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John Buchan - Author

About the Author

John Buchan led a truly extraordinary life: he was a diplomat, soldier, barrister, journalist, historian, politician, publisher, poet and novelist. He was born in Perth in 1875, the eldest son of a Free Church of Scotland minister, and educated at Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow University then took a scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford. During his time there – ‘spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery’ – he wrote two historical novels.

In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa. In 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor; they had three sons and a daughter. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and a Conservative MP, Buchan – now Sir John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield - moved to Canada in 1935 where he had been appointed Governor-General.

Despite poor health throughout his life, Buchan’s literary output was remarkable – thirty novels, over sixty non-fiction books, including biographies of Sir Walter Scott and Oliver Cromwell, and seven collections of short stories. In 1928 he won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Britain’s oldest literary prize for his biography of the Marquis of Montrose. Buchan’s distinctive thrillers – ‘shockers’ as he called them – were characterised by suspenseful atmosphere, conspiracy theories and romantic heroes, notably Richard Hannay (based on the real-life military spy William Ironside) and Sir Edward Leithen. Buchan was a favourite writer of Alfred Hitchcock, whose screen adaptation of The Thirty-Nine Steps was phenomenally successful.

John Buchan served as Governor-General of Canada until his death in 1940, the year his autobiography Memory Hold-the-door was published. His last novel Sick Heart River was published posthumously in 1941.

Featured books by John Buchan

Other books by John Buchan

39 Steps, The

39 Steps, The

Author: John Buchan Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2016

The Thirty Nine Steps

The Thirty Nine Steps

Author: John Buchan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/04/2014

Thirty-Nine Steps, The

Thirty-Nine Steps, The

Author: John Buchan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2013

Richard Hannay is bored with life in London. Then he discovers a horrible crime, and finds himself in the middle of a clever and frightening plot. Can he find the proof he needs to save Great Britain from disaster? When Hannay hides out on the wild Scottish moors, will he escape from the dangerous gang who want to silence him forever? Who can he trust on his journey? Time is running out for Hannay and his friends. Will he be able to discover the secret of the thirty-nine steps before it is too late?

39 Steps, The

39 Steps, The

Author: John Buchan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2012

The Thirty-Nine Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps

Author: John Buchan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/1999

Richard Hannay''s ennui comes to an abrupt end when a murder is committed in his flat. Only a few days before the dead man had revealed to him an assassination plot which would have terrible consequences for international peace.'

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