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Fraser, George MacDonald

flashman nineteenth british adventure

(British, 1925– )

A writer of meticulously researched historical adventure novels whose subjects range from piracy to a black American prize-fighter in nineteenth-century Britain and the adventures during the Second World War of Private McAuslin, ‘The dirtiest soldier in the world’. But posterity will surely remember MacDonald Fraser for one glorious comic creation: Harry Flashman VC, the irresistibly likeable anti-hero of eleven (so far) rollicking tales set in every war, trouble spot, and boudoir the British empire, in its nineteenth-century heyday, has to offer. Flashman is a cad, a poltroon, a lecher, and a coward who cannot escape danger and intrigue no matter how fast he runs, but who always manages, inadvertently, to save the day which more noble souls put at risk in the first place. Written in a convincing pastiche of upper-class period slang, and stuffed with real characters and events (with copious and fascinating footnotes), the series offers serious insight into the Victorian character, sexuality, and empire whilst making you laugh out loud. Start with the first: Flashman (1969).

Jaroslav Hašek, Joseph Heller, Evelyn Waugh. See ADVENTURE, HISTORICAL  MH

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