Royal Flash

Fraser, George MacDonald. Royal Flash: From the Flashman Papers, 1842-3 and 1847. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1970.

Even though I didn’t remember the plot of Flashman, the first book in Fraser’s series, one detail came rushing back to me immediately when I started Royal Flash – Harry Flashman is definitely not short on ego. He’s the same despicable cad he was in the first book. Within the first few pages of Royal Flash he describes himself as handsome, beloved, admired, and respected. And, like the first few pages of Flashman he winds up in the bed of a beautiful woman almost immediately. But, having said all that, he’s still a coward, albeit a clever one at that. He says brazenly, “The world was my oyster, and if it wasn’t my sword that had opened it, no one was any the wiser” (p 4). This time Flashy has got himself in deep. As payback for an earlier embarrassment Harry is forced to pretend he is Prince Carl Gustaf while the real royalty gets over a bout of the clap. Only, here’s the twist: he takes over for Carl on the eve of his wedding and has to marry the Irma, the frosty Duchess of Strackenz. He is assured the marriage is not binding due to his different religious faith (and the fact he is already married). True to Fraser style, all is not as it seems and Flashman finds himself in one pickle after another.

Couldn’t help myself lines I like, “Royalty – I have Bersonin’s solemn word for it – never claw at their arses to assist thought” (p 113).

Reason read: George MacDonald Fraser was born in the month of April.

Book trivia: this is the second book in the Flashman series. I read Flashman a long time ago (Oct 20, 2009) and had to review my blog to remember what I read.

Author fact: I have heard it said that Harry Flashman is George MacDonald Fraser in disguise. A womanizing coward? Yikes.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter “George MacDonald Fraser: Too Good To Miss” (p 93).

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