Thursday, January 3, 2008

"Flashman" Creator Dies

George MacDonald Fraser -- journalist, historian, screenwriter, and creator of the dashing Victorian anti-hero Harry Flashman -- has died aged 82. If you're a regular reader of this blog and haven't read at least one of the 12 Flashman novels, hie thee to your local bookstore today.

The Guardian, 3 January 08; Guardian profile

The Independent, 3 January 08

The Times, 3 January 08

International Herald Tribune, 3 January 08

Press Association, 3 January 08

BBC, 3 January 08

The Times, "The Thinking Woman's Scoundrel," 6 January 08

Business Standard (India), "Flashman's Last Stand," 8 January 08

The Economist, 10 January 08

John Sutherland mourns "a true Brit" whose Flashman novels "articulated that mixture of cynicism, shame, and pride that contemporary Britons felt about Victorian values and Great Britain."

Andrew Klavan provides an excellent overview of the Flashman series in the Boston Review (originally published in 1995): "Flashman's adventures, by virtue of an endless and hilarious collection of mischances, include nearly every major military engagement between the British empire and its subjects, and between the American settlers and the natives they displaced and enslaved. He lives, in other words, at the heart of western imperialism at its height. And because he is amoral, because he seeks out neither justification nor blame, he is able to view the events of that enterprise without guilt or sanctimony, without sentimentality, patriotism, idealism, self-love, or shame. He witnesses both conquest and atrocity with neither pride nor remorse. For victor, for vanquished, and for the dead he bears nothing but a sort of sneering dispassion. He is, I mean to say, the perfect historian. Indeed, he is the voice of history itself."


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