John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist. He wrote adventure novels, short-story collections and biographies. His passion for the Scottish countryside is reflected in much of his writing. Buchan's adventure stories are high in romance and are peopled by a large cast of characters. 'Richard Hannay', 'Dickson McCunn' and 'Sir Edward Leithen' are three that reappear several times. Alfred Hitchcock adapted his most famous book 'The Thirty-Nine Steps', featuring Hannay, for the big screen. Born in 1875 in Perth, Buchan was the son of a minister. Childhood holidays were spent in the Borders, for which he had a great love. He was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was President of the Union. Called to the Bar in 1901, he became Lord Milner's assistant private secretary in South Africa. By 1907, however, he was working as a publisher with Nelson's. During the First World War Buchan was a correspondent at the Front for 'The Times', as well as being an officer in the Intelligence Corps and advisor to the War Cabinet. Elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for one of the Scottish Universities' seats in 1927, he was created Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935. From then, until his death in 1940, he served as Governor General of Canada, during which time he nevertheless managed to continue writing.
Sir Walter Raleighby John Buchan
In his Introduction to this life of Sir Walter Raleigh, told in eleven stories, John Buchan writes ‘Sir Walter Raleigh is the most boyish hero in history. Till his head fell on the block he never lost his eager, generous interest in life. He was planning great adventures when other men are dull and middle-aged.’ Born in 1552, Raleigh was a man who took risks. Buchan admires this and covers his career as a brilliant courtier, soldier, sailor, great discoverer, statesman and scholar. He follows Raleigh’s progress from favourite of Elizabeth I to his fall from grace under James I, along with his three expeditions to America, and his failed expedition to the Orinoco in search of a goldmine which led to his execution in 1618.
- London : New York : Nelson
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