John Buchan

John Buchan | First Editions

1875 - 1940

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, GCMG, GCVO, CH, PC (26 August 1875 – 11 February 1940) was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician. Buchan served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation.

Buchan embarked upon his writing career at the same moment as his political and diplomatic careers, serving as a private secretary to the colonial administrator of various colonies in southern Africa. Indeed, Buchan produced propaganda for the British war effort in the First World War. When elected Member of Parliament  in 1927 for the Combined Scottish Universities, Buchan instead spent the majority of his time writing - in this period, he produced The Thirty-Nine Steps, and other adventure fiction.

In 1935, John Buchan was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V, upon recommendation from the Prime Minister of Canada, R. B. Bennett. He occupied the post until his death in 1940. Buchan proved to be a popular statesman, and was enthusiastic about the evolution of Canadian culture. In death, he received a state funeral in Canada, before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.

Buchan's 100 works include nearly thirty novels, seven collections of short stories, and biographies of Sir Walter Scott, Caesar Augustus, and Oliver Cromwell. The most famous of his books were the spy thrillers, for which he is now best remembered. 

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