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An Officer and a Gentlewoman

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  124 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
When Heloise Goodley decided to attend officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she had no prior military experience. 'An Officer and a Gentlewoman' charts Goodley's absorbing journey as she gives an insight into the array of bizarre military behaviours and customs at this esoteric and hidden institution."
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Constable & Robinson
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Christine Blachford
Mar 09, 2013 Christine Blachford rated it really liked it
I’ve always been a bit intrigued by the army – not for military or war reasons, but more for the self-contained way of life. Along with bunkers and islands, the ghost villages of Salisbury and the fenced in housing estates of Tidworth have always captured my attention. Plus, tanks are cool.

So, I was intrigued to pick up this book during the festive sale on Amazon. The story of one woman’s journey through officer training at Sandhurst. Giving up a high-flying career in London’s Square Mile, Heloi
Jun 05, 2012 Gill rated it it was ok
Recommended to Gill by: review in the Independent
Heloise Goodley left her lucrative City career to join the Army, and the book details her officer training at Sandhurst. She remains a serving officer, so this is far from an unexpurgated warts-and-all portrait. It provides an insight into training only; despite a couple of teasers, there's no follow-up into her operational career which (according to the dustjacket) includes two tours of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately the book is also marred by poor editing, with awkward sentences, homophone errors a
Jul 23, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting and thought-provoking read, especially to someone with an insight of joining the British Army as an officer and even more so to members of that group who are female. I fall into this relatively small category and can say that although the book shed some light on aspects of life at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, it merely repeated what I have previously read in other books (such as The Junior Officers' Reading Club) and various documentaries.

While Goodley gives us a thorough
Nick Brett
Aug 10, 2015 Nick Brett rated it liked it
Quite enjoyed this easy to read tale of a female going through officer training at Sandhurst. Quitting her banking job, Heloise Goodley joins the Army through officer training. This is her tale of Sandhurst and is told with honesty, wit and determination. Sandhurst was a voyage of self-discovery for her amongst the absurdity of some of the training and conditioning. Althought obviously vetted by the Army, this book still gives you a perspective of how tough the taining is and you can not help bu ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Poppy rated it it was ok
An interesting read, and a great insight into the specifics of the year of training at Sandhurst. It was useful in this regard for me; I was looking for a good description of the sort of things expected of an Officer Cadet at RMAS and hadn't really found it in any of the other books that I've read around the topic.

However. The positives of the book really seem to end there. The blurb praises the book as 'the first female perspective on Sandhurst', and to be honest, I don't imagine that many you
It's always interesting to read about life behind that barbed wire fence. I don't get much of an opportunity to go there now. When I was little, there was always an endless stream of Army kids inviting you to their house and I always struggled to understand the rules in there. We were not allowed to cross certain roads or go to certain places which is hard for a kid because that place is full of cool places kids want to explore.

I certainly couldn't have done what Héloise has done, given up her
Kazimiera pendrey
Jan 14, 2013 Kazimiera pendrey rated it it was amazing
this was a great read a real behind the scenes view of oficer training at sandhurst i enjoyed this very much
Louise Armstrong
Mar 17, 2016 Louise Armstrong rated it liked it
Robert Heinlein said that the army make things as difficult as possible on purpose while they are training you, and it doesn't look as if much has changed.

I enjoyed this book, although I skipped some of the detailed descriptions of the drills and exercises. The author is insightful enough to make for an interesting tale. She's very clear on the values the army instill, and how she changed and why. I think anyone considering joining up would find it fascinating.
Jun 17, 2015 Kirsty rated it really liked it
Quite an enjoyable insight into the generally hidden world of Sandhurst, although there have been some excellent documentaries on it recently. Her style is chatty and interesting but there were some typos and she does have a tendency to introduce an anecdote and then move on to something else, whilst other sections can be a bit repetitive. kind of wish there was more about her army career but I guess that would be another book!
Aug 31, 2012 Parita rated it it was ok
Goodley left a job in the city to face the challenges of the army. This story is about her transformation from a civilian to a soldier, a dairy that won a medal from her training days. With all due respect to her bringing out the good and the bad of a highly guarded world, I was a little disappointed about not hearing the Afghanistan side of the story. Details of her combat story appear to my dry and repetitive in the sense that the reader gets it that it’s all tough…very tough, but beyond that, ...more
Aug 20, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
For me, this was a highly personal read; I could not put the book down. Goodley writes brilliantly, and I indeed found myself laughing out loud on the tube. Sandhurst sounds absolutely brutal in many respects: soul-destroying at first, but character-building and worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears by the end. Thank you, Goodley, for a most inspiring and uplifting read.

"When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today". Amen.
Clare Mason
Apr 11, 2014 Clare Mason rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, funny, informative and made me very very glad that was not a career option for me. But it gave me insight into what my sister went through and confirmed that I am totally soft...which I am very very happy about.

Couldn't recommend this more highly.
Gerald Sinstadt
Jul 11, 2012 Gerald Sinstadt rated it really liked it
Heloise Goodley had a well-paid job in a City bank but was unfulfilled. Almost on an impulse, she joined the army and found herself as a trainee officer at Sandhurst. While there she kept a diary which became the basis for this book.

It is a straightforward account of twelve hard months - dawn parades, hectoring instructors, inspections and exercises to the point of exhaustion and beyond. At times the author questions the relevance of her training to the role of the army today but she does not do
Mark K.Astley
Jan 16, 2013 Mark K.Astley rated it liked it
Not a great deal of further insight into what happens at the world famous army training college - Sandhurst. Almost a bit too contrived in places.. However, towards the end it has a more heartfelt quality and became more real. An ideal read for mothers and fathers to understand what happens to their children when they go for military officer training. An easy and reasonable read.
Oct 28, 2014 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-paper
I really enjoyed this book - though it was pretty clear that she had to give it a positive spin if she wanted to keep her job - so there wasn't a feeling of getting the whole story. It reminded me a lot of the Academy in Sherwood Smith's Inda, which I guess is because Smith did such a good job of the fictional one.
Jul 27, 2012 Alla rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography, army, uk
I liked this book. Heloise Goodley went from her fat-paycheck-City-job to the perils of UK Army in her quest for "something real in life". And through exhaustion, pain, sleep-deprivation she got out of Sandhurst an Officer of the Royal Brithish Army.
May 25, 2012 Chu rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
Not earthshattering, only about boot camp. This has been done before, it would have been nicer to have the Afghanistan story.
Jul 04, 2012 Johanne rated it really liked it
Interesting insight into army life let down by poor proofing (kindle edition)
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When Héloïse Goodley quit her job as a City banker in 2007 and decided to attend officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she had no prior military experience.

Since joining the Army, Héloïse Goodley has completed two operational tours of Afghanistan and currently holds the rank of captain as adjutant of an Apache helicopter regiment.
More about Heloise Goodley...

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