Flashman on the March

Flashman on the March

infobox Book |
name = Flashman on the March
orig title =
translator =


author = George MacDonald Fraser
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
genre = Historical novel
publisher = HarperCollins
release_date = 2005
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 320 pp (paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0-00-719740-3
preceded_by = Flashman and the Tiger
followed_by =

"Flashman on the March" is a 2005 novel by George MacDonald Fraser. It is the twelfth and last (although by no means concluding) Flashman novel.

Plot introduction

As is usual with Fraser's Flashman novels, the book is presented within the frame of the supposedly discovered historical Flashman Papers, written by Harry Flashman from "Tom Brown's Schooldays". The papers are attributed to Flashman, who is not only the bully featured in Thomas Hughes' novel, but also a well known Victorian military hero. The book begins with an explanatory note detailing the discovery of these papers.

The present novel is set in 1867-8 and begins in Trieste, directly after Flashman's service with Emperor Maximilian I in Mexico (mentioned in other of the novels), from where he travels to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and becomes part of General Robert Napier's 1868 expedition.

Plot summary

Having fled Mexico aboard the Austrian warship carrying the Emperor Maximilian's body home for burial, Flashman is on the run, after mortally offending Admiral Tegethoff by seducing his great-niece "en voyage". Flashman meets an old acquaintance, Jack Speedicut (who appears in other of the novels), who enlists him to escort a shipment of Maria Theresa thalers to General Robert Napier's forces in Abyssinia, via Suez.

General Napier, overjoyed to find the noted military hero Flashman arrived in Abyssinia, immediately despatches him on a secret undercover mission to recruit Queen Masteeat and her Galla people, who are opposed to Emperor Theodore II of Ethiopia, travelling in the company of her half-sister Uliba-Wark, who is herself scheming to depose Queen Masteeat. Flashman succeeds in enlisting the assistance of Queen Masteeat, but is then captured by Emperor Theodore's forces.

The second half of the novel deals with Flashman's relations with the Emperor and covers the final battle with Napier's forces and their allies, after which Theodore commits suicide. Flashman tells Napier at the conclusion that the British government could have avoided the whole sorry adventure if they had simply given Theodore the respect that a monarch deserves, simply by properly responding to his letters.

Characters

Fictional characters

*Harry Paget Flashman - the hero or anti-hero
*George Speedicut - old school friend of Harry's, who also appears as a supporting character in "Tom Brown's Schooldays".
* Uliba-Wark - half-sister of Queen Masteeat

Historical characters

*Wilhelm von Tegetthoff - Austrian admiral.
*Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala
*Captain Speedy - Victorian soldier and explorer.
*Emperor Theodore II of Ethiopia
* Queen Masteeat

References

*cite book | last = Fraser | first = George MacDonald | authorlink = George MacDonald Fraser | coauthors = | title = Flashman on the March | publisher = Alfred A. Knopf | date = 2005 | location = | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 1400044758


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