3 Typed Letters, signed (“George Fraser”), to Robert E. Skinner, on the Flashman novels, weapons, and accents.

The Bungalow, Baldrine, Isle of Man: 1983-1993.

Price: $2,250.00

About the item

9 x 7 inches. Typed on rectos only, with a few corrections in ink. 4 pages total. 4to. Fine. With envelopes and with Skinner’s retained copies of his letters.

Item #326885

A choice clutch of correspondence from George MacDonald Fraser (1925–2008), author of the enormously popular adventures of Flashman, cad and scoundrel — or, “a coward, a bully, and a satyromaniacal philanderer” (ODNB) — who is nevertheless at the heart of the military and amorous history of the nineteenth century. “On the back of the Flashman series' success, Fraser pursued a yet more lucrative career as a Hollywood screen-writer. His credits included The Three Musketeers (1973) and its sequel, The Four Musketeers (1974), Royal Flash (adapted from his novel, and starring Malcolm McDowell and Britt Ekland, 1975), The Prince and the Pauper (1977), the James Bond vehicle Octopussy (1983). … As he grew older, living in the tax exile's seclusion of the Isle of Man, his political and social views became steadily more hard-line” (ODNB).

Robert Skinner, Medical Bibliographer at Louisiana State University (later at Xavier University), and specialist in the history of military medicine, first wrote Fraser after seeing a painting of the battle of Juarez in April 1863: “There is a figure cowering behind the French fortifications that resembles Flashman in a disturbing way.” Fraser responds, thanking Skinner “for the nice things you say about Flashy … Flash-like creatures crop up in many Victorian paintings, and I’m note surprised that one appears in the Camerone picture. I haven’t seen it, althogh the action itself has been one of my favorites … however I’ll say no more about it just now, beyond drawing attention to the already published fact that he was aide-de-camp to Emperor Maximilian.” The other letters, dated 1992 and 1993, discuss weapons and American accents and Norfolk village dialects.

Excellent letters with interesting content.