John Buchan

John Buchan

Anglo­Scottish novelist, statesman

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 Thirty­Nine Steps andGreenmantle, and his thrillers and short stories are all in print today. His historical novels are not quite so well known, although there are many cheap editions around, since Buchan came out of copyright briefly when British copyright law decreed a 50-year limit, and for a few glorious years you couldn't move in a British bookshop without tripping over a Buchan novel. But nothing stands still in law, and Buchan is now back in copyright, until 2010.

Buchan's historical novels deserve a far greater readership, as do his biographies and historical studies, still regarded as classics of scholarship. Buchan also wrote a textbook for accountants: The Law according to the Taxation of Foreign Income, possibly the only one of his works not to have a devoted readership (but see the Journal's excellent and extremely readable discussion of this title and Buchan's legal work by Michael and Isobel Haslett.

Confused echoes of New Model and even of the Warwick Gardens lectures were beginning to be heard from literary sources, and in July 1932 Ouspensky was nettled to find himself caricatured as ‘Professor August Moe’ in The Gap in the Curtain by John Buchan. Nevertheless this widening interest drew more members to the study groups, and ‘The Dell’ was relinquished as inadequate in the second week of September, when the Ouspenskys were lent ‘Little Gaddesden’, a large Victorian mansion in seven acres of land near Hayes in Kent. (