by George MacDonald Fraser
Review by Cathleen Myers
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.
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