First published in 1988, The Radical Soldier’s Tale is both an introductionto and a transcript of his ‘Memoirs’, written after his retirement in 1881. In this autobiography he presents his life as a soldier during the Sikh Wars, his life as a policeman, and the ideologies which divided people from each other in the societies he had known and read about.
Carolyn Steedman introduces the ‘Memoirs’ by placing the document in its textual context, as well as the context of history and politics, and shows how it directs fascinating light on popular political thought in the mid-Victorian years. In her introduction she looks closely at the kind of narratives people have access to in different social circumstances and the stories they tell themselves to explain who they are. This book will be of particular interest to students of Victorian history and politics.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; Map I; Map II; Part 1; 1. Writers, Editors and Historians 2. A Working Life 3. Soldiers’ Stories 4. ‘A Low Order of Men’ 5. The Practice of Writing 6. The Propulsion of Experience 7. Public and Private; Part 2; Note on the Dating of John Pearman’s ‘Memoir’; Note on the Transcription of John Pearman’s ‘Memoir’; A Transcript of ‘Memos of Late Sergeant John Pearman of H. Mgt 3rd or Kings Own Light Dragoons’; Notes to the Transcript; Notes; Bibliography; Working Class Military Autobiography; Index