Thistle Publishing

The Complete Short Stories - Volume Three


The stories in this third and final volume of John Buchan’s complete short stories were written between 1912 and his death in 1940. These are the stories published when Buchan was at the height of his fame. Eight of them appear here for the first time as part of his oeuvre.


Several of the stories in this collection are drawn from Buchan’s experiences as a war correspondent in the First World War, first on the Western Front and then running wartime propaganda, but they are very varied in subject and treatment.


The stories range from Richard Hannay’s eerie tale set in the Transvaal and the Duke of Burminster’s comic adventure in the Scottish Borders to Edard Leithen’s tangle with South American revolutionaries in central London and Oliver Pugh’s journey of discovery in ‘the Sachischen Sweitz’. Also included are two of Buchan’s children’s stories, ‘The Magic Walking Stick’ and ‘The Strange Adventures of Mr Andrew Hawthorn’.


John Buchan has the gift of all great story tellers of making the reader want to turn the page to see what happens next. Inevitably, some of his stories, written to a deadline, are merely workmanlike but some have the mark of greatness: the ability to stay in the mind of the reader long after the story has been read.



Reviews of the three volumes of John Buchan 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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