The young and dashing Brigadier Etienne Gerard of the Hussars of Conflans, "gay riding, plume tossing, debonair, the darling of the ladies," is by far the most entertaining character created by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Napoleon, Emperor of France is quoted as saying of him " if he has the thickest head he also has the stoutest heart in my army."
In other words this impeccably dressed young Hussar is both a figure of fun and a soldier of great courage.
Napoleon sends him on horrendously dangerous missions of "disinformation," certain that his devoted Brigadier will be made prisoner and surrender the documents he was entrusted with.
Lo and behold, Gerard is so brave and so lucky, that he beats all the odds. During his adventures, he is often helped by smitten maidens who succumb to his charm.
Reading The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard and The Adventures of Gerard, it becomes quite evident where George McDonald Frazer found the inspiration for his Flashman.
The Brigadier's time has not yet come, probably because the perfect actor who could do justice to this dashing young man, was never found.
However, his fans should not despair, for there might soon be good news to report on that subject.
List of books:
- The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard: published as a group: 1896, Self-related exploits of an officer of the Grande Armée
- How Brigadier Gerard Won his Medal, Strand, December 1894
- How the Brigadier Held the King, Strand, April 1895
- How the King Held the Brigadier, Strand, May 1895
- How the Brigadier Slew the Brothers of Ajaccio, Strand, June 1895
- How the Brigadier Came to the Castle of Gloom, Strand, July 1895
- How the Brigadier Took the Field Against the Marshal Millefleurs, Strand, August 1895
- How the Brigadier was Tempted by the Devil, Strand, September 1895
- How the Brigadier Played for a Kingdom, Strand, December 1895
- The Adventures of Gerard: published as a group: 1903, Further exploits of this obtuse but dashing hussard.
- The Crime of the Brigadier, Strand, January 1900, [Also titled How the Brigadier Slew the Fox; appears in Adventures publication]
- How Brigadier Lost his Ear, Strand, August 1902
- How the Brigadier saved the Army, Strand, November 1902
- How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk, Strand, December 1902
- Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo: The Adventure of the Forest Inn, Strand, January 1903
- Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo: The Adventure of the Nine Prussian Horseman, Strand, February 1903
- The Brigadier in England, Strand, March 1903, Also called How the Brigadier Triumphed in England
- How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans, Strand, April 1903
- How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to his Master, Strand, May 1903
- The Marriage of the Brigadier, Strand, September 1910, Uncollected story
Also available in the Brigadier Gerard range: