Sunday, January 06, 2008

R. I. P. George MacDonald Fraser (1925-2008)

George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, is dead at 82. Fraser wrote twelve novels starring the caddish Flashman, whose disreputable romps through the Victorian era offered readers constant displays of cowardice, arrogance, and unrepentant--though historically accurate--imperialism, racism, sexism, and general misanthropy. They were spectacular--if thoroughly disreputable--fun.

There are several full obituaries online, though my favorite is this one from the New York Times, if only because it informs readers that through the first nine novels, Flash had bedded 480 women (while being reliably cuckolded by his independent and lusty wife). That, it seems, sets a task for readers: time to log the conquests in the final three!

Ordinarily, for a writer I've enjoyed this much, I'd write a brief appreciation or pluck some appropriate lines from one of his books. But I don't think I can top the post I wrote a few weeks ago that offered a simple method for determining whether one ought to give the Flashman novels a try.

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