The 39 Steps

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Overview

John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps while he was seriously ill at the beginning of the First World War. In it he introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an 'ordinary fellow', is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and spy-ring alike, and must outwit his intelligent and pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious thirty-nine steps....
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The 39 Steps

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Overview

John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps while he was seriously ill at the beginning of the First World War. In it he introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an 'ordinary fellow', is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and spy-ring alike, and must outwit his intelligent and pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious thirty-nine steps. The best-known of Buchan's thrillers, The Thirty-Nine Steps has been continuously in print since first publication and has been filmed three times. In this, the only critical edition, Christopher Harvie's introduction interweaves the writing of the tale with the equally fascinating story of how John Buchan, publisher and lawyer, came in from the cold and, via The Thirty-Nine Steps, ended the war as spymaster and propaganda chief.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Richard Hannay is, like his American brother Philip Marlowe, a modern knight errant. Charging through a hypocritical world, he is a seeker after truth with a boundless love of nature, a liking for simple pleasures and a hatred of pettiness and snobberies... Buchan's novels are eerily resonant with today's troubles...Hannay is a hero of all times."
Observer

"Buchan makes superb use of wild landscapes in this economical and gripping story."
The Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781161455694
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/23/2010
  • Pages: 100
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN BUCHAN was born in Perth in 1875, the son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister, and educated at Glasgow. He gained a first at Oxford University, where he began writing, producing two volumes of essays, four novels and two collections of stories and poems before the age of twenty-five. He worked briefly as a lawyer, then served as a private secretary in the colonial administration of South Africa after the Boer War. During the war he worked both as a journalist and at Britain's War Propaganda Bureau, eventually becoming Director of Information. He published his most popular novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps, in 1915, and it has never since been out of print. In 1935 Buchan was elevated to the peerage, becoming Baron Tweedmuir of Elsfield, and later that year was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V. He died on February 11, 1940.

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