John Buchan, 1875-1940



John Buchan was born in Scotland in 1875. He went to two universities, first Glasgow and then Oxford, where he gained the Newdigate Prize for poetry. He published nearly 30 novels and seven collections of short stories.His life after that was a busy one as a private secretary in South Africa, an officer in the First World War and a Member of Parliament in 1927. During World War I Buchan was a war correspondent before joining the army and, while ill in bed in 1914 during the first months of the war, he wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps. Alfred Hitchcock's film version of the story, made in 1935, is ranked as one of the director's best works. 

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Fiction, mystery and detective novels
In this novel spy-catcher Richard Hannay has all the qualities of a hero, who can defend the English way of life against foreign thread. He is a 37-year-old wealthy Scot, who meets an American journalist, named Scudder, who tells of an international assassination plan. Scudder is murdered, and Hannay realizes that he is the prime suspect. He flees to Scotland, and hides there from the police and the foreign conspirators and other anarchists. Hannay guesses that Scudders's cryptic note ("Thirty-nine steps - I counted them - High tide 10:17 p.m.") refers to the location of the anarchists' beach house. The conspirators are arrested. It is an exciting adventure with narrow escapes and the last-minute solution of a deep mystery.

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