John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a Scottish novelist and public servant who combined a successful career as an author of thrillers, historical novels, histories and biographies with a parallel career in public life. At the time of his death he was Governor-General of Canada.
Buchan was educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to South Africa in 1902 where he contributed to the reconstruction of the country following the Boer War. His love for South Africa is a recurring theme in his fiction.
On returning to Britain, Buchan built a successful career in publishing with Nelsons and Reuters. During the first world war, he was Director of Information in the British government. He wrote a twenty-four volume history of the war, which was later abridged.
Alongside his busy public life, Buchan wrote superb action novels, including the spy-catching adventures of Richard Hannay, whose exploits are described in The Thirty-Nine Steps, Greenmantle, Mr. Standfast, The Three Hostages, and The Island of Sheep.
Apart from Hannay, Buchan created two other leading characters in Dickson McCunn, the shrewd retired grocer who appears in Huntingtower, Castle Gay, and The House of the Four Winds; and the lawyer Sir Edward Leithen, who features in the The Power-House, John Macnab, The Dancing Floor, The Gap in the Curtain and Sick Heart River.
From 1927 to 1935 Buchan was Conservative M.P. for the Scottish Universities, and in 1935, on his appointment as Governor-General to Canada, he was made a peer, taking the title Baron Tweedsmuir. During these years he was still productive as a writer, and published notable historical biographies, such as Montrose, Sir Walter Scott, and Cromwell.
When he died in Montreal in 1940, the world lost a fine statesman and story-teller.
The John Buchan Society was founded in 1979 to encourage continuing interest in his life, works and legacy. Visit the website (http://www.johnbuchansociety.co.uk) and follow the Society on Twitter (www.twitter.com/johnbuchansoc) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/johnbuchansociety).
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Buchan and Encyclopeadia Britannica
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.