have been seated in the House of Commons? I would guess not in the House of Lords. Any thoughts?
Good question. They probably wouldn't sell at all without being able to comfortably retire; thereafter, they would be gentlement of leisure. Some of them went into politics--Wellington himself led the government in, what, 1832?
The Mysterious H.C. could tell you better, but I think the younger son, without a title in his own right, would not be a noble, therefore would sit in Commons. This would depend on finding a place to stand--no pun intended--which might not be so likely for a younger son. That would all depend on connections and family interests.
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