Thomas Flashman is the uncle of the fictional character Harry Flashman, made famous by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown’s Schooldays and George Macdonald Fraser in a series of very entertaining novels. Like his nephew, he has the uncanny knack of finding himself in the hotspots of his time, often while endeavouring to avoid them. Thomas though is not exactly the same character as Harry Flashman, this is partly accidental and partly deliberate.
For example, Harry Flashman makes prolific use of the ‘n’ word which will never appear in my work. This is not just political correctness but reflects the different times the two fictional characters occupy. While Harry Flashman in India thrashed and abused the natives; in Thomas’s time many British were in business with Indian partners or had Indian wives. The British Resident of Delhi went so far as to marry a harem of thirteen Indian women, who used to parade around the city every evening on elephants.
Thomas is also not quite the same spiteful bully as Harry, particularly in the first book. But as the series progresses and he accrues enemies and rivals. He soon demonstrates an ability to dish a vicious revenge on those who serve him ill.
His adventures start in 1800 and will finish by the year that Harry Flashman takes to the stage. I feel that the world can only cope with one Flashman at a time!
I have endeavoured to make the books as historically accurate as possible and was delighted to receive the following endorsement from Professor Charles Esdaille, of Liverpool University and one of the leading authorities on the Peninsular War:
“Lovers of the wonderful Harry Flashman may often have wondered how he would have fared had he been born into the era of Wellington and Napoleon. This, alas, we shall never know, but these novels are highly suggestive in that they detail the career of his utterly villainous Uncle Thomas. Evidently the old block off which young Harry was the proverbial chip, Thomas Flashman is an equally satisfying anti-hero, whilst his creator has taken just as much care as George Macdonald Fraser to recreate the times and events in which he took part. Thoroughly recommended!’
All best wishes, Charles
PS. Re Agustina of Argon, you may wish to have a look at my recent book ‘Women in the Peninsular War’: I rather suspect that you have caught the woman to a ‘t’!”