Talk:Harry Flashman

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Mock Society[edit]

Dear, Follow the link and you will see why I described it as a "mock Flashman society". It is presented as a continuation of the frame tale that there is a real Flashman and real Flashman papers and as if there were a real Flashman Society to study those papers. If there were a "James Bond Society" that acted the same way, I'd call that "mock" too.

Best regards, Ortolan88

The Flashman Society is not (as suggested in the references) Fraser's website. While Fraser is the "President" of the society, the web page is the brainchild of the society's "Chairman" David Tibbets.Oldbubblehead 05:21, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Flashman at the Charge -- I pointed out to Ralph Leighton that Harry visits Tuva in this book.

Ralph Leighton wrote Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey


I'm not sure this is encyclopædic but surely Royal Flash (the film) suffered heavily from mis-casting. Flashman was a big handsome man who looked like the hero he pretended to be. There was a real difference between his appearence and his character. That was a great part of his success (along with his only 3 skills, women, horses and languages). Malcolm McDowell was puny and timorous-looking. He looked as Flashman really was. Flashman could never have fooled anyone looking like McDowell. Avalon 02:33, 10 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. I think with some jigging of the casting it would have been much better. McDowell (a talented actor) was much better suited to Rudi Stanberg whilst Oliver Reed would have had a lot of fun playing Harry Flashman. I think (I have no citation at hand) that Fraser himself thought Reed could have pulled it off. I think he mentions it in in last memoir. Will have a look. (DPT)


I've moved some of the start paras into a title on the 'layout of the stories'. I felt that the intro was too long and rambling as it was, and I feel its better now. Can anyone seeking to change it back talk to me first? Pydos 14:37, 20 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discovery of Flashman Papers[edit]

According to the explanatory note in my copy of "Flashman" the Flashman Papers were "discovered during a sale of household furniture at Ashby, Leicestershire, in 1965." not 1966 as previously stated in the entry. I have changed the date of discovery in the article to 1965. However I'm not an expert on Flashman; is there some other reason to suppose that the Flashman Papers were discovered in 1966? Skatehorn 17:16, 7th Januray 2006 (CET)

I wouldn't be surprised if some edition or another of a different book gave 1966 - discrepancies do creep in - but taking the year from /Flashman/ seems sensible. Anyone have an early edition? Shimgray | talk | 17:31, 7 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My 1969 edition of Flashman gives the year as 1965. --Loopy e 20:08, 7 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looking at the three Flashman paperbacks I own, this does seem to be the case: the 1971 Pan Books 'Royal Flash' mentions 'that great collection of manuscript discovered in a saleroom in Leicestershire in 1965'; the 1989 Fontana Paperbacks 'Flashman's Lady' gives ' 1966, George MacDonald Fraser decided to discover a vast collection of unpublished manuscripts in a Midland saleroom'; the 1995 Harper Collins edition repeats this, but, in the 'explanatory note' signed G. M. F. (whose say on the matter presumably ought to count), it states 'The nine volumes of his Papers which have been presented to the public since their discovery in a Midlands saleroom in 1966'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 3 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hum. We've an image of the current cover of Flashman; these seem to change with some regularity, given they appear to have reissued the whole lot following the new book. Would it be best, if I can scan a copy (I think there may be one at work) to use the original cover? Shimgray | talk | 21:21, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was kind of thinking the same thing myself. I'm not enamoured with the new illustrations, but unfortunatly the original illustrator, Arthur Barbosa, died a few years ago (Googling tells me 1995). I have everything up to Flashman and the Mountain of Light with the old Barbosa illustrations, but I may have loaned one or two of them out. Jooler 22:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My copy of Flashman and the Angel of the Lord doesn't name the illustrator, but to me it looks like he's based the likeness of Flashman of Malcolm McDowell. Jooler 22:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My Flashman on the March paperback, which is handy, gives Gino D'Achille as the illustrator of the cover - he's on the back cover above the UPC code, though, not on the "credits" page where you might expect. Shimgray | talk | 15:07, 7 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes Gino D'Achille is the illustrator of the most recent reprints. But this is not the same illustrator (or at least the style isn't) of my copy of Flashman and the Angel of the Lord Jooler 23:32, 7 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding to the article[edit]

