George MacDonald Fraser

Flash for Freedom

Another in the enjoyable Flashman series, in which Harry Flashman, the egregious villain in Tom Brown's Schooldays pursues his dastardly career across several continents (see Flashman and the Angel of the Lord). Here he finds himself an unwilling passenger aboard a slaveship skippered by John Charity Spring. Spring is a magnificent literary creation: an ogre capable of savage violence who is also a classical scholar and sprinkles his conversation with Latin tags.

The ship travels first to West Africa to pick up slaves in Dahomey, where the party is nearly annihilated by Amazon warriors who object to Spring's attempt to purloin one of their number. After a narrow escape from this, the surviving ship's company, headed by Spring, sails for the USA to unload its cargo of slaves. On arrival Flashman escapes, but only at the price of pretending to be a crew member who died on the voyage and who was a British navy man in disguise ordered to spy on Spring. Flashman therefore finds himself unwillingly involved in the Abolitionist movement in the USA. Predictably this leads to all kinds of adventures, some amatory, and finally he has to be rescued from slave-catchers by none other than Congressman Abraham Lincoln.

As usual, the book is furnished with footnotes by the 'editor', which fill in some of the historical background to the lively narrative.

Book review by Anthony Campbell. Copyright © Anthony Campbell (2002).

%T Flash for Freedom!
%A Fraser, George MacDonald
%I Pan Books Ltd
%C London
%D 1972
%G ISBN 0 330 23321 1
%P 286 pp
%K fiction
%O paperback

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