For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HERE For background info on George MacDonald Fraser’s infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman you can also click that link.
2. FLASHMAN IN THE GREAT GAME (1975)
Time Period: The Great Mutiny (1857-1858)
This Flashman novel comes in a very close second to my top selection, which I examined last time around. Ultimately the way that a portion of Flashman in the Great Game gets a wee bit unfocused relegated it to the Number 2 spot.
Synopsis: As the title indicates, this time around Harry Flashman, the most self-serving and roguish Cavalry Officer in Queen Victoria’s army, gets caught up in what diplomats of the 1800s called “The Great Game.” Said game involved the figurative chess match played by Great Britain, Russia and other powers as they all angled to extend or maintain their power and influence in Central Asia, especially India.
Lord Palmerston of Her Majesty’s Government is wary of a potential uprising among the Indian troops employed by the British East India Company and of Russian interference in the form of Flashman’s old foe, (the real life) Count Ignatieff.
Once again the fate of nations rests on the thoroughly unreliable shoulders of Harry Paget Flashman. (See pic of Alan Bates at left)
In India our swashbuckling protagonist struggles to stay alive amid assassination attempts by Russian agents while vying with Count Ignatieff for political influence in the court of (the real life) Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi. (See pic of Laila Rouass to the right)
Lakshmibai’s overwhelming beauty, feisty spirit, skill at horsemanship and magnificent fencing abilities make her one of the few women to actually tug at Flashman’s heart and not just his man-parts.
In real life many prudish British politicians of the time called her “The Jezebel of Jhansi” over her sexual openness but such a derogatory nickname would only enhance her standing in the eyes of the lustful Colonel Flashman. Continue reading