George V. Reilly

Review: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord
Title: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1994
Pages: 400
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 27 August–4 September, 2016
Flashman Papers X: 1858–59

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord finds Flashy back in America where everybody wants him to be the aide-de-camp to the abo­li­tion­ist John Brown, who’s plotting a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. The Un­der­ground Railroad want him to help Brown to start a slave rebellion; Kuklos (a proto KKK) want Brown to start a civil war to cause disunion; and finally the secret service want Flashman to sabotage Brown so as to avoid a civil war. Flashman is left with no choice but to spend a few months undercover with Brown with a Kuklos spy at his side to keep him from running. The raid is un­suc­cess­ful, Brown is tried for treason, becomes a martyr for abolition in the dock, and is executed.

Fraser points his keen historical gaze towards the leadup to the Civil War and paints a half-admiring portrait of John Brown. En­ter­tain­ing but not one of the better Flashman novels.

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