Flashman’s lady proved to be another absolute gem in Macdonald Fraser’s series, this time seeing our cowardly rascal of a hero set sail for adventures in Singapore, Borneo and Madagascar. The opening chapters concern themselves with Flashman’s prowess at cricket and the rivalry between himself and the dashing Don Solomon, who proves to be a worthy adversary in all matters from womanising to wickets. This ultimately leading to a literal and metaphorical voyage of discovery for all concerned as they travel to the enchanting, but troubled waters of the South Sea Islands.
I have clearly gone about the whole series in completely the wrong order, reading them as an individual book is passed on by a generous friend or I spy a special offer at the local bookstore, but that doesn't seem to spoil my enjoyment of them and in fact 'Flashman's Lady' proved to be a fast paced and totally outlandish tale, yet strangely accurate in its historical detail. For example this was to prove my first introduction to James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak; surely one of the most interesting and exciting nineteenth century gentleman adventurers there has ever been. This must have been a fictitious creation of Fraser's thought I, but to my surprise he isn't!
The joy of discovering another fascinating facet of Victorian history aside, 'Flashman's Lady' proved to be one of my favourite tales in the series so far, this may of course be down to its inclusion of my beloved game of cricket, who would have thought Flashman achieved the world's first hat trick, and thoroughly deserves its four crowns.