29 Facts About John Buchan


John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was a Scottish novelist, historian, and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation.


John Buchan eventually wrote propaganda for the British war effort during the First World War.


John Buchan was elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities in 1927, but he spent most of his time on his writing career, notably writing The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction.


In 1935, King George V, on the advice of Prime Minister R B Bennett, appointed Buchan to replace the Earl of Bessborough as Governor General of Canada, for which purpose Buchan was raised to the peerage.


John Buchan occupied the post until his death in 1940.


John Buchan was enthusiastic about literacy and the development of Canadian culture, and he received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.


John Buchan was brought up in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and spent many summer holidays with his maternal grandparents in Broughton in the Scottish Borders.

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John Buchan moved on to study Literae Humaniores at Brasenose College, Oxford, with a junior William Hulme scholarship in 1895, where his friends included Hilaire Belloc, Raymond Asquith, and Aubrey Herbert.


John Buchan won the Stanhope essay prize in 1897 and the Newdigate Prize for poetry the following year; he was elected as the president of the Oxford Union and had six of his works published.


John Buchan entered into a career in diplomacy and government after graduating from Oxford, becoming in 1901 the private secretary to Alfred Milner, who was then the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, Governor of Cape Colony, and colonial administrator of Transvaal and the Orange River Colony, putting John Buchan in what came to be known as Milner's Kindergarten.


In 1910, Buchan wrote Prester John, the first of his adventure novels, set in South Africa, and the following year he suffered from duodenal ulcers, a condition that later afflicted one of his fictional characters.


John Buchan continued to write fiction, and in 1915 published his most famous work, The Thirty-Nine Steps, a spy-thriller set just prior to the First World War.


The novel featured John Buchan's oft-used hero, Richard Hannay, whose character was based on Edmund Ironside, a friend of John Buchan from his days in South Africa.


In June 1916 John Buchan was sent out to the Western Front to be attached to the British Army's General Headquarters Intelligence Section, to assist with drafting official communiques for the press.


At Beaverbrook's request, John Buchan met with journalist and neo-Jacobite Herbert Vivian and admitted to Vivian that he was a Jacobite sympathiser.


John Buchan found himself profoundly affected by John Morley's Life of Gladstone, which Buchan read in the early months of the Second World War.


In 1933 and 1934, John Buchan was further appointed as the King George V's Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.


John Buchan then departed for Canada and was sworn in as the country's governor general in a ceremony on 2 November 1935 in the salon rouge of the parliament buildings of Quebec.


John Buchan was the first viceroy of Canada appointed since the enactment of the Statute of Westminster on 11 December 1931, and was thus the first to have been decided on solely by the monarch of Canada in his Canadian council.


John Buchan brought to the post a longstanding knowledge of Canada.


John Buchan had written many appreciative words about the country as a journalist on The Spectator and had followed the actions of the Canadian forces in the First World War when writing his Nelson History of the War, helped by talks with Julian Byng, before first visiting Canada in 1924.


John Buchan continued writing during his time as governor general, but he took his position as viceroy seriously, and from the outset made it his goal to travel the length and breadth of Canada, including to the Arctic regions, to promote Canadian unity.


John Buchan encouraged a distinct Canadian identity and national unity, despite the ongoing Great Depression and the difficulty it caused for the population.


John Buchan conveyed to Buckingham Palace and British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin Canadians' deep affection for the King, but the outrage to Canadian religious feelings, both Catholic and Protestant, that would occur if Edward married Simpson.


John Buchan's ashes were returned to the UK aboard the cruiser HMS Orion for final burial at Elsfield, the village where he lived in Oxfordshire.

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John Buchan was awarded the 1928 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography of the Marquess of Montrose, but the most famous of his books were the spy thrillers, and it is for these that he is best remembered.


The "last John Buchan" was the 1941 novel Sick Heart River, in which a dying protagonist confronts the questions of the meaning of life in the Canadian wilderness.


John Buchan wrote in the foreword to a booklet published to commemorate his visit: "I have now travelled over most of Canada and have seen many wonderful things, but I have seen nothing more beautiful and more wonderful than the great park which British Columbia has done me the honour to call by my name".


The criticism resolves into three main charges: John Buchan was a colonialist,.