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The Complete Short Stories - Volume Two

The tales in this second volume of John Buchan's short stories were published between 1899 and 1913, the most active and interesting period of his life. This is reflected in the diversity of their locations, ranging from Scotland, London and the Aegean to Switzerland and Africa.

They draw on many of Buchan's own interests, such as mountaineering, the Classical world and politics; his fascination with the supernatural is now tempered with a satirical or comic twist. Many of the stories have long been unavailable in book form.

As well as being good stories in their own right they are particularly interesting to read in conjunction with the novels as they explore many of the same themes - notably the fragility of civilisation. Admirers of the novels will also enjoy meeting many characters and places whose first appearances in print were in these stories – in particular the Clanroyden family.

The stories in this volume are full of old friends beset by new dangers, seeking answers to mental and spiritual turmoil. They provide a gap in the curtain through which Buchan – a master story teller – can be seen at the height of his powers.

Praise for John Buchan — The Complete Short Stories:

‘Fans - and they are still numbered in tens of thousands - forget or do not even know that he had been a sort of infant prodigy. At Oxford he took on a literary agent and he achieved an entry in Who’s Who when he was only 23. That was on the strength of some of the writing represented in these reissues of his early short stories . . .‘ - Sunday Telegraph

‘Among the most successful authors of his generation . . .‘ - Connoisseurs Scotland

‘There is much in the book to interest and delight any Buchan addict.’ - Evening Standard

“Andrew Lownie has done a skilful job in editing them, and it is good to have the complete set.” Douglas Hurd, The Sunday Telegraph

“Here are riches indeed…they can stand in the same company as anything written by his contemporaries Walter de la Mare or AE Coppard.” Trevor Royle, Scotland on Sunday

‘If the novelist and writer of short stories, John Buchan, is enjoying something of a revival it is due in large part to his biographer, Andrew Lownie…This is a welcome addition to the library of British letters.’ The Contemporary Review

“…displays Buchan’s mastery of an art-form which has suffered sorely from the unholy alliance of paperback and television….this collection will be indispensable for any estimate of Buchan as a writer. The three introductions and the editorial notes are full of insights into Buchan’s techniques as well as his kindly but ironical sense of humour, his interests, emotions, and obsessions. ” The Herald

“…a reminder, not only of Scotland’s influence on Buchan’s imagination, but his talent as a writer of short stories, a notoriously difficult genre.” Literary Review

“…they should certainly be in the libraries of institutions where modern Scottish literature is part of the course…” Books in Scotland

“We find in these stories many of Buchan’s pet obsessions, like mountaineering, the art of disguise and the power of the temenos or sacred pagan grove.” The Spectator

“…there is much in the book to interest and delight any Buchan addict.” John Grigg, Evening Standard

“…the definitive Buchan collection…Any fan of Buchan would find these a delightful read.” Chapman Magazine

“This is a handsome and, for Buchan addicts, an indispensable addition to their shelves…editor Andrew Lownie’s introductions to each volume, and his notes on the genesis and publishing history of every story in the canon, are brief but scholarly, vitally informative without being partisan.” The John Buchan Journal

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