John Buchan

John Buchan was born in Perth on 26th August 1875.

His father was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.

Following a, more or less, usual education for those times, he went first, to Glasgow University and then Brasenose College, Oxford. Following that he trained as a barrister and was called to the bar in 1901.

He went to South Africa later in 1901 to assist in the re-structuring of that country in the wake of the Boer Wars but returned to England in 1903.

In July 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor. They had two children.

He worked as a literary adviser for the Nelson publishing house until the First World War, in which he served in the Intelligence Corps at first, and later in the Ministry of Information. After the war he became a Member of Parliament.

In 1935 he was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield and also appointed governor-general of Canada, a post which he held until his death.

On the 6th February 1940 in Montreal, he suffered a cerebral thrombosis and died 5 days later (aged 64).

Buchan was a writer throughout his life. Whatever his job, wherever he was, he continued writing. He authored over 100 books in total, covering a considerable range: history, biography, essays, and fiction. All of them well thought of by those best able to judge them. But it is for his fiction that he is most remembered by the public at large.

Some of his better-known 'shockers' are:
1915   The 39 Steps
1916   Greenmantle
1918   Mr. Standfast
1925   John Macnab

The 39 Steps has been filmed 3 times, 1935 (by Hitchcock), 1959, 1978, and (currently) one is proposed for 2005.

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