Flashman author’s 2,500 books on offer

George MacDonald Fraser

George MacDonald Fraser

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Acclaimed Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser’s huge collection of books have lain undisturbed at his home in the Isle of Man since his death six years ago.

The 2,500 strong ‘working library’ dusting away in his Baldrine study included an unpublished typescript in which he writes in depth about his view of the world.

It is understood his comments, including attacks on political correctness, are likely to delight fans of the Flashman series of books based on the adventures of the character created in the Victorian novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays.

Mr MacDonald Fraser, 82, wrote the first Flashman novel in 1969 after which he moved to the Isle of Man where he had previously enjoyed family holidays.

His funeral took place in January 2008 at St Andrew’s Church in Douglas.

His personal collection of books will be available to buy from the Mayfair, London bookseller Heywood Hill from June 2 to July 30.

The sale includes the historical source material and fictional influences for all Mr MacDonald Fraser’s work.

Caro Fraser, the novelist and daughter of the author, told the Examiner: ‘Heywood Hill was my father’s favourite bookshop. We wanted the books that he loved, and really used, to find good homes.

‘When going through the books in his study I discovered an unpublished typescript which Heywood Hill will be publishing later this spring.

‘This autobiographical sketch encapsulates my father’s character and his view of the world. We think it is charming and we hope his readers will agree.’

Nicky Dunne, chairman of Heywood Hill said: ‘In this case books truly reveal the man. This collection shows why Mr Macdonald Fraser’s novels and non-fiction packed such an unforgettable punch.

‘He was steeped in the history of the high Victorian period and the fiction it generated.

‘He bought books not just for research but also for pleasure, to be read and then re-read.

‘The sale of his working library is an opportunity for his readers and devotees to purchase the very books that contributed to George Macdonald Fraser’s unique sensibility and style.’

Every aspect of Mr MacDonald Fraser’s life and career as a professional writer is represented, from the authors and books that fired his imagination as a boy - Arthur Mee, R M Ballantyne, Rafael Sabatini, his own copy of Tom Brown’s Schooldays - to the histories and memoirs from which he distilled the essence of British imperial life, good and bad.

Mr MacDonald Fraser, who also wrote film scripts, once told an interviewer he settled in the island because the UK went ‘to the dogs’ years ago.

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