Profile: Robert Brightwell

About This Author

I am a firm believer in the maxim that history is stranger than fiction. There are countless times when I have come across a character or incident that has been so hard to believe that I have had to search out other sources for confirmation. Thomas Cochrane who features in my first book is one of those, his real life adventures seem ridiculously far fetched for a fictional character. The Begum of Samru from my second book is another: a fifteen year old nautch dancer who gained the confidence of an army, had a man literally kill himself over her and who led her soldiers with skill and courage, before becoming something of a catholic saint. History is full of amazing stories and in my books I try to do my bit to tell some of them. When I thought of a vehicle to do so, the Flashman series from George MacDonald Fraser came to mind. Most of what I know of the Victorian era was prompted by his books. The concept of a fictional character witnessing and participating in real historical events, while not unique, has rarely been done better. George MacDonald Fraser was an exceptional writer and he developed a character that he took from Tom Brown's School Days into a truly legendary figure. While Harry Flashman might not have been a typical Victorian, he certainly brought the period to life. For me the Regency/Napoleonic era was one of even greater colour and extremes and so I have created a new earlier member of the family: Thomas Flashman. There are similarities between the generations in that they both have the uncanny knack of finding themselves in the hotspots of their time, often while endeavouring to avoid them. Thomas though is not exactly the same character as Harry Flashman, this is partly accidental and partly deliberate. For example Harry Flashman makes prolific use of the 'n' word which will never appear in my work. This is not just political correctness but reflects the different times the two fictional characters occupy. While Harry Flashman in India thrashed and abused the natives; in Thomas' time many British were in business with Indian partners or had Indian wives. The British Resident of Delhi went so far as to marry a harem of thirteen Indian women who used to parade around the city every evening on elephants. As several reviewers have pointed out Thomas is not quite the vicious villainous rogue his nephew became, at least in the first book. I think the character develops more in the second book and this trend will hopefully continue. The genius of George MacDonald Fraser was to create a spiteful bully that the reader could still relate to. I have tried to convey a character that lived in his time and who balanced cowardice, pride, lust etc with the need to bring the reader with him.

This Author's Books

This book finds Thomas Flashman, a British army officer, landing on the shores of the United States at the worst possible moment – just when the United States has declared war with Britain! Having already endured enough with his earlier adventures, he des....
ISBN: 9781785108419
Published: 21 September 2017
This is the second instalment in the life story of Thomas Flashman, the uncle of the notorious Victorian rogue Harry Flashman, whose memoirs have already been published, edited by George MacDonald Fraser. Thomas shares many of the family traits, particula....
ISBN: 9781782990055
Published: 16 July 2015
This is the second instalment in the life story of Thomas Flashman, the uncle of the notorious Victorian rogue Harry Flashman, whose memoirs have already been published, edited by George MacDonald Fraser. Thomas shares many of the family traits, particula....
ISBN: 9781782990055
Published: 30 November 2012
Of all the enemies that our hero has shrunk away from, there was one he feared above them all. By his own admission they gave him nightmares into his dotage. It was not the French, the Spanish, the Americans or the Mexicans. It was not even the more exoti....
ISBN: 9781788765077
Published: 12 September 2018
Following the popularity of the memoirs of Harry Flashman, the Victorian scoundrel who got himself embroiled in many events of his age, this book introduces a new generation of the family: Thomas Flashman, whose career covers the Napoleonic and Georgian e....
ISBN: 9781781763636
Published: 8 June 2012
Following the popularity of the memoirs of Harry Flashman, the Victorian scoundrel who got himself embroiled in many events of his age, this book introduces a new generation of the family: Thomas Flashman, whose career covers the Napoleonic and Georgian e....
ISBN: 9781781763636
Published: 10 July 2015
This is the third instalment in the memoirs of the Georgian Englishman Thomas Flashman, which were recently discovered on a well-known auction website. Thomas is the uncle of the notorious Victorian rogue Harry Flashman, whose memoirs have already been pu....
ISBN: 9781784075590
Published: 5 October 2017
This book covers the second half of Thomas Flashman's experiences in the Peninsular War and follows on from Flashman in the Peninsular. Having lost his role as a staff officer, Flashman finds himself commanding a company in an infantry battalion. In betwe....
ISBN: 9781785101021
Published: 23 September 2014
This sixth packet of memoirs from the notorious Georgian rogue Thomas Flashman covers the extraordinary events that culminated in a battle just south of Brussels, near a place called Waterloo. The first six months of 1815 were a pivotal time in European h....
ISBN: 9781786973801
Published: 2 August 2017