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Death of John Buchan

Posted in Anniversary, Literature on Monday, 31 January 2011

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11 February marks the anniversary of the death of Sir John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, governor-general of Canada and novelist, in 1940.

picture, John Buchan, Prester John, Africa, natives

A scene from John Buchan’s Prester John in which David Crawfurd’s dog intervenes to save his master’s life

Buchan, born in Perth, Scotland, in 1875. He  held many diplomatic and political posts in South Africa and was MP for the Combined Scottish Universities. However, it is as a novelist that he is remembered today. His first thriller, Prester John, set the tone for the adventure novels he continued to write throughout his career. His best-known creation was Richard Hannay, whom Buchan based on a friend from South Africa. Hannay appeared in a number of Buchan’s finest works, which include The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Power House, Greenmantle, Mr Standfast, Huntingtower and Midwinter.

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