The Thirty-nine Steps

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Oxford University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 119 pages
John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps while he was seriously ill at the beginning of the First World War. In it he introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an 'ordinary fellow', is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and spy-ring alike, and must outwit his intelligent and pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious thirty-nine steps. The best-known of Buchan's thrillers, The Thirty-Nine Steps has been continuously in print since first publication and has been filmed three times. In this, the only critical edition, Christopher Harvie's introduction interweaves the writing of the tale with the equally fascinating story of how John Buchan, publisher and lawyer, came in from the cold and, via The Thirty-Nine Steps, ended the war as spymaster and propaganda chief.
 

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Contents

The Man who Died
7
The Milkman Sets Out on his Travels
19
The Adventure of the Literary Innkeeper
25
The Adventure of the Radical Candidate
37
The Adventure of the Spectacled Roadman
48
The Adventure of the Bald Archaeologist
57
The DryFly Fisherman
72
The Coming of the Black Stone
83
The ThirtyNine Steps
91
Various Parties Converging on the Sea
98
Explanatory Notes
112
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada. Christopher Harvie is at University of Tubingen.

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