Flashman faceFor Flashman Down Under, Flashman in the Opium War & Flashman and the Kings click HERE   For Flashman on the Gold Coast click HERE  For Flashman of Arabia click HERE 

Balladeer’s Blog now moves on to another Harry Flashman adventure never completed before George MacDonald Fraser’s death.

Lee Horsley Flashman


Projected Title: FLASHMAN’S GUIANA

Time Period: 1876-1877

NOTE: The title Flashman’s Guiana is a play on “Booker’s Guiana,” as the colony of British Guiana (19th century spelling) was often sardonically referred to in the 1800s. That reference came about from the way the Booker business empire virtually ran the colony. From a 21st Century standpoint we might look on it in a sinister Weyland-Yutani way.

… Strictly for storytelling purposes, of course, if you’re a lawyer representing the Booker Group. Honest. Really. (Although after this latest merger I don’t know if anybody would still care.) Anyway, as you readers have requested, this time I’ll establish the action then go back to detail the setup.

crossed sabresThe Action: Sir Harry Flashman and his wife Elspeth visit British Guiana right after their American Tour ended in August, 1876. A combination of Her Majesty’s Government’s interests and Flashman’s own hunger for large amounts of filthy luchre to sustain his and Elspeth’s grand new lifestyle wind up launching the British blackguard into his latest adventure.

Sword and pistols in hand, Harry leaves Elspeth back in the capital city of Georgetown while he takes part in a covert search for gold in the jungle region disputed by Great Britain and Venezuela.

British GuyanaOstensibly our antihero is touring assorted Weyland-Yutani Booker sugar plantations to evaluate them and gauge the success of the policy regarding Indian (as in Asian) laborers coming to work on those plantations as indentured servants for the company.

Flashman’s ability to speak Spanish in addition to assorted languages from the Indian subcontinent lends a certain surface authenticity to this cover story. In reality our antihero would be on the trail of gold deposits. Thus far the deposits that had been found and mined elsewhere in British Guiana had not been large enough to even keep their mines above water financially.

However, as history tells us, there were some independent British wheelers and dealers like B. V. Abraham secretly mining from “unofficial” gold finds in the disputed Cuyuni and Essequibo Regions and making a fortune. With the potential to make a financial killing – above-board or otherwise – on the line, Harry gets drawn into multiple intrigues and double-crosses.

British Guiana goodGradually, frog and boiling water style, Flashman winds up in an all-out jungle safari adventure. With no war raging like in Harry’s jungle escapades during the Third Ashanti War, Flashman’s Guiana would be pure, 100%, Great White Hunter/ “boy’s own” tale filtered through the History Noir approach of The Flashman Papers.   

Caimans, poisonous snakes and spiders, blood-sucking bats, jungle cats, hostile natives and even more hostile rival fortune-hunters would all menace our favorite British cad. While trying to a) save his own skin, as usual and b) emerge with an illicit fortune, ruthless and roguish Harry would – incidentally and quite unintentionally – wind up being the reason that war never broke out between Great Britain and Venezuela over the disputed territory.

In real life the affair went to international arbitration and, though seemingly settled for decades, much later claims of conspiracy among the arbitrators made the dispute “hot” again. This would fit in nicely with the way Flashman’s Nineteenth Century adventures inevitably retain a certain relevance to us in the present-day.

Needless to say some of the action would take place at and around spectacular Kaieteur Falls.  

The Subtext: Among my favorite aspects of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman stories was always the way that both the political right AND the political left were outraged over certain aspects of the tales.

In the case of Flashman’s Guiana the right might be upset with the implied critique of colonialism, especially THIS adventure’s look at “corporate” colonialism in the form of the Booker company (or some fictionalized but similar entity if potential litigation required it).

The left would be upset that The Flashman Papers never go anywhere near as far as they would in condemning colonialism and would be outraged over the way Flashman’s stories often provide perspective on how things might possibly have been even worse in those regions if powers other than England held sway.

Addressing the plight of the often-abused indentured servants from India serving on the Booker sugar plantations and other ventures would be fine with the left.

However, the left would be outraged when the obvious comparisons to modern-day “immigration” issues were raised. The use of indentured laborers meant Booker and similar outfits maximized their profits since they (the indentured laborers) worked under awful conditions that the natives would NOT work under and for less pay than the natives would be willing to accept. 

Here in the 21st Century, greedy corporatists have learned to pretend they’re being “compassionate” by importing workers who will work for lower wages and under worse conditions than the native population.

