Friday, January 04, 2008

A Touch of the Old Flashie!-Setting Son.

George MacDonald Fraser has passed away at 82. He wrote a book about his time 'a serving for Her Magesty the Queen" in Burma during the Second World War. It is called "Quartered Safe Out Here." (note the Kipling quote). He also wrote screenplays for Hollywood. But his greates creation was the adult Sir Harry Flashman a kind of vicious, amoral, Victorian Forest Gump who was everywhere important in the latter 2/3ds of the 19th century. A bully, a cad, a coward and a liar, he had no redeeming features except horsemenship, and an invincible belief in his country's superiority to all others. The Flashman novels are tremendous pieces of historical fiction and great fun.

Turns out Fraser, the old Scot, was not enamoured of modern Britain. I have often marvelled at its falling off as well but here it is written starkly by a man in a position to track the decline. I would not change a word, only the facts underlying it.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: Harry Flashman. You forget that he also had a gift for languages. Which (as Bismark noted) is useful in headwaiters :D