Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Sir Harry Flashman

I am greatly remiss! A good friend pointed out that yesterday was the birth anniversary of the late Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE; Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur; U.S. Medal of Honor; San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth, 4th Class.

Sir Harry was born on May 5, 1822, and his storied career included encounteres with the "White Rajah" of Sarawak, Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar,  the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, and Otto von Bismark, among many others. His service in armies other than that of Great Britain included a hitch as a major in the Union Army and one as a colonel in the Confederate Army, both during the American Civil War. His literary works included Dawns and Departures of a Soldier, Twixt Cannon and Cossack, and the ever-popular The Case Against Military Reform. If literature has ever provided a more remarkable rogue, I'd like to meet him.

Happy belated birthday, Sir Harry!


  1. 'pon my soul, Sir. How could 'ee forget?

    If ever you get the chance the dear old BBC has adapted two of his tales for the old wireless: Flash for Freedom and Flashman at the Charge.

  2. Men, Three cheers for ole Sir Harry!
    Hip, Hip,,Hooray!!...

  3. I've read of them but have nor seen/heard them. The film version of Royal Flash was okay, but nothing special. Malcomb McDowell -- good in so many things -- just wasn't right for that role, in my opinion. Flashy was a great strapping fellow, after all. McDowell looked like a wee skinny lad, at least at the time. Otherwise I thought the casting was good.

    Fraser wrote the screenplay, but I think Lester's direction overwhelmed it a bit and went for the big yucks instead of the rapier-like satire. Strange, I like most of Lester's stuff. But then again, I'm usually a big yucks guy, myself, so I guess that figures. How many other folks went out and bought the complete series DVDs of JACK OF ALL TRADES as soon as it was available. Not a lot of rapier-like satire there.