1906. Harry Flashman, grandson of the famous Victorian General is about to leave Rugby under a cloud. A chip off the old block, one might say. Perhaps more than he realised. Forced to join the army, up to good at Sandhurst and sent to India. 1914. India. Bored with garrison life, an unwise gamble leads to a flight in one of these new aeroplanes. As a result, and surprisingly smitten by aviation, Flashman returns to England via Sarajevo intending to learn to fly. Meanwhile, Europe is convulsed. Displaying all his charming family traits, he is caught up in the start of the Great War, shanghaied along the way by the head of the fledgling secret service. Fighting for his life over the Western Front in a box of string and dope, sent beyond the lines on reckless missions for 'C', terrified out of his wits, dashing for cover, deflowering the local maidens, lying, stealing and generally behaving badly, Flashman gives his honest account of his life as an RFC pilot and sometime secret agent. From the birth of aerial fighting to the first day on the Somme, from dropping bombs on the enemy to duelling in the skies with Immelmann, from the cturnal secrets of enemy spies, to murder on the streets of St Omer, Flashman lives up to his family name, emerging quivering but alive and reputation intact from the maelstrom of total war in Europe.
Born in 1968, I grew up near the World War 2 fighter station at Biggin Hill which triggered a lifelong love of aviation and military history. I have been fortunate enough to spend my life flying, mainly as an airline pilot, a job which has also provided the spare time to indulge myself with another hobby, writing. After the death of George MacDonald Fraser and the realisation that there would be no more episodes in the Flashman saga, I decided that I would have to write the next one myself, and that I have done. It is of course an enormous liberty I am taking by doing this. Maybe worthy of the great fraud himself! I only hope that if you read it, you will also think it worthy.... and more importantly an enjoyable story in itself