Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget Flashman is a fictional character based upon the character "Flashman" (a bully) in "Tom Brown's Schooldays." Expelled from Rugby for drunkenness, and none too welcome at home after seducing his father's mistress, the young anti-hero embarks on a military career with Lord Cardigan's Hussars. After marrying below his station, Flashman is forced to resign, but given another option: to make his reputation in India. By showing off his language and riding skills in India, Flashman is given still another assignment: to the worst frontier of the British Empire at that time, Afghanistan. En route to Afghanistan, he hones his skills as a soldier, duelist, imposter, coward and amorist before being pressed into reluctant service as a secret agency. His Afghan adventures include the retreat from Kabul, Last Stand at Gandamak and the Siege of Jalalabad, in the First Anglo-Afghan War. Despite being captured, tortured, and escaping death numerous times, and hiding and shirking his duty as much as possible, he comes through it all alive and with a hero's reputation.