Under Two Flags (novel)

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First edition title page

Under Two Flags (1867) was a best-selling novel of the late 1860s by Ouida. Perhaps "her best" novel.[1]


The novel is about The Hon. Bertie Cecil (nicknamed Beauty of the Brigades).[2][3]

At the beginning of the novel, Bertie has strong homoerotic ties to his best friend and servant.

He exiles himself to Algeria where he joins the Chasseurs d'Afrique, a regiment comprising soldiers from various countries, rather like the French Foreign Legion.

Bertie's "inconvenient" admirers are erased, with the result that Bertie is converted to a person whose identity is socially acceptable.[4]


The book has also served as a basis for a number of stage and film adaptations.

Classics Illustrated # 86 Under Two Flags is an excellent adaptation with outstanding comic art by Maurice del Bourgo.



  1. ^ http://www.ulib.niu.edu/badndp/ramee_louise.html
  2. ^ http://fp.arizona.edu/mesassoc/Bulletin/35-2/35-2Driss.htm
  3. ^ The Forgotten Female Aesthetes: Literary Culture in Late-Victorian England, by Talia. Schaffer; pp. x + 298. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press
  4. ^ Schaffer, Talia. "Under Two Flags". The Literary Encyclopedia. 24 January 2002. accessed 1 July 2009.
  5. ^ Mantle, Burns, and Garrison P. Sherwood, eds., The Best Plays of 1899-1909, (Philadelphia: The Blakiston Company), 1944, pp. 387-388.