George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman and the Angel of the Lord

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Flashman is a wonderful creation – the ultimate anti-hero, malevolent, foolhardy, a womaniser, yet a winner of the Victoria Cross and a confidante of royalty. These George MacDonald Fraser novels are clever and are the way history should taught. Peter Lovesey, CWA Gold and Diamond Dagger Winner enters into the spirit of the tales in his appreciation.

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Harry Flashman late of Rugby School and Tom Brown’s Schooldays is the ultimate anti-hero and cad whose mischievous individualism and wit has proven extremely popular with male readers of historical novels. His creator George MacDonald Fraser is the late doyen of historical adventure yarns and was perhaps the best writer of his type ever…. The Flashman series which began in 1969 with Flashman, spans much of the development of the British Empire in the nineteenth century; it does so by the ingenious method of the discovery by the ‘editor’ of old “packet” manuscripts, thereby pretending they are genuine accounts by none other than Sir Harry Flashman, K.C.B.,V.C. Etc . . .

At the beginning of Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (1994) our man of action is found in Calcutta, quickly leaving for the Cape to avoid embarrassment, where he falls in with an old acquaintance, John Charity Spring. Flashman thereby is induced by his daughter and drugged whereupon he finds himself in the United States. In earlier episodes he had be a wanted man and so he finds himself either on the run or avoiding more calamities. Will Flashman prevent the Civil War and whose side is he on?

This is the first Flashman novel issued as a special edition. It was issued in a special binding with a run of 99 signed and numbered copies, with a further 20 deluxe for private distribution. Peter Lovesey, CWA Gold and Diamond Dagger Winner,enters into the spirit of the tales in his appreciation.


5.00 out of 5

2 reviews for George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman and the Angel of the Lord

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rating by Cathleen Myers on May 18, 2012 :

    “Our century’s most accurate and entertaining historical novelist is still in top form in his eighties. Flashman and the Angel of The Lord relates the bizarre concatenation of events that lead Colonel Sir Harry Flashman, K.C.B., V.C., to join John Brown’s uprising at Harper’s Ferry. No, we’re not joking!
    We won’t spoil the suspense for you by revealing any more of the plot – except to predict that Colonel Flashman’s long-awaited Civil War adventures may finally be in preparation. A plot twist in one of the final chapters suggests how Flashman ended up serving with both the Union and the Confederate armies.
    At least one fan has complained that the new novel relies too much on coincidence. We beg to differ. However improbable Flashman’s amazing romantic and ribald adventures may seem, the historical truth is even more improbable! Flashman and the Angel of The Lord is actually one of the most solidly documented of Fraser’s historical novels. Just when you think, “John Brown couldn’t have said or done that,” you’ll check a footnote and find out, “By God, he did!” And, fortunately, we get another glimpse of Fraser’s devastatingly witty Abraham Lincoln.
    If you have not yet discovered the joys of Fraser’s fiction run, do not walk, to the nearest library or bookstore and acquire the other nine Flashman novels. Flashman, of course, was the incorrigible school bully in Thomas Hughes’ dreadful Victorian boy’s book Tom Brown’s School Days. Fraser takes up Flashman’s adventures where Hughes left off (with the fascinating rake’s expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness) and follows him all over the globe through his ironic career as Britain’s most decorated hero”. By Cathleen Myers on

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rating by Peter Lovesey on May 18, 2012 :

    Extract from the Appreciation by Peter Lovesey

    “Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., K.B., would not be displeased with this handsome limited edition in its leather binding. It will lodge agreeably in a gentleman’s library beside the memoirs of other old soldiers. Who knows, with its ecclesiastical-sounding title it may even infiltrate the shelves of some hapless bishop. Better still, it might bluff its way into the library of Rugby School. How delicious to discover Flashman and the Angel of the Lord sandwiched between Dr Thomas Arnold’s Christian Life at School and Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s Schooldays. And why not? In all seriousness, the Flashman Papers would offer the young scholars of Rugby much that they are unlikely to find in the formal curriculum. The history they would learn from Flashman, taking in most of the great military campaigns of the Victorian age, is more accessible than anything they will find in school textbooks, for it conveys the immediacy of events, the clash of steel and the whiff of gunpowder, the thrill – or, rather, the blue funk – of being there. History, we are often informed by the educationists, is much more than battles and dates. Quite so. The reader of these books will digest the issues that led to conflict, and in a palatable form, through dialogue and plot. Flashman and the Angel of the Lord is first and foremost a rattling good yarn, but it also lays bare the differences of culture and ambition that were soon to lead to the American Civil War. The history-makers themselves are here, speaking their opinions. The reader of the entire series will already have been introduced to the great figures of the Victorian age, and given frequent recaps, for Flashman is an incurable name-dropper. Victoria and Albert, Palmerston, Disraeli, Gladstone, Abraham Lincoln, Bismarck, the Emperor of China, the Emperor Maximilian, General Custer, Geronimo and Crazy Horse all spring to life in this engaging series of books. And in case Flashman’s memory is coloured by prejudice, one can always refer to the notes provided by the assiduous George MacDonald Fraser”.

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