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John Buchan - SAVE 40%!

John Buchan - SAVE 40%!

The Presbyterian Cavalier

by Andrew Lownie

Regular price $11.50 USD
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Product Details


ISBN: 978-1-56792-236-3
Pages: 368
Size: 6" x 9"
Published: June 2003
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Readers whose familiarity with John Buchan's life and work ends on the closing page of Mr. Standfast or at the final frame of Hitchcock's "The Thirty-Nine Steps" may find it difficult to believe that their author, beyond his position as the acknowledged father of the modern spy thriller, led a life that ranged widely across the landscape of British politics and culture.

Buchan's literary career, one that started almost as an afterthought, was astonishing, comprising a hundred titles that ranged from the thrillers for which he is best known to children's books, from biographies to romances, from poetry to screenplays. But Buchan's literary output represented only a fraction of his life experience; he moved in the uppermost reaches of British political, military, and cultural affairs, acting as speechwriter and confidant to two prime ministers, and counting luminaries as varied as Virginia Woolf, Robert Graves, and T. E. Lawrence as his colleagues and friends. He served as director of information during World War I and later as a member of Parliament, ending his long career as the beloved governor general of Canada.

Andrew Lownie's biography—the first in over thirty years—reveals a character as complex and fascinating as any in his great quartet of thrillers starring master spy Richard Hannay. He succeeds in the daunting task of retelling Buchan's life in all its variety, breadth, and complexity. Based on exhaustive research, this admirable biography produces a comprehensive portrait of one of the last century's most engaging and fascinating figures.

Andrew Lownie offers a solid and convincing portrait of a complex man and controls the innumerable aspects of Buchan's life in an exemplary manner. —Times Literary Supplement
Admirably readable, this book will be invaluable to those who are now encountering Buchan's work for the first time. Lownie's lucid account of Buchan's life redefines the man as infinitely more complex than he thought he was. —John Sutherland, Sunday Times
Trumpets should now sound for Buchan; and I will sound one of my own for Andrew Lownie, who has brought this most extraordinary man to life in a way no previous writer has. —Patrick Cosgrove, Independent
In his thorough and lucid biography, Andrew Lownie, a Scottish journalist and editor of several collections of Buchan’s stories and poetry, sympathetically evokes this ‘highly complex and private man who may not always himself have understood his own motivations and abilities.’ —New York Times
Andrew Lownie
Andrew Lownie was born in 1961 and was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Edinburgh University, and the College of Law in London. Since 1984 he has written and reviewed for a range of newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Spectator, and Guardian. In 1998 he founded The Biographers' Club, a monthly dining society for biographers and those involved in promoting biography, and The Biographers' Club Prize which supports first-time biographers. He has a regular advice column in the writing magazine Words with Jam, writes an entry each year on submitting to agents for The Writers' Handbook, contributed to The Arvon Book of Life Writing, regularly gives talks on aspects of publishing, and runs the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency.