The John Buchan Story

Peebles, Scottish Borders

Category: News (page 2 of 2)

Buchan’s work as propaganda chief explored in new exhibition – The Herald, 17 May 2018 by Phil Miller

HE was the Scottish writer of spy adventures and international intrigue.

Now the wartime propaganda work of John Buchan, creator of The Thirty Nine Steps, can be shown in a new light by a major new exhibition at the museum dedicated to his work.

Buchan, as well as being a world famous writer, directed wartime information for the government in the First World War, and a new study of his propaganda career shows how the writer worked in a atmosphere of intrigue and turmoil.

The new exhibition, at the John Buchan Story Museum in Peebles, delves into the work of Buchan, born in Perth in 1875, when he was Director of Information.

The show, compiled by Emma Small, a history graduate of the University of Sunderland, traces his work from 1916 to 1919 and shows how his position influenced his novel Mr Standfast, which was published in 1919.

The museum’s work was hindered by the “thorough” way Buchan destroyed nearly all his paperwork from his time at the Government.

Dr Peter Worthington, chair of the John Buchan Story, said the research showed that Buchan’s time as director was marred by opposition from the Daily Chronicle, a newspaper of the time and the ambitions of Sir Robert Donald, its editor.

The Chronicle ran from 1872 to 1930, and Sir Robert was on the advisory committee of the Department of Information, and made Buchan’s life difficult with his scheming for position.

Dr Worthington added: “What intrigued us was the very difficult relationship Buchan had with the Chronicle, and that its editor essentially wanted to do Buchan’s job.”

Buchan, he said, “never got on with Lloyd George”.

David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, who was a friend for a time with Donald, went on to buy the Chronicle.

“I think a lot of people of course known Buchan for his writing, but this exhibition casts a new light on his work in the war years,” he added.

“Without Emma’s contribution the current exhibition would not have been possible.

The John Buchan Society – July 2018 Newsletter

The latest, July 2018,  John Buchan Society’s Newsletter is now available.

Please click on the link below to read the pdf version.

JBS-July2018

 

 

Sunderland University – “The John Buchan Prize for best M.A. English Dissertation (November 2017)

On the 29 November 2017, Deborah Stewartby and Peter Worthington journeyed to Sunderland University to present the John Buchan Prize to Andrew (Andy) McCabe. This is the first time the prize has been awarded and we hope that over the years it will help to spread knowledge of John Buchan in the academic world.

 

Please click on the link below to read the press release from Sunderland University.

http://www.usonline.co.uk/news/39-steps-success

The Certificate signed by Lord Tweedsmuir and Steve Watts of Sunderland University

 

Andy dashing to be greeted by the Vice-Chancellor

 

                              

Lady Stewartby presenting the Certificate and prize to Andrew with his tutors, Colin and Alison Younger, and Peter Worthington  in the background

 

                      

Lady Stewartby and Andrew with Steve Watts (Head of the School of Culture) and Peter Worthington  in the background

 

Donation of books to Peebles High School

We recently hosted a group of pupils from Peebles High School, who had a good look around the Museum and learnt more about John Buchan.

They will be reading ‘The 39 Steps’ in their English class and we look forward to hearing about how they found it! Their last book was Macbeth, so this will be quite a contrast  (although both have suspense and intrigue?)

To help the school, the Museum was delighted to present them with a set of the books for them to use. Richard Hannay lives on!

“Huntingtower” – the Missing Film!

This 1927 film has long been lost. However, thanks to the National Library of Scotland we are able watch “SIR HARRY LAUDER VISITS THE REGENT PICTURE HOUSE, GLASGOW, TO VIEW HUNTINGTOWER” –- simply click HERE

              Harry Lauder as Dickson McCunn with the Gorbals Die-Hards in Huntingtower, 1927. During the filming, John Buchan visited the sets in Elstree and exchanged fishing stories with Harry Lauder.
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