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on 10 July 2014
But not one of the best. Lacking a little humour, perhaps, but everything else is there...and yet it was still a little flat. Worth reading but no more than that. For once we had a BEF who weren't the bad guys, and who weren't intent on conquering and exploiting unfortunate aborigines, but only on rescuing British prisoners from a demented despot. Makes a change, but still couldn't save this book from being ordinary, in spite of its subject being anything but.
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on 2 September 2017
The longer the Flashman novels go on the poorer the storyline, no more for me,I'll remember the early books as the real Flashman.
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on 23 July 2017
Now got ALL Flashman books
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on 26 January 2017
Great
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on 23 October 2015
great!
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on 8 April 2015
Scot GMF is my favourite British writer and Flashman is the perfect character to explain the complexity of our commonwealth history with a wink in the eye and humour aplenty
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on 3 July 2017
Starting with Flashman accompanying the corpse of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico on his final voyage 'home' and ending with him witnessing the suicide of another Emperor, Theodore of Abyssinia, this is yet another epic adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Apparently Flashman has spent much of the 1860s in America (fighting for both sides in the civil war) and in Mexico, where he ended up as an aide to Emperor Maximilian, the ill-fated Habsburg who was going to straighten out that poor country. This installment starts with Flashman having to run from Trieste, to escape the wrath of Admiral Tegethoff (Victor of the Battle of Lissa and commanding the ships that brought Maximilian back from Mexico) who is not amused by Flashman's romantic exploits on board with a relative of his. The proposal by an old friend he meets, now working in the diplomatic service, that Flashman escort a shipment of gold coin to the expeditionary force into Abyssinia, suddenly seems an excellent idea.

And so Flashman ends up in the Abyssinian campaign, a British rescue mission for a handful of hostages taken by the demented Emperor Theodore of Abyssinia. Unable to get away with just delivering the gold, the expedition's commander Napier and some 'politicals' press him into an extremely dangerous mission into the Ethiopian hinterland. I won't give away much, but I can say it is a breathtaking series of adventures, ending with the storming of Magdala, Theodore's mountain stronghold.

As always, this episode is again steeped in amazing research by MacDonald Fraser, and the reader learns all he (or she) ever wanted to know about Abyssinia, its spectacular nature (Flashman actually falls off a waterfall in the Blue Nile) and dangerous, violent inhabitants. The only sad note really, is that the 'Mexican Papers' to which reference is made in the beginning, and which would describe Flashman's exploits in Mexico and America up to 1866, are never going to be written. Such a pity. Does not take away anything from this episode though, which is highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 22 May 2010
This, the twelfth and final instalment of the long running and much loved series of historical novels, is as well researched as ever, and is as much an enjoyable history lesson as an adventure tale.

The original "Flashman" novel features the anti-hero Harry Flashman, based on the "Tom Brown's Schooldays" bully, a well aimed ironic body blow at the mores and morals of the Victorian age. In this first book Flashman is a purely self serving coward, a rapist, a toady and a casual racist. In short he is a portrait of the dark side of the Victorian Gentleman, quite an easy target which George MacDonald Fraser hits repeatedly with gusto.

It might be imagined by the time "Flashman on the March" has been reached, our author may have slightly run out of steam but MacDonald Fraser has retained his infectious enthusiasm for the military adventures of the period. What he has lost, though, perhaps from his long studying of the great figures of the Victorian Age, is ,it seems, his desire to belittle the morality and values of the time. So, here, Harry Flashman, although acting in violently cowardly fashion when his life is actually in danger, behaves generally almost heroically: he has at least two clear opportunities to avoid his dangerous mission, and it is only his desire to retain his reputation, his name, that drives him to accept the hair-raisingly deadly adventure. Can the most heroic of warriors say much more ?

Undoubtedly, the Sir Harry shown here is less entertaining and less memorable than the figure he cuts in the earlier books, and "On The March" is more a standard adventure yarn than a clever skit on the Victorian adventure yarn. But, perhaps it is inevitable that any fair minded author, after such a long study of the Age would come to admire the superemly pragmatic and successful British Victorians. And, the historical episode studied here, the Abyssinian War of 1868, shows the British Army of the period in its full eccentric brilliant glory. The Hitler-esque monster that Flashman and the British Indian Army face also, inevitably, reduces the opportunities to lampoon their efforts.

All in all, this final book of the series shows our anti-hero in a decidedly heroic light and is less satisfying than some of the ealier, sharper volumes. But equally, it's no bad thing that we take our leave of one of the great figures of Twentieth-Century comic literature as he enjoys a rare well deserved victory.
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on 28 September 2012
After the previous, rather pedestrian volume of papers, Flashman returns here in reassuringly lively form, fleeing through the pages of history one last time, with a revolver in his hand and his breeches around his ankles. It isn't in the front rank of the Flashman Papers; some of the set pieces are too nakedly contrived and there isn't quite enough of the military reportage at which Flashman excells. However, it's still a rollicking good read that cracks along at a sprightly pace towards a stirring conclusion.

Unfortunately, I gather Flashman passed away after writing this volume. If you haven't read any of his other papers this would be a strange place to start. It is, however, a fine place to end.
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on 17 March 2007
Flashy (a V.C. by now, no less!) is on the march again indeed. In this installment of the Flashman papers we find him, against his will as usual, in Abyssinia, which at the time (1867-68) isn't exactly a good place to be. King Theodore is having some serious bouts of insanity and has turned loose his armies, Queen Masteeat is seeking to overtopple his throne, and caught in the midst is poor Flashy...

'Flashman on the march' is no different from all other books in the series which means: fast-paced, and filled to the brim with MacDonald Fraser's unique mix of ludicrous humour and historical fact. Need I say that there's some delectable women in there too?
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