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Flashman on the March from The Flashman Papers, 1867-8 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
Book 11 of 12 in the Flashman Papers Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Last seen in Flashman and the Tiger (2000), that incomparable English rogue, Sir Harry Flashman, is up to his usual amatory and military hijinks in the 12th installment of Fraser's masterful Flashman papers. Having seduced a silly Austrian princess on the ship bearing the body of Maximilian, the ill-fated emperor of Mexico, back home to Trieste in 1867, Harry eludes the offended Austrian authorities by seizing the chance to become the British envoy on a mission to rescue a group of European hostages held by the mad Abyssinian king, Theodore. (When Whitehall neglected to respond to the polite letter Theodore wrote Queen Victoria, he took captive a few hundred unfortunate foreigners.) This now obscure expedition, which made headlines in its day, provides the kind of sardonic history lesson fans have come to relish. Allusions to adventures not yet published tantalize, notably those to do with Flashman's role in the U.S. Civil War. Fraser has nibbled at the edges (Flashy was there for John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1995's Flashman and the Angel of the Lord), and one can only hope that the next volume does more than simply mention such iconic names as Gettysburg.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Fraser's latest Flashman adventure follows the successful pattern of the previous 11: a roguish scoundrel of a British officer pursues women and generates scandals but, in the end, proves himself to be an outlandishly effective soldier. The year is 1867, and Flashman needs to extricate both himself and the British Empire from a particularly delicate imbroglio involving an Austrian princess. Volunteering for duty on a mission to rescue a group of British citizens being held hostage by barmy Abyssinian king Theodore--an expedition steeped in historical fact--he tackles his assignment, the African continent, and, being Flashman at his amorous best, a native beauty with equal gusto. Fans of Flashy's Victorian-era escapades will not be disappointed by this witty and woolly tale. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400044758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400044757
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John A Lee III on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not supposed to like stuff like this. After all, I'm supposed to be a man of the cloth. I like it anyway. Like all of its predecessors, it is a guilty pleasure.

Harry Flashman is the creation of George MacDonald Fraser. He is a Victorian hero who seems to have been present at every great event of his age. He is hailed as the hero of Jallalabad, the Indian Mutiny, the American Underground Railroad, the charge of the Light Brigade, the charge of the Heavy Brigade and the stand of the thin red line among other. He was commissioned by the Confederate Army and the Union Army. He also fought with the French Foreign Legion under the Emperor Maximillian. He was hailed as a hero by all. What only the readers of the Flashman papers know is that he is a coward and a cad. He just manipulates those around him in order to build his reputation and get laid. He does both superbly and just manages get out of every scrape he finds himself in.

In this volume, Flashman takes part in the Abyssinian War. He doesn't do so willingly and gets from one bit of trouble to the next. He also gets from one bed to the next literally and metaphorically screwing everyone with whom he comes into contact and again comes out of it with an enhanced reputation.

One of the interesting things about Flashman books is the copious addition of footnotes. The stories are presented as if they are autobiographical and written to cause trouble after Flashman's death. The footnotes at historical details that are worth reading in their own right.

The war this volume covers is one of the strangest in British history. Most of the time when Britain goes to war it does so with great pomp and certainty of swift victory. After a few reverses, they ultimately win. This war was different.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whatever you may think or feel when you read this latest release of The Flashman Papers, you will know that you are reading history. George MacDonald Fraser is an authentic military historian. Flip through the pages of The Steel Bonnets for proof. If all you learn about the Crimean War, the Schleswig-Holstein Affair, The Indian Mutiny, or the Opium Wars is what you've seen through the eyes of history's most self-effacing hero, then you are still very well informed. In Flashman on the March, Sir Harry, now fortyish, turns the tide in Sir Robert Napier's march on Magdala, in what is grandiosly known as The Abyssinian War of 1868. Though less well known as are the above-mentioned events, it stands as a stunning achievement in British colonial power. Sir Robert (Bughunter Bob, Flashy calls him) is dispatched to free some British captives held by a maniacal Abysinnian tyrant, King Theodore. Even those of us who are ardent students of The Flashman Papers must admit that the Flashman formula has now become, well, formulaic. But Frasier may rest assured that those of us who love his admirable protagonist would not have him change that formula one iota. You cannot be disappointed with this grand adventure at the upper reaches of the Blue Nile, in the mountainous jungle of what we now know as Ethiopia. Let me use Flashman's own words of reflection, "...I thought of that hellish beautiful land and its hellish beautiful people, of Yando's cage and the horrors of Gondar, of bandit treasure aswarm with scorpions, of the terrifying thunder of decent into a watery maelstrom, of a raving lunatic slaughtering helpless captives, of fighting women drunk on massacre, of a graceful she-devil aglow with love, and ice cold in hate..." In my view this book stands with the very best of the Flashman Papers.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The Flashman series is one of the unalloyed treasures of reading: hysterically funny, immensely informative, unfailingly entertaining, and even, at times, moving. These adventures of the 19th Century's greatest poltroon never fail to amuse-- and I've read them all many times. This new volume is a treat (though not in my top 6), and deserves your attention.

THAT SAID: don't start here. If you haven't read, at the very least, the first volume ("Flashman"), you'll be doing yourself a disservice. These should be read, and savored, either chronologically (in terms of Flashy's life and crimes) or in order of publication, as you prefer. Your appreciation of the character will be enriched by the proper introduction, and you'll get more out of this and all the others. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flashman On The March is by no means the best book of the series, but Fraser is in his 80s, doesn't need the money, and we must be grateful for any new Flashman material at all. It is better than his previous, Flashman & The Tiger, a collection of three shorter stories, was.

In this case, Flashman finds himself once again in trouble over a woman, and consequently exposed to what appear to be convenient plans to get him out of town when offered by his friend Speedicut; and of course thus unwittingly puts his head into yet another noose, this time finding himself on the expedition to Magdala in what became the Abyssinian War.

Fraser's absolutely meticulous research, as usual, brings what is to us a very remote and little known campaign to technicolor life. Fraser's notes and commentary refer to all the primary sources then extant, newspapers and magazines of the time, official publications, memoirs, and the like, transforming his work from standard historical fiction into something a good deal better, more reliable, and instructive. Combine this with Fraser's excellent characterizations, his pitch-perfect dialogue, his ironic, sarcastic, and often bawdy humor, and you have what is simply the best such series in print. Every novel has been an absolute joy to read and reread over the years.

The story and the events make for great reading and do not need to be reviewed here; every Flashman reader knows what he will get, and that he will love it. (In that sense, Fraser is every bit as dependable as Ian Fleming was; give the public what it wants.
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