The chapter provide an introduction and context to the book and explores how the ‘war and society’ approach has often led to a focus on civilian society during wartime at the expense of studying the combatants themselves. The chapter argues that scholars can refocus on these individuals and think about their place within society by drawing upon techniques from social and cultural history. It sets the parameters of the collection, considering ‘soldiering’ as a lifecycle and the different types of soldiers that existed between 1740-1815, as well as defining what Britain meant in this period.
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