The Clearing House
A Survey of One's Mind
This anthology of extracts from Buchan’s writings is well worth reading for its historical range and wide selection of subjects close to the author’s heart. Alongside portraits of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Virgil, Cromwell and Sir Walter Scott, to name but five, are lyrical descriptions of landscapes. Buchan’s love for the great outdoors comes to the fore in his account of the African veld and in the more domestic Wood, Sea and Hill. There are also short essays on fishing, shooting and golf, among other sports.
Author biography:John Buchan John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist. He wrote adventure novels, short-story collections and biographies.
His passion for the Scottish countryside is reflected in much of his writing. Buchan's adventure stories are high in romance and are peopled by a large cast of characters. 'Richard Hannay', 'Dickson McCunn' and 'Sir Edward Leithen' are three that reappear several times.
Alfred Hitchcock adapted his most famous book 'The Thirty-Nine Steps', featuring Hannay, for the big screen.
Born in 1875 in Perth, Buchan was the son of a minister. Childhood holidays were spent in the Borders, for which he had a great love. He was educated at Glasgow University and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was President of the Union. Called to the Bar in 1901, he became Lord Milner's assistant private secretary in South Africa. By 1907, however, he was working as a publisher with Nelson's. During the First World War Buchan was a correspondent at the Front for 'The Times', as well as being an officer in the Intelligence Corps and advisor to the War Cabinet.
Elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for one of the Scottish Universities' seats in 1927, he was created Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935. From then, until his death in 1940, he served as Governor General of Canada, during which time he nevertheless managed to continue writing.