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Midwinter by John Buchan
  

Midwinter

Historical Fiction   Action Adventure / Spy   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

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Regarded as one of the finest historical novels ever written, Jacobites, spies and thrilling intrigue are brought together by the master of suspense. As Bonnie Prince Charlie marches his army into England, his confidant Alastair Maclean is despatched on a secret mission. As he travels to rally the west of England to the Prince's cause, it begins to look as if someone is leaking information to the Government forces putting the campaign in peril. can Alastair find the spy and save his Prince, his cause and even just his own life?

From the Introduction by Stuart Kelly in Midwinter:

'Midwinter may move with the pace and vigour of one of Buchan's shockers, but it is a more mature and sophisticated novel, both morally astute and emotionally complicated. The reader knows the outcome in advance - rather than the 'if' of the thrillers, Buchan explores the 'how' and the 'why' of the historical novel. It also lends a quiet irony to many of the characters' aspirations and exchanges: Alastair's final epiphany is of 'the ironic pattern of life spread out beneath, as a man views a campaign from a mountain, and he came near to laughter - laughter with an undertone of tears'. J.B. Priestley once complained that Buchan's steady stream of popular fiction distracted him from writing a truly great novel: Midwinter shows exactly what he was capapble of as a novelist. But most of all, Midwinter is the finest tribute to the English landscape, English customs and English character ever penned by a Scotsman.'

Synopsis

Midwinter by John Buchan

Regarded by many critics as one of the finest historical novels ever written, Midwinter tells the tale of Alastair Maclean, confidant of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who embarks on a secret mission to raise support for the Jacobite cause in the West of England.

Reviews

'Buchan knew that you can't buck the consequences of your actions, and that your life is what you make of it. Perhaps his peculiarly Scottish combination of Romanticism and Calvinism - daring living and high thinking - is due to return to fashion.' - The Independent Magazine

About the Author

John Buchan

John Buchan led a truly extraordinary life: he was a diplomat, soldier, barrister, journalist, historian, politician, publisher, poet and novelist. He was born in Perth in 1875, the eldest son of a Free Church of Scotland minister, and educated at Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow University then took a scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford. During his time there – ‘spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery’ – he wrote two historical novels.

In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa. In 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor; they had three sons and a daughter. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and a Conservative MP, Buchan – now Sir John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield - moved to Canada in 1935 where he had been appointed Governor-General.

Despite poor health throughout his life, Buchan’s literary output was remarkable – thirty novels, over sixty non-fiction books, including biographies of Sir Walter Scott and Oliver Cromwell, and seven collections of short stories. In 1928 he won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Britain’s oldest literary prize for his biography of the Marquis of Montrose. Buchan’s distinctive thrillers – ‘shockers’ as he called them – were characterised by suspenseful atmosphere, conspiracy theories and romantic heroes, notably Richard Hannay (based on the real-life military spy William Ironside) and Sir Edward Leithen. Buchan was a favourite writer of Alfred Hitchcock, whose screen adaptation of The Thirty-Nine Steps was phenomenally successful.

John Buchan served as Governor-General of Canada until his death in 1940, the year his autobiography Memory Hold-the-door was published. His last novel Sick Heart River was published posthumously in 1941.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th August 2008

Author

John Buchan

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Author's Website

www.johnbuchansociety.co.uk...

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Publisher

Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General

Format

Paperback

Categories

Historical Fiction
Action Adventure / Spy
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ISBN

9781846970702

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