For Flashman Down Under and Flashman in the Opium War click HERE Balladeer’s Blog moves on to another Harry Flashman adventure referred to but never completed before George MacDonald Fraser’s death.
Projected Title: FLASHMAN AND THE KINGS
Time Period: The Taranaki War (1860-1861)
NOTE: The title refers to the Maori King Movement, which began during this period and whose descending line of a designated “King of Kings” has survived to this very day with the current Maori King in New Zealand.
From 1860-1861 the Maori King Movement proved to be the most battle-savvy and politically shrewd opponents the British would face until the First Boer War of 1880-1881. If the native inhabitants of other regions around the world had been this proficient and coordinated, the Colonial Powers of the European and Muslim Empires might have been dealt such massive setbacks that the course of history would be fascinatingly different.
The Set-Up: As of the finale of Fraser’s Flashman and the Dragon we readers were left guessing exactly what Harry was being dragged into by blonde, luscious Phoebe Carpenter and her husband.
In Flashman and the Dragon the Carpenters were shown to be smuggling guns to the Taipingi rebels in China, so my speculation would be that they were also involved in smuggling guns to the Maori forces in New Zealand. The Taranaki War had been raging between the Maori and British colonial troops since March of 1860.
The Carpenters had been posing as Christian Missionaries as cover for their smuggling operation in FATD so they might well have been using that same cover for their dealings with the Maori King Movement. Flashman’s standing as a storied, active duty British Colonel could be exploited to their advantage through their extortionate hold on our antihero.
FATD ended in October of 1860. The Taranaki War lasted until March 18th of 1861 so Harry could be on hand for the last several months of the conflict. As usual he might well end up with undeserved military honors from his misadventures, caught up in the martial action while striving to free himself from his entanglement with Phoebe and her husband.
The Story: Continue reading