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An Officer and a Gentlewoman: The Making of a Female British Army Officer

Heloise Goodley

3 Reviews

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Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

An Officer and a Gentlewoman is the first female perspective on Sandhurst and the making of a female British Army officer.

When Heloise Goodley ditched her City job and decided to attend officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she had no prior military experience. On her arrival she was a complete novice: she'd never fired a rifle, she couldn't march; she couldn't make her bed; she couldn't even shine her shoes.

An Officer and a Gentlewoman charts Goodley's absorbing journey through Sandhurst and on to Afghanistan and gives an insight into the array of bizarre military behaviours and customs at this esoteric and hidden institution. With wit and sensitivity Goodley details her experiences as a cadet and the painful transition from civilian to soldier. Moreover, she rejects lazy preconceptions and sheds new light on what has hitherto been a bastion of maleness - the British Army.

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Praise for An Officer and a Gentlewoman: The Making of a Female British Army Officer

  • Compelling....often hilarious, sometimes touching, always riveting. - Dail Mail

  • An in the trenches view of what it's like to transition from a civilian's life to that of a soldier... an engaging fly on the wall view. - Independent on Sunday

  • Goodley offers a new spin on the Army memoir: the female Army memoir. Recounting her journey from City girl to Sandhurst cadet to officer in Afghanistan, Goodley's sense of humour shines through as she throws light on the more bizarre aspects of peculiar male institution. This is contrasted to a sensitivity to the horrors of life on the front line. - Mslexia

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