Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan

Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan

by Ursula Buchan


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John Buchan's name is known across the world for The Thirty-Nine Steps. In the past hundred years the classic thriller has never been out of print and has inspired numerous adaptations for film, television, radio and stage, beginning with the celebrated version by Alfred Hitchcock.

Yet there was vastly more to 'JB'. He wrote more than a hundred books – fiction and non-fiction – and a thousand articles for newspapers and magazines. He was a scholar, antiquarian, barrister, colonial administrator, journal editor, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, member of parliament and imperial proconsul – given a state funeral when he died, a deeply admired and loved Governor-General of Canada.

His teenage years in Glasgow's Gorbals, where his father was the Free Church minister, contributed to his ease with shepherds and ambassadors, fur-trappers and prime ministers. His improbable marriage to a member of the aristocratic Grosvenor family means that this account of his life contains, at its heart, an enduring love story.

Ursula Buchan, his granddaughter, has drawn on recently discovered family documents to write this comprehensive and illuminating biography. With perception, style, wit and a penetratingly clear eye, she brings vividly to life this remarkable man and his times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408870815
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 353,855
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Ursula Buchan studied modern history at New Hall, Cambridge, and horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She is an award-winning journalist and author, having written eighteen books and contributed regularly to the Spectator, Observer, Independent, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Telegraph and The Garden. She is a daughter of John Buchan's second son, William.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Childhood and Youth, 1875-1895 5

2 Oxford, 1895-1899 37

3 The Bar, Journalism and South Africa, 1900-1903 65

4 London, Courtship and Marriage, 1903-1907 99

5 London and Edinburgh, 1907-1914 141

6 The Great War, 1914-1918 169

7 Elsfield, 1919-1927 219

8 Elsfield and London, 1927-1935 269

9 Canada, 1935-1937 323

10 Canada, 1938-1940 365

Afterword 407

Notes 411

Select Bibliography 443

Acknowledgements 463

Index 467

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