George MacDonald Fraser OBE FRSL (1925–2008) was a Scottish author who wrote historical novels, non-fiction books and several screenplays. He is best known for the Flashman novels.
Fraser was born in Carlisle, England and his father passed on a love of reading and a passion for his Scottish heritage. He was educated at Carlisle Grammar School and Glasgow Academy. In 1943 he enlisted in The Border Regiment and served in the Burma Campaign and after completing his Officer Cadet Training Unit course was granted a commission into the Gordon Highlanders. He served with them in the Middle East and North Africa immediately after the war, notably in Tripoli. He was demobilised in 1947.
On returning to the UK he got a job as a trainee reporter on the Carlisle Journal and married another journalist, Kathleen Hetherington. They travelled to Canada, working on newspapers there, before returning to Scotland. Starting in 1953, Fraser worked for many years as a journalist at the Glasgow Herald newspaper, where he was deputy editor from 1964 until 1969. He briefly held the title of acting editor.
In 1966 he got the idea to turn Flashman, a fictional coward and bully originally created by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown's School Days (1857), into a hero, and he wrote a novel around the character's exploits. The book proved popular and led to a series of further novels. The film rights to Flashman were bought by Richard Lester, who was unable to get the film funded but hired Fraser to write the screenplay for The Three Musketeers in Christmas 1972. This was successful, and it launched Fraser as a screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for the movie Royal Flash (1975) and for the next 20 years alternated between writing novels and film scripts.
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