George MacDonald Fraser, the creator of the Flashman series of of historical novels, died yesterday at age 82. Fraser's widely read and beloved series of 12 novels featured a lovable, cowardly cad named Harry Flashman, first created as a minor character in the classic 19th century English novel, "Tom Brown's Schooldays."
Harry showed up in the most unlikely places, from Afghanistan to the Little Big Horn, as an accidental hero. A journalist by profession, Fraser in 1969 turned his hand to fiction with the first of the Flashman series. Emboldened by his success writing about intensely British cads, Fraser wrote the screenplay for the film version of Ian Fleming's James Bond movie, "Octopussy."