PLAYBOY & FLASHMAN

 

Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of people who told me their introduction to Flashman came through Playboy.  Flashman appeared along side recipes for cocktails and smoked salmon, interviews with great sportsmen and politicians, political and satirical analysis of the Vietnam war, recruitment and the use of drugs; also Ian Flemming’s James Bond, Fredrick Forsyth’s thrillers and or course the lovely bunny of the month - clearly Playboy has changed a lot since the seventies.

George Macdonald Fraser collected two Playboy awards for Fiction and “Flashman at the Charge” was voted Playboy novel of the year.

I recently asked George if he went to the Playboy mansion to collect is rewards, but he declined, instead his American Agent, a proud upstanding New Englander of fine repute and spotless character went to the mansion to collect awards, meet Heff, and the bunnies.  The agent has never yet confessed even to George what happened.

 

Flashman remains to live up the same image of 19th  “Playboy”  - dandy, cad, bounder, plunger, beau, pleasure seeker, rake, sport, swinger, whorehound, Casanova, heartbreaker, ladies' man, lady-killer, libertine, Lothario, philanderer, Prince Charming, rake, Romeo, seducer, stud, woman chaser, debauchee, while also being a soldier, an officer and gentlemen, a proud cavalryman, a Hussar and above all a report, a satirist, memoirist, correspondent, journalist, eye, ferret, fink, eavesdropper-to-history-in-the-making and legman-to-history’s hidden truth! Flashman was England’s first and greatest Playboy!

THE SERIALISATIONS 

Playboy Serialised 'Flashman at the Charge' in 1973 in the April, May and June issues.

The serialisation is unabridged, including most of the notes and appendixes and features a few interesting illustrations, collages from various paintings and pictures to depict a period montage of the Charge and Crimea.

'Flashman in the Great Game' appeared in 1975 in the September, October, November issues.

This time the story features some commissioned illustrations such as the Temple scene (See above) where Flashman seduces Mrs Leslie which are in keeping with Flashman, colourful and humorous.  The November 1975 issue also features a full page ad for 'The Royal Flash movie'. Other fiction includes ribald classics, various satires and Frederick Forsyth's 'No Comebacks'.

Playboy back issues are collectible, these issues for Flashman fans are worth while looking out for.

 If Flashman has his origins in the late Sixties and Seventies, Playboy had its heyday then. Unlike the magazines of today these magazines are thick weighty volumes containing two or three serialisations.  Interviews and of course girls - I beg your pardon 'Bunnies'!

Vintage Playboy price guide: Fair £5, Good £10, or Mint £15 each - or more as collected sets.

The condition varies and it always worth asking what condition a magazine is in before you [email protected] Also if you are collecting it is worth noting the US and UK edition are one month out step.

 

REVIEWING PLAYBOY!

Well this was certainly an interesting assignment! The girls aside Playboy in the seventies were highly entertaining.  There is plenty of fashion, Men's that is - the women don't wear much that I can comment on!  Lots of flares and adverts for Hi-fi’s which require extremely sturdy sideboards and if you like cars wonderful ads for 70’s Dodges! The issues featuring Flashman also feature some very interesting interviews.

April '73 features an interview with Tennesse Williams, May '73 Canndid Conversation with Walter Cronkite, veteran broadcaster. October '75 chat with Cher and November '75 features Muhammad Ali mouthing off! With all this in-depth discussion you would be surprised there is room left for the girls - (sorry Bunnies!) but worry not there are plenty!

 

The "off-White" Playboy Rabbit used by the Flashman Society as one of it's logo is based on the first edition of Brier Rabbit that bodacious critter with his jaunty airs, and cocky attitude, here seen smoking a cheroot!

 

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