Flashman at the Charge

Flashman at the Charge by Frank Frazetta

We haven’t had any artwork on the Spank Statement lately so let’s take a look at this striking picture by fantasy artist/illustrator Frank Frazetta which is dated 1974.

There is a 2012 pastiche by Ferdinand Kreozot, and it’s quite fun to play Spot the Difference.

another_frazetta_practice_by_ferdinandkreozot-d4ncvm7

Kreozot has cartoonified most of the details and added Flashman’s other boot. I prefer the original but the modern version looks even more like he is spanking her rather than just holding her in place. Of course, Frazetta’s painting is itself a pastiche of old paintings of The Charge of the Light Brigade – probably this one of Lord Cardigan leading the charge by Henry Payne.

lord-cardigan-charges

Flashman at the Charge was the title of a 1973 novel by George MacDonald Fraser and Frazetta’s painting appeared on the cover of the Signet paperback edition.

Flashman at the Charge -  Signet

The girl is presumably Valla the beautiful Russian daughter of Count Pencherjevsky and Flashman’s lover in the novel. The Flashman stories are based on the adult adventures of the bully from Tom’s Brown Schooldays so we know the character was very familiar with corporal punishment. He doesn’t spank Valla but she has an aunt Sara who teaches Flash how to enjoy a Russian bath. “A sovereign remedy against our long winters”, Sara claims as she entices him into a hot steam tryst. After a passionate bout with the “saucy little flirt”, which includes a traditional birch whipping, Flashy declares her to be “undoubtedly my favourite aunt”.

Frank Frazetta Art Museum

Ferdinand Kreozot

5 thoughts on “Flashman at the Charge”

  1. Hi – It has been quite awhile since I have stopped by, but glad I did!
    Nice post. I was noticing that the artwork for the book cover vs. Frazetta’s painting are actually different. If you compare the girls face and hair they are not identical.

    Best,
    Enzo

  2. Hi, thanks for taking the time to show your appreciation and glad you liked the post. It looks like they cut her hair back to make room for the splash point highlighting the Playboy Novel of the Year award. The book was serialised in Playboy and I think the picture might have been used in that magazine first as an illustration.

    Although Frazetta did many book covers, his pictures never matched up with any incidents in the actual stories. Apparently no one ever complained about this!

    Hope it won’t be too long before you re-visit the site again!

  3. I wonder if it was the other way around; the book cover illustration came first and then the magazine illustration came after. Plus, after re-reading your post the book is dated 1973 and the illustration dated 1974 that may well be the case. A nice little puzzle to solve. Thanks!

  4. You may well be right but we don’t know for sure that this particular edition of the book came out in 1973. If you google the title there are numerous different imprints all with different covers.

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