John Buchan (1875-1940) was born the son of a Calvinist presbyterian minister in eastern Scotland, and died Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada.
He was a classicist at Oxford, read for the Bar but
practiced only briefly before becoming a publisher, was a government administrator in South Africa
at the end of the Boer War, was a major contributor to The Spectator and war correspondent for The Times. He was also a Member of Parliament for the Scottish Universities and was His Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, twice
and Chancellor of Edinburgh University.
He married into aristocratic society, had four children and
was made a heritage peer on receiving the appointment of Governor-General of Canada in 1935. He was very popular in his Canadian service, travelling all over the country to meet the people and see the land, Arctic to US border, east to west, and made important political links with President Roosevelt of the United States. He died of a brain haemorrhage while shaving, shortly after signing Canada's entry into the Second World War.
The list of his published books is well over a hundred in number, and only about 40 of these are fiction. John Buchan is most famous for
The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, and his thrillers and short stories are all in print today. Buchan's historical novels deserve a far greater readership, as do his biographies and historical studies, still regarded as classics of scholarship.
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