Roving British Army colonel Sir Harry Flashman, roisterous scoundrel and witty cynic, was a reluctant hero in exploits ranging from the Crimean War (Flashman at the Charge) to China's Taiping Rebellion (Flashman and the Dragon) in nine previous volumes of Fraser's Flashman Papers. In this latest installment, a mesmerizing mix of high adventure, outrageous humor and audacious drama, the cowardly Flashman is kidnapped in Cape Town, South Africa, and sails to Baltimore before being conscripted into abolitionist John Brown's doomed, bloody 1859 raid on a federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, Va. U.S. government agents enlist Flashman as a spy to dissuade or forcibly prevent Brown from carrying out the raid, fearing that it might trigger civil war. Meanwhile, a band of hooded white supremacists abduct Flashman and order him to abet John Brown's attack, which they believe will unite the South and divide the North. Combining wild imagination, sardonic commentary on American mores and meticulous historical research, Fraser tells a masterful historical tale and presents a magnificent portrait of John Brown as a fearless, autocratic, murderous iron-willed zealot-``a fanatic, yes; a man driven by one burning idea... but never a madman.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995 Release date: 03/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.