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George MacDonald Fraser (1925–2008)

Author of Flashman

48+ Works 17,676 Members 336 Reviews 115 Favorited

About the Author

Author George MacDonald Fraser was born April 2, 1925 in Carlisle. He was refused entrance to the medical faculty of Glasgow University, so he joined the army in 1943. He served as an infantryman with the 17th Indian Division of the XIVth Army in Burma, a lance corporal and was commissioned in the show more Gordon Highlanders. After the war, he became a sports reporter with the Carlisle Journal; and during this time, he met and married Kathleen Hetherington, a reporter from another paper. He worked as a reporter and sub-editor on the Cumberland News and then moved to Glasgow, in 1953, where he worked at the Glasgow Herald as a features editor and deputy editor. Fraser's first novel was "Flashman" (1969), which was followed by nine sequels, so far, that deal with different venues of the 19th century ranging from Russia, Borneo and China to the Great Plains of the America West. Some of the other titles in the Flashman Papers are "Royal Flash" (1970), "Flashman in the Great Game" (1975), "Flashman and the Redskins" (1982), and "Flashman and the Angel of the Lord" (1994). Some of his non-fiction work includes "The Steel Bonnets" (1971), which is a factual study of the Anglo-Scottish border thieves in the seventeenth century, and "Quartered Safe Out Here" (1992). Fraser has also written a number of screenplays that include "The Three Musketeers" (1973), "Royal Flash" (1975), "Octopussy" (1983), and "Return of the Musketeers" (1989). He has also written a series of short stories about Private McAuslan whose titles include "The General Danced at Dawn" (1970), "McAuslan in the Rough" (1974), and "The Sheik and the Dustbin and other McAuslan Stories" (1988). He died of cancer on January 2, 2008. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

1. George MacDonald Fraser (CK info above) wrote Flashman.
2. George MacDonald (1824-1905) wrote At the Back of the North Wind.
George Milne Fraser is a separate author. Please do not combine.


Works by George MacDonald Fraser

Flashman (1969) 2,626 copies
Royal Flash (1970) 1,405 copies
Flashman at the Charge (1973) 1,163 copies
Flash for Freedom! (1971) 1,106 copies
Flashman's Lady (1977) 1,098 copies
Flashman in the Great Game (1975) 1,090 copies
Flashman and the Redskins (1982) 942 copies
Flashman and the Dragon (1985) 909 copies
Flashman and the Tiger (1999) 825 copies
Flashman on the March (2005) 795 copies
Quartered Safe Out Here (1993) 581 copies
The Pyrates (1983) 562 copies
The Reavers (2007) 298 copies
Mr. American (1980) 281 copies
Black Ajax (1997) 269 copies
The General Danced at Dawn (1970) 214 copies
The Complete McAuslan (1970) 211 copies
The Candlemass Road (1993) 182 copies
McAuslan in the Rough (1974) 142 copies
The Sheikh and the Dustbin (1988) 107 copies
Lights on at Signpost (2002) 79 copies
Captain in Calico (2015) 67 copies
The Three Musketeers [1973 film] (1973) — Screenwriter — 52 copies
Flashman / Royal Flash (1969) 29 copies
World of the Public School (1977) 14 copies
Modern Short Stories 2: 1940-1980 (1982) — Contributor — 12 copies
Royal Flash [1975 film] (2007) — Screenwriter — 10 copies
The Return of the Musketeers [1989 film] (1989) — Screenwriter — 6 copies
Flashman 5 copies
Royal Flash II (1997) 3 copies
A Quick Flashman (2005) 2 copies

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of War (1999) — Contributor — 442 copies
The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard (1910) — Introduction, some editions — 224 copies
The White Company / Sir Nigel (1994) — Introduction, some editions — 84 copies
The Mammoth Book of Sword and Honour (2000) — Contributor — 48 copies
A Feast of Stories (1996) — Contributor — 14 copies


19th century (381) 20th century (140) adventure (500) Afghanistan (100) Britain (67) British (175) British Empire (146) British history (68) Burma (66) comedy (124) ebook (67) England (119) English (60) English literature (86) fiction (2,808) Flashman (1,003) George MacDonald Fraser (61) historical (581) historical fiction (1,939) historical novel (106) history (531) humor (891) India (156) literature (91) memoir (92) military (233) military history (128) non-fiction (96) novel (450) read (219) satire (138) Scotland (137) series (185) short stories (62) to-read (385) unread (88) Victorian (183) Victorian Era (83) war (182) WWII (147)

