Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11554
This essay analyzes the novel Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser. By analyzing the novel the relevance of satire in historical literature is questioned as well as the accuracy of accepted historical “truths”. Through further examination of the novel I also hope to show that the novel despite being satire has a lot more to offer the reader with regard to historical analysis than may first be apparent. Having been published 43 years ago the novels importance has only increased with the overwhelming amount of politically
correct censorship that threatens to distort and even change history, the consequences of
which could be disastrous. The skill with which Fraser blends fiction with reality is itself
a clear indicator of the possibility for historical whitewashing or alteration. Furthermore, the very fact that it is satire allows it to transgress accepted bounds of political correctness to offer a far more realistic experience of history than many other historical books may offer. Subjects such as class inequality, the place of women, racism and the British military will be examined through the viewpoint of the novels narrator Flashman, and in doing so I will show how all these subjects are bound by a common link. This link is what gives relevance to the novel outside the realm of fiction or pure entertainment. Besides the subject matter of the novel other factors such as style of writing, use of words and interplay of historical fact and fiction make Flashman quite a unique read.