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Title: The fiction of John Buchan with special reference to the Richard Hannay novels.
Author: Macdonald, Kate.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1772 0328
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1991
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ta this thesis I intend to show that although by the outbreak of the First World War John Buchan bad been a successful writer for twenty years his career underwent a vital change after 1915 and the success of his best-selling thriller The Thirty-line Steps. Chapter one analyses in detail the publishing history of The Thirty-line Steps, and the best-seller status of the early thrillers of John Buchan. Under four sub-headings, I examine the content of the sales figures and the readership of Buchan' s best-sellers, using primary source material from the publishers archives and from unpublished letters and memoirs from the First World War. I go on to discuss the reasons for the lasting popularity of The Thirty-line Steps. Buchan's new elements in that novel, and examine his role in the development of the thriller. In chapter two I look at two of Buchan's protagonists, contrasting his new hero of The Thirty-line Steps, Richard Hannay, with Sir Quixote of the Noors (1895) and the idea of the stranger in the familiar land. In chapter three, I examine Buchan's construction of narrative developing new narratological types to define Buchan' s growing complexities of narration in the Hannay novels. Chapter four explores Buchan' s use of characters, the different social worlds he developed for his three principal protagonists - Bannay, Leitben and Dickson McCunn - and the effect of recurrence in background characters. Buchan' c identity as a Scottish. writer i. discussed in chapter five, dealing with the Scottish Renaissance, vernacular poetry, Iailyard and Buchan's role as a public Scot. His fiction is examined with particular reference to the Scottish elements of language, history and religion. In chapter cix I look at Buchan's portrayal of the women characters in his fiction, particularly their roles as redeemers, spurs, and voices, counterpointing the Buchan heroes. In the conclusion, I reiterate the importance of the 1915 change in Buchan's writing, and how his novels were redirected towards the thriller. I show how the advent of his new thriller hero, liannay, was seminal in shaping the new genre. I conclude this thesis with fourteen appendices, including a close look at Buchan's supposed anti-Semitism. I give a new chronological bibliography of all Buchan's fiction incorporating several rediscovered Buchan short stories. X7 bibliographies cover fiction, non-fiction, and manuscript sources, with separate lists for the Buchan material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature