Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown's schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents - horsemanship, facility with foreign languages, and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the 19th century, despite trying his utmost to escape them all.
'When all other trusts fail, turn to Flashman' - Abraham Lincoln
In China in 1860, a lot of people mistakenly put their trust in Flashman: the English vicar's daughter with her cargo of opium; Lord Elgin in search of an intelligence chief; the Emperor's ravishing concubine, seeking a champion in her struggles for power; and Szu-Zhan, the female bandit colossus, as practised in the arts of love as in the arts of war.
They were not to know that behind his Victoria Cross, Harry Flashman was a base coward and a charlatan. They took him at face value. And he took them, for all he could, while China seethed through the bloodiest civil war in history and the British and French armies hacked their way to the heart of the Forbidden City....
Interesting slant on the destruction of the summer palace describing it as a socialist effort to send a message to the Chinese that their super privileges elite were not as all powerful as their leaders thought. Not at all how the Chinese see it today. Really enjoyable to read to be constantly shocked by Flash's behaviour and actions. Good advice on how not to flinch..
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Flashman books are always wonderful. Full of history, funny beyond belief, and superbly politically incorrect
Perfectly fine Flashman fare as he gets involved in smuggling I'm and fighting the Emperor. I've read all and listened to most of the Flashman books and this one ranks about halfway down the enjoyment list for me. The Summer Palace stuff is what i found most interesting.
Narration brilliant, Flashy on top form and a fantastic wee history lesson to boot. Love them!