Typically, Flashman’s Guiana would contain elements offensive to both sides of the political spectrum.    

Trivia: When Flashman and the others first arrive in Georgetown among the sights they would take in would be the Parliament Building (now the National Assembly), in front of which sit two of the Sevastopol Cannon taken when Sevastopol fell in the Crimean War in 1855. The cannon arrived as gifts to Georgetown in 1859.

              Harry would note the pair of eighteen pounders, each with a Systeme Venglove carriage. The sight would remind our antihero of his Crimean War escapades at Alma, Balaklava and elsewhere … even the proposed, probably apocryphal “other” Crimean War adventure for Flashman set in September 1855 to January 1856. The Siege of Sevastopol came to a close at the start of that period, when the Brit supposedly arrived after his four-month journey back from the East after Flashman at the Charge.  

The Setup: After Sir Harry’s involvement in the 1876 Sioux Uprising out in the American West he and his wife Elspeth are reunited in Saint Louis in August. The couple spend a few days waiting for Flashman to finish recovering from the injuries he sustained in the finale of Flashman and the Redskins.

Harry and Elspeth soon set out from New Orleans on the next leg of their Grand Tour, stopping in at Havana, Cuba, where they socialize with assorted British diplomatic and business figures. Among those figures would be a member or two of the Bottomley family, as in Flashman and Bottomley, Ltd.

After Harry and Elspeth indulge in their favorite sport of cheating on each other – this time with some of the beautiful people of Havana – the Bottomleys try to talk Flashman into lending his internationally-known name to ANOTHER of their speculative endeavors. The prospect appeals to Harry as sort of a natural progression of his usual obsession with other games of chance, card-playing in particular.

In fact, given the rarefied social circles in which he and Elspeth have been traveling in recent years, one could easily picture it appealing to Flashman’s vanity. Drinking, smoking and playing at high-stakes investments would more properly befit a man of his new stature than drinking, smoking and backroom card games.

Sir Harry and the Bottomleys, probably including a female family member who has caught Flashy’s eye, would decide against ventures in Cuba, what with the uprising against Spain still raging in the western part of the country. And presumably our protagonist would be wary lest HMG conjure up a reason to get him mixed-up in that conflict somehow.

Flashman, Elspeth and the Bottomleys would set off via steamship to Georgetown, British Guiana, to feel out other business possibilities, setting up the tale’s action.   

For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HERE .  


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under Neglected History, Pulp Heroes


  1. Pingback: LOST FLASHMAN PAPERS | Balladeer's Blog

  2. Sachick

    Nice! I always wondered what would be a good spot for a Flashman adventure in between Little Big Horn and the Zulu War!

  3. Stephen

    Nice fan fic piece. I would have given Harry an adventure in Cuba, too.

    • Thanks! I understand, but I couldn’t think of any way of making Cuba unique compared to his earlier adventures during the War of the Triple Alliance and in Mexico in the war against Maximilian in Mexico.

  4. Bart

    I liked the details you threw in about Georgetown.

  5. Warren

    This sounds like it could have been a pretty good Flashman story.

  6. Richie

    Very interesting! I could picture Flashman in all of these situations.

  7. Mickey

    These Flashman blog posts are fun from a fan fiction view.

  8. Carter

    I can picture Flashy in these adventures you come up with. I can’t do that with most of the others who try to put Harry in other situations.

  9. Fred

    You do a lot of research before you post these.

  10. Tug

    I can picture Flashy doing all this!

  11. Pingback: BEST OF JUNE 2019 | Balladeer's Blog

  12. Marty

    The Bookers conglomerate goes back that far? Damn!

  13. Sarge

    Flashman in a gold mine hunt is rife with possibilities!

  14. Hail Comicsgate

    You really put in the research to come up with a plausible reason for Harry to get involved in the stuff you write about.

  15. Aldo

    Fun speculation with this.

  16. Sable Nance


  17. Isaias

    I’m not a Flashman fan. You make him seem more likable than he really is.

  18. Heidi MacDonald

    I would do Flashman!

  19. Logan

    I think Flashman in Cuba would have been more interesting.

  20. Almighty Kue

    Fantastic! I love the depth of detail your research lets you bring to these fan stories.

  21. Henry

    Flashman sucks.

  22. Expanse Fan

    Great thought for a later Flashman adventure! Flashy rules!

  23. Bart

    This story would be a change of pace anyway.

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