Heywood Hill, the Mayfair bookshop owned by the Duke of Devonshire’s family, is launching Operation Flashman to introduce George MacDonald Fraser’s ‘peerlessly funny’ novels to a new generation. The campaign was launched by actor and Flashman fan Dominic West, who dressed up as the eponymous rotter. ‘We should cherish the author’s humour and ability to make history so enjoyable,’ says Mr West. ‘The books make me roar with laughter.’

Flashman first appeared in Tom Brown’s Schooldays and MacDonald Fraser adapted the character for his series of books about the 19th-century British army officer. The author was a customer of Heywood Hill and the bookshop has a sale of his working library from June 2 to July 31. For a catalogue or for details of a £500 prize draw, telephone Nicky Dunne on 020-7629 0647 or visit www.heywoodhill.com.

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