I would like to add a few things to this article, if no one has any objections. Namely, a list of Flashman's decorations, a brief synopsis of each novel (separate article if long enough), and maybe a timeline. I'm a big fan of these books, and I would like to do them justice. Comments? --Joelmills 02:40, 10 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The timeline would fit well within the article, but the synopes (sp?) may present a size issue. Instead of one article summarizing every book, though, what about a brief article for each novel? It seems more sensible to me and I think it'd be easier to build them one at a time (you are suggesting something of rather large scope, after all). You could also move the existing "Historical Characters" section from the main article into each as well, using that format as a template for each (i.e. and introduction, the plot synopsis, and the "Historical Characters" section).
As to decorations, I don't see too much value in anything past a handful (or even past the VC and & KCB listed). If anyone's that curious, they can grab a copy of the works themselves.
Good luck! --KNHaw 06:24, 10 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see too much value in anything past a handful.... - I entirely disagree - Please add everything you can. Make the aritcle as complete as possible. Size is not an issue. The old 32k limit is a guideline that no longer really applies. Articles can now be edited in sections. The 32k limit was imposed because some browsers could only hold 32k in the edit buffer and so for some people it was impossible to edit them beyond that size. Jooler 06:54, 10 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll take a stab at the decorations first, so you can take a look (probably on some fork from my user page). That will make it easier to come to a consensus. --Joelmills 01:46, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, take a look at User:Joelmills/Flashman's distinctions and decorations. I took it from the beginning of Flashman and the Tiger. Not sure if Flashman on the March has a more updated list; my brother lost my copy in Bangladesh. I didn't realize when I suggested this that there was a brief list already in the article, but this is more complete. I'll try the timeline next, but that's going to take some serious time, because I'll go through each novel to pinpoint exact dates (which will be difficult). --Joelmills 03:02, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd be happy to help write separate articles for the books, in fact I'm surprised it hasn't been done. Anybody else? Guinnog 12:02, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've been thinking about that, making a Flashman timeline to make it easier for myself, but I haven't gotten very far. I would be more than willing to chip in, if you want to split them up or something. Never written a book article. --Joelmills 00:06, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll put it on my to-do list. Guinnog 01:14, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've started by redlinking the articles. I'll try to put up stubs before I go to bed tonight. Please feel free to chip in! Guinnog 21:31, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have a wee look now. Please help, I cannot do all the work myself. Guinnog 20:48, 2 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nice work, Joelmills! Guinnog 06:39, 3 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I recently attended a lecture by George Macdonald Frasier at the National Army Museum and he indicated in the questions session that he is seriously looking at three possible choices for the new flashman novel. I have added this to the article as well as possibilities for the setting.

Thanks, I've trimmed and copyedited it a bit, partly to make clear what is fact and what is speculation. Is there a written or web cite for the statement by Fraser you refer to? That would be even better. Guinnog 17:25, 6 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not as far as I'm aware. It was only last saturday the lecture took place. But from the way he was talking about it he did mention Flashmans part on both sides in the ACW more than once so fingers crosed with that one. Then again fans have been saying that for ages both sides of the pond as it'd make for a long book. This is why I gave a short list of the likely potentials. Then again Fraser started ON THE MARCH with the end of the Mexican Adventure so that may still be fresh in his mind. I personally am betting on another American Continent story.

Perhaps some mention of Elspeth's implied infidelities should be noted along with Flashman's? And while I can't find public mention of it, it seemed to me that his son spoke suspiciously like Lord Cardigan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Belltower (talkcontribs) 14:50, 8 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Flashman quite often mentions toadying and being a toady or toadeater. People may be interested to know that a toadeater was originally, a a snakeoil salesman's assitant who would who eat poisonous toad and then his boss would "cure" him. Jooler 10:19, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gosh. Guinnog 12:00, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wow. I didn't realise you guys were creating detailed articles on the books. Well done. KUTGW. Perhaps we should put page references for the historical characters, so that we can properly verify them. Jooler 03:35, 2 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like the idea of page references, but my paperbacks have a different number of pages than the editions listed in the infoboxes. I'm not sure how to resolve this problem. --Joelmills 03:27, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Daniel Day-Lewis[edit]

I think Daniel Day-Lewis is a bit too old to play Flashman is his prime now. He's 49. I reckon Rufus Sewell would be a good choice he's 10 years younger. Jooler 10:08, 18 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have deleted the mention of Saul David (as no one has heard of whoever he is) and have reworded the sentence accordingly.

Time to Research and Write[edit]

Can it possibly be true, as the article says, that "it takes roughly 3-5 months to research and write a Flashman novel"? Surely this should say "3-5 years". In the past they have been published on a 3-5 year timeline...

Hiya - I am the person who added the 3-5 month comment. This comment came from Frasier himself at a lecture at the National Army museum back in the spring of 2006. Don't forget - he has a life! He doesn't just write write write and start the next Flashman book as soon as the current one is completed. 3-5 MONTHS IS A long time to dedicate to something and he stated that he often wrote through the night. He also wrote numerous other books in that timeframe so he was not completely dedicated to Flashman. Hope this answers your question. Perhaps I should add in the sentence that "it takes roughly 3-5 months to research and write a Flashman novel FROM BEGINNING THE RESEARCH TO COMPLETING THE FINAL DRAFT"? If no one objects to this I'll change it.

