A quick trip to Waterstones was called for this morning to snatch up a copy of the 12th volume of the Flashman Papers, Flashman on the March. (£13.99 at Waterstones where it is book of the month or £10.79 online, plus p+p.)
I was prompted by the reviews in the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times. The MoS echoes my thoughts that Flashman should be a set book at school, saying, they “ought to be on any serious history curriculum.” This would normally be flattering, but when the reviewer is Peter Hitchens, well I start to worry when I find myself sharing any of his opinions.
The good news is that the ageing MacDonald Fraser has already started on the book that we’ve all been waiting for in which Flashman pretends to fight on both sides in the American Civil War. I just hope we don’t have the same five-year wait that we had since the previous volume, Flashman and the Tiger, published in 1999.
I’ve finished the first chapter of FotM and unlike previous volumes that lead you gently into the tale, this one cuts straight to the chase. It is certain to keep me occupied for a day or two before Mrs P loses patience and steals it from me, so if I’m a little quiet, you’ll know why.