Common Knowledge

Date of death
Carlisle, Cumbria, England, UK
Place of death
Strang, Isle of Man
Places of residence
Isle of Man
Carlisle, England, UK (birth)
The Glasgow Academy, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
soldier (British Army)
Fraser, Caro (daughter)
Hetherington, Kathleen (wife)
British Army (WWII)
Glasgow Herald
Awards and honors
Order of the British Empire (1999)
Fellow, Royal Society of Literature (1998)
Short biography
George MacDonald Fraser OBE FRSL (2 April 1925 – 2 January 2008) was a Scottish author who wrote historical novels, non-fiction books and several screenplays. He is best known for a series of works that featured the character Flashman.
Disambiguation notice
1. George MacDonald Fraser (CK info above) wrote Flashman.
2. George MacDonald (1824-1905) wrote At the Back of the North Wind.
George Milne Fraser is a separate author. Please do not combine.



George MacDonald Fraser in Legacy Libraries (July 2014)


For starters, Harry Flashman is expelled from school as a drunken bully. After seducing his father's mistress, he begins a secret life that leads from the boudoirs and bordellos of Victorian England to the erotic frontiers of her exotic Empire. Along the way he lies, cheats, steals, fights fixed duels, betrays his country and proves a coward on the battlefield.

Let's face it: Flashman is not really a nice guy. He's a bully, a coward, a rapist, a racist and a drunk. His survival instinct means that he manages to get out of scrapes that can (and does) kill everyone around him. People around him mistake his cowardice, and resulting survival against all odds, as some form of heroism.

Kicked out of Rugby, and having been blackmailed from one regiment to the next after marrying one of his conquests, he ends up in Afghanistan in the late 19th century - at a time when the British are to make one of their more ignoble retreats back to India. Whole regiments are slaugtered around Flashman, due in no small part to the incompitence of the officers around him. [written in 1969, decades before 9/11, this is a fictional illustration of why the West will never win in Afghanistan and would be lucky to come out with a draw].

Did get a bit bored with the tediously long chapters and the constant battles, so not sure I'd like to read a sequel.
… (more)
nordie | 64 other reviews | Oct 14, 2023 |
Nihilistic pulp of limited merit or use. Knowledgeably & well enough written, but we read adventure novels notably for the vicarious delight of seeing a hero (= imagining ourselves) “take charge” against hostile situations which threaten him on the most existential level. So it’s *very* blue-balling, & quickly repetitive after some initial amusement, to have patiently to read through the very opposite reaction again & again.

Two satisfying exceptions: The snake pit, where the protagonist (having little choice) shows himself unusually resolute & lethal. & the ending, where he suffers some subtly crafted & humorous consequences for his overall behaviour via two final - cushioned, even cushy, but irreversibly humiliating - developments.

Still. Hardly time optimally spent & I largely regret it.
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SkjaldOfBorea | 64 other reviews | Jul 30, 2023 |
After having read the twelve Flashman novels and enjoying them immensely, I order this book along with Pyrates, Black Ajax and Mr. American, penned by the same author, to complete the George McDonald Fraser book of work

Unlike most of Fraser’s work, this is non-fiction. The only other non-fiction work of Fraser’s is Steel Bonnets, a book that I found thoroughly unreadable. This book, which details the author’s World War II service in Burma, was significantly better, though not extraordinary by any means.

While I can highly recommend the author’s Flashman body of work, I found most of his other books to be far below the standard set by Flashman.
… (more)
santhony | 22 other reviews | Jun 28, 2023 |



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Elizabeth Bowen Contributor
Doris Lessing Contributor
Muriel Spark Contributor
R. K. Narayan Contributor
William Trevor Contributor
Jean Rhys Contributor
David Watkin Director of photography
Alexandre Dumas père Original novel
Ilya Salkind Producer
Anthony Hope Contributor
Arthur Conan Doyle Contributor
P.C. Wren Contributor
Stanley Weyman Contributor
H. Rider Haggard Contributor
Gino D'Achille Cover artist
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Wolfgang Proll Translator
Ken Lewis Maps, Illustrator
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Frank Frazetta Cover artist
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Janet Odgis Cover designer
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