Ollie [04-10-2006]

Pge refs for historical characters[edit]

I've just discovered some of my other Flashman books, they were hiding behind some DVDs. I really think we need to add page references to the historical characters. Joe said that his copies have different page numbers from other editions. We should perhaps find a consensus of what editions to use for this. Perhaps if I might kick the ball off, with Flashman. My copy is a Fontanna paperback second impression 1990 from a 1988 first run under Fontana. The first chapter begins on page 13, The novel concludes on page 294 (notes begin on the following page). Picking a page halfway through the book - it looks like Elphinstone is first mentioned on page 82. Jooler 21:34, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This may be a problem. I have a Plume paperback from 1984. The first chapter starts on page 11, the novel concludes on page 252, and I have Auckland first mentioning Elphinstone on page 71. --Joelmills 03:01, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shouldn't all this be in the individual book's pages? They also have an historical character section, so its just a duplication.--Olivertownshend 12:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Flashman and the Dragon (1986) — the Anglo-Chinese Second Opium War 1860 and Taiping Rebellion, 1900.

The Taiping Rebellion took place in the 1850s, the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. I am not making a correction because I haven't read the book and I don't know what is actually intended. But I hope that someone who has read the book will fix this statement.RandomCritic 09:10, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flashman inspiration for Captain Tylor?[edit]

I wonder if Flashman was an inspiration for The Irresponsible Captain Tylor? They both join the military as a way of shirking responsibility and figuring that it'd be the safest place to be. They also both recieve high honors and awards even though they've royally screwed up and had no clue what was going on as they tried to save their own skins.

More likely, the idea of the irresponsible or unreliable recruit is a basic human meme, e.g. Falstaff, Beetle Bailey, rewinn 16:43, 21 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flashman TV Series[edit]

I got in touch with picture palace at the weekend and apparently the script for Flashman at the Charge was done by Fraser himself! Probably explains why he has allowed this to go forward. No release dates as of yet as I was told it is still in the production stage. I dont know about the other 3 films in production but I would guess as both companies are interlocked that Fraser will be doing the scripts for them as well. If anyone has fuller information I would be grateful.

Audio books[edit]

I was going to add some stuff about audio-book versions of the Flashman stories, but I don't have definitive information - I think the follwing is correct.

  • Most recently Rupert Penry-Jones has recorded abridged versions of "Flashman", "Royal Flash" and "Flash for Freedom" and two further releases ("Flashman On The March" & Flashamn & the Dragon) are scheduled for November/December 2007.
  • Unabridged versions of "Flashman", "Royal Flash", Flash for Freedom", "Flashman at the Charge", "Flashman and the Great Game" and "Flashman and the Angel of the Lord", were recorded by Timothy West (released on cassette in the mid).
  • "Flashman and the Mountain of Light", "Flashman and the Tiger" and "Flashman on the March" read by Jonathon Keeble recorded unabridged.
  • (For an American audience) David Case recorded "Royal Flash" and "Flashman and the Tiger" in unabridged format.
    • Jooler 16:10, 13 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • There's also a BBC Radio 4 adaptation (by GMF) of Flashman at the Charge. I think it was first broadcast in 2002 and has Joss Ackland as the old Flashy reminiscing and Angus Wright playing the younger version. Jooler 17:06, 15 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Also a Radio 4 version of "Flash for Freedom" with Joss Acklans and Angus Wright recorded in 2005. Jooler 07:37, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Flashforfreedom.JPG[edit]

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"The books describe the discovery of the nonagenarian General Flashman's memoirs in a Leicestershire saleroom in 1965." Okay, Flashman was in his 90s when he died, but the story has him write his memoirs in his 80s, so wouldn't "the octogenarian General Flashman's memoirs" be more correct? --Elijah (talk) 21:28, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You speak the truth! A prophet indeed.
Jolly good article.
Carry on. Alastair Haines (talk) 07:56, 3 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vandalism warning[edit]

This page appears to have been the subject of a certain amount of vandalism with characters like Lars Porsena and Koh-i-Noor added as people who he met in the mountain of light. This needs checking and cleaning up. PatGallacher (talk) 23:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flashman's Death[edit]

When I served in Afghanistan in 2008, I found a local English-language magazine with an interview with GMF's daughter plus a description of Flashman's death and arrival in Hell. It seems that the old Flashman passed away in style while fornicating with a housemaid. :-) 11:43, 25 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

That was in Private Eye.--Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 17:15, 24 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Flashman's ladies": "Ladies"???  :-) -- (talk) 12:30, 23 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would you prefer Bints?Greglocock (talk) 11:55, 13 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Publishing dates?[edit]

