By militia, I specifcally mean that of Jane Austen’s time. You know, the ones that don’t go anywhere, or fight anyone. Or as when Isabel explained to me when I asked in rehearsal “they’re kind of like Dad’s army”
An Evening at Home with the Austens is set in 1792, just before Henry Austen was about to set off to join the Militia – one of his many, many different careers(keep an eye out for when the Austen facts on our Twitter are about him! @RuffledUmbrella) People in the Militia are often mentioned in many of her books, at the forefront of my mind while I’m writing, is George Wickham.
So I took it upon myself to do some research – the Jane Austen Centre in Bath has a factual one here, so for the facts you may as well read this: http://www.janeausten.co.uk/english-army-in-the-regencynapoleonic-war/ I won’t have anything factual to add, just my own rambling thoughts. That what the Militia are is never explained in the books, so they must have been intrinsic in every day society. That it can function as social mobility for men, as seen in Persuasion(please correct me if that’s the Army and not the Militia!). And thirdly, you seem to get paid for not doing a whole lot, and that they as a group are often painted in an unfavourable light, interestingly as Jane’s own brother was a part of one.
I realise I may have said some sweeping inaccurate generalisations in this, so please correct in the comments! I haven’t had time to do much research, so these are just my general musings 🙂