by Curt Holman
(Image courtesy Knopf)
A bummer for the new year: One of my favorite authors, George MacDonald Fraser, has died at the age of 82. According to his publisher, he had been suffering from cancer.
The Flashman series offered a prime example of what modern audiences would call the Forrest Gump factor, by placing a fictional character on the scene of major historical events. Despite his rank cowardice (in fact, some times because of it), Flashman perpetually found himself at some of the 19th century's most notorious battles, including Little Bighorn and the Charge of the Light Brigade. In his books Flashman alluded to being at the Battle of Gettysburg (in Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, he met abolitionist John Brown and was at Harpers Ferry), but rather maddeningly, Fraser never seems to have written his big Civil War adventure novel. One can only hope he put it to paper before his death and that it will be published posthumously.