This is a lengthy article and I might have missed it, but I was looking for actual publishing dates, not fictional dates of the supposed Flashman diary. How come this information, assuming I haven't missed it, isn't in the article? I wanted to see whether Fraser wrote the first Flashman before Gardner wrote his first Boysie Oakes novel (1964) which has a somewhat similar running gag of a coward who appears to the public a hero. (talk) 18:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Never mind, I just saw the Fraser article and that information (Flashman 1969, so after the Gardner novel) is available. (talk) 18:39, 12 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2013 Flashman a la Fassbender[edit]

This REALLY needs a citation. I'd be excited as the next fan about this, but I think this is just a silly joke job. (talk) 08:10, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flashman's attitude to women[edit]

Is it correct to describe Flashman in the lede paragraph as being "consistently portrayed as a misogynist". Of course his exploitive attitude to women is deplorable by both modern and Victorian standards. However does McDonald Fraser actually represent him as hating them? I think some phrase such as "constantly portrayed as a would-be seducer" would be more accurate. Buistr (talk) 22:01, 8 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Objectionable warning atop article[edit]

I object to the warning that the article may be written from a fan's POV. Possibly that was true in the past, but I see no evidence of it now. If anything, I agree with the comment that "misogynistic" is an unsupported characterization. Flashman the character is reprehensible in almost every way, but he does not hate women per se. He has the same selfish contempt for them that he has for every living creature whose interests conflict with his own. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claynaff (talkcontribs) 00:33, 27 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes the 2011 tag does now seem out of date and I have taken the "bold" step of removing it. George MacDonald Fraser used the fictional Flashman as a means of exposing the hypocrisy and shallow values of the nineteenth century. Ironically Flashman himself is portrayed as having a more realistic understanding of events and motivations than most of his contemporaries - he just never lets such perceptions get in the way of his own selfish pleasures and advantages. Buistr (talk) 05:37, 27 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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References in other works[edit]

The first entry reads:

It is unclear if Hughes or Fraser was aware of it, but the first occurrence of the name "Flashman" in fiction comes from the 2nd century, as an emissary of the Sun in Lucian's novel A True Story.[1]

Well, it's actually most unlikely that Thomas Hughes (1822–1896) was aware of this particular rendering of Lucian's original Greek satire (also The True History), since it first appeared on p. 145 of Volume 2 of the almost-complete translation of Lucian's works by the indefatigable H.W. and F.G. Fowler, first published in 1905. The Fowlers do well with Flashman's companions, punningly named "Firebrace", Πυρωνίδης, Pyronídis, derived from something like Πυρω, 'pyro-', fire; and "Heaton", Θερείτης, Thereítis, from Θερμῶ, 'thermo-', heat.

Flashman is also a great name, but it is scarcely a faithful rendering of Lucian's Φλόγιος, Phlogios, derived from φλόξ, 'phlox', flame, cf. Phlogiston.

The same website as cited above also contains A. M. Harmon's translation (8 vols.) with parallel English and Greek text, published in 1913 in the Loeb Classical series; he gives their names on p. 273 as "Firebrace", "Parcher", and "Burns", which latter seems to be in closer keeping to Lucian's style than the Fowlers' version.

It is possible that Hughes might have come across Francis Hickes's version of the True History, posthumously published in 1634 by his son, but Hickes goes with a straightforward transliteration of the names, as Pyronides, Theritus and Phlogius. An exquisite limited edition (251 copies only) of Hickes' text published in 1894 contains illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, William Strang and J. B. Clark. Strang and Clark worked on other tales like Sindbad and Munchausen.

As for G.M. Fraser, he left school at 18 in 1943 (he described himself as a poor student due to "sheer laziness"), went straight into the Army and fought in Burma. After the war he became a newspaper journalist in 1947. So unless Fraser was a keen reader of Greek translations, he may also have been unaware of this particular nickname. The Flashman I remember is Richard Morant as a particularly sadistic bully in the 1971 Tom Brown's Schooldays (TV serial).

I was trying to make up my own name, but that would have been Phlogging a dead horse, so I leave you with Psiloscops flammeolus.[2] >MinorProphet (talk) 09:20, 1 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Adventures of Thomas Flashman, by Robert Brightwell[edit]

The list of literary references is missing the Adventures of Thomas Flashman, by Robert Brightwell. There are six books in the series.TDKehoe (talk) 17:34, 25 December 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Transferred from 11th Hussars to where?[edit]

The article says that Flashman was forced to transfer out of the 11th Hussars. It doesn't say what regiment he transferred to.--TDKehoe (talk) 20:52, 29 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Because of his socially ill-advised marriage Flashman was forced to transfer to one of the East India Company's native lancer regiments, stationed in the Benares District. This is never identified and Flashman was in any case able to avoid the boredom of "teaching the sowars how to perform on galloping field days" by ingratiating himself en route in Calcutta with the Governor General, the Governor General's sister and a stray general. He was accordingly assigned to Afghanistan as one of Elphinstone's "gallopers" instead of Benares. Buistr (talk) 21:27, 29 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]