Thursday, October 11, 2012


One of the negative reviews of the Flashman books on Amazon (currently reading Flashman in the Great Game, and the great mutiny of '57 has just broken out,) led me to this essay by Fraser which was introduced as proof* that Flashy himself was just a stand-in for the author, who was obviously just as racist as his invention since he did not treat all cultures and creeds as equally worthy of respect.

Coincidentally, this and this wafted across the digital transom on the same day. You can't make coincidences like that up, even if you're George MacDonald Fraser.

*Apparently describing one's self as "conservative" is proof of honorary membership in the Klan, since the very word "conservative" has become a dog whistle for "racist" in some sectors.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Damme, I need to read those. If this be racism, make the most of it.

westofthewest said...

Thanks for all the fine reading this morning. I have lots of time for reading now. I'll have to look into this Flashman chap.

Also stunned to learn via Popehat that Mohammed is the most popular name in England now? It makes me think of all the young (white) Muslim women I see now around town and that peaceful, bovine, look they have about them.


Bubblehead Les. said...

So the PC Police have decided that the Atheists can still say "There is No God" as long as they add "But Allah."

I'd wish they'd make up their minds.

Stretch said...

The Light's On At Signpost is well worth adding to your bookcase. I so enjoyed reading the library copy I got one of my own. Good thing too. Fairfax County Public Library, to its everlasting shame, pulled it from the shelves after complaints by "concerned parents."
Guess some banned books are more equal than others.

Justin said...

Very slightly off topic, but: You might enjoy Fraser's "Quartered Safe Out Here," his account of his experiences as an infantryman in Burma during WW2.

Tam said...


I did, indeed. :)

Geodkyt said...

Ditto on "Quartered Safe Out Here".

Memorable line (and Fraser even admits it was hackneyed then):

Japanese plane flies overhead. Scots' response? "There's a Nip in the air!"

Anonymous said...

I loved The Great Game. I've never read another like it.


K said...

I've read my Flashman books so many times they're starting to wear out. Someone needs to put together a leather bound set of them as they are now, IMO, classic literature every bit as important as Kipling and Dickens.

Steve Skubinna said...

As a bookend to Quartered Safe Out Here you should read the three McAuslan books, semi fictionalized accounts of Fraser's commissioned service in the Gordon Highlanders postwar.

The last story in the final book is an account of him meeting his old Colonel years later and being chewed out for calling the stories fictional.

Of course I wouldn't put it past you to have read them... but discovering you have not read the Flashman books before now is a shock.

Incidentally, Fraser wrote the screenplay for The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers - together the best adaptation of the story yet filmed, with Heston playing Richelieu (and also starring Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Lee, and Spike Milligan). Worth watching if you haven't seen them yet.

Lewis said...

BCFD36: Do you mean Flashman in the Great Game? Or Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game? Both excellent, if slightly different.

I will bang on about Light's On at Signpost, which was an extension of the testament, mixed in with movie anecdotes about Octopussy and the Musketeers.

Also The Steel Bonnets. If you know that Fraser thought of himself as a Scot in England, and more particularly a Borderer, a lot is explained.

"Are there no Christians here?"
"Nay, we are all Percies and Elliots."

If someone told me Fraser had transcribed the phone book, I'd read it.

Firehand said...

I know people who sympathize with that 'all cultures are equal' tripe; they don't like being put on the spot with something like "So this culture which throws acid in a girls' face for going to school is equal to ours? Really?"

Thinking back, the Flashman books may have been the first time I ran into the "Yeah, we've got problems; have you SEEN what those people you have romantic notions about are doing?" line.

Anonymous said...

"The Steel Bonnets" explained a lot about my family (Borderers who then got tossed out of Ulster for causing trouble). Great book and a bit of an antidote to Sir Walter Scott.

D.H. Fischer's "Albion's Seed" explained why we kept moving west once we got to North America. Something about still having a knack for liftin' the kai.


Justthisguy said...

LittleRed1, we are one of the three ethnic groups mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, along with the Injuns and the Negroes. Annoying troublemakers, all of us, we are.

Have you read Senator Webb's book, "Born Fighting"?