After the disappointment of last night, my spirits were lifted today on learning that the 12th volume of the Flashman Papers, Flashman on the March, is to be published in April chronicling our anti-hero’s role in the Abyssinian War of 1868.
For those of you who haven’t read any of the Flashman books, all I can say is that you should, if for no other reason than they are incredibly well written and researched. Author George MacDonald Fraser’s style is perfectly pitched and both me and Mrs P have often said that they should be set books at school. And not only for English — I’ve learnt more about Victorian history from these books than I ever did at school.
The first volume was published in 1969, so George doesn’t exactly churn them out and it indicates just how much research time he puts into them. And what has always impressed me is the sheer ambition of the project. Over 35 years ago, George mapped out Flashman’s entire complicated career, maybe not in detail, but enough to complete the Who’s Who entry at the start of each book and to make reference to events in future volumes.
All in all, highly recommended. Oh, and he is deliciously un-PC too.