Captain Joshua Spade was an officer in the Royal Navy, working in Naval Intelligence, who resigned his commission under mysterious circumstances and emigrated to Indiana in the United States of America, accompanied by his wife Mary Brandon and two children Samuel and Mary. The circumstances of his life are discussed by Philip José Farmer in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, who comments that part of the mystery surrounding Captain Spade was the fact that he had been involved in some unspoken scandal connected to the hero of Afghanistan and the Crimea, Harry Flashman, and it was not till The Flashman Papers were released by George Macdonald Fraser that anyone could countenance Flashman being involved in anything sordid.

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