John Buchan cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

John Buchan

Scottish politician and author (1875-1940)

1875   -   1940


country of citizenship: United Kingdom
languages spoken, written or signed: English
educated at: Brasenose College, University of Glasgow, Hutchesons' Grammar School
occupation: journalist, politician, novelist, writer, screenwriter, military personnel, biographer, science fiction writer, poet, barrister
award received: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Order of the Companions of Honour, King George VI Coronation Medal, honorary doctorate at the Laval University
position held: Governor General of Canada, Member of the House of Lords, Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Member of the 36th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 35th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 34th Parliament of the United Kingdom

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (; 26 August 1875 – 11 February 1940) was a British novelist, historian, and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation. After a brief legal career, Buchan simultaneously began his writing career and his political and diplomatic careers, serving as a private secretary to the administrator of various colonies in southern Africa. He eventually wrote propaganda for the British war effort during the First World War. He 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. He occupied the post until his death in 1940. 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. Modern critics have commented on the racist and anti-semitic attitudes displayed in his writing.
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