I was saddened to learn of the death yesterday of the author George Macdonald Fraser. Fraser, a Scot, created the Flashman series of novels, which have given me a great deal of pleasure over the years. He was 82. The cause of death was cancer.
Fraser had served in India during World War and worked as a journalist in Glasgow before becoming an author and screenwriter. The original Flashman novel started that portion of his career in the late 1960's. In it, he took a minor character in 19th century literature and imagined him into one of the greatest cads in English fiction. His novels are great fun and feature well-researched and accurate historical people, places, and actions.
He also wrote a wonderful memoir of his military service (Quartered Safe Out Here), and a series of short-stories inspired by that period of his life (the "McAuslan" stories). He wrote a parody of pirate books (The Pyrates) and a handful of novels set in Victorian and Elizabethan England. His screenplays included several "musketeers" movies and Force Ten from Navarone.
George Macdonald Fraser was a fine writer. He has left us an impressive body of work. Thank you, sir.