Category Archives: Buchan, John

Who is Sir Edward Leithen?

 I first met John Robert Colombo, many years ago now; If I had to guess it would be 2003. I was hot on the trail of Thomas Patick Kelley a Toronto based Pulp story writer from the 1940’s and 1950’s, and he proved most helpful. We subsequently met with the granddaughter of Kelly’s landlady, and we are still working on a deal. Since Kelley died in 1982 nothing can be published without permission. Kelley had some interesting stories published in Weird Tales which would be worth republishing, but then again, permission would be needed. John Robert and I were sitting in his living-room discussing strategy, and John asked what other authors I was interested in, and I replied Stephen Leacock and John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir. And so a couple of years later here is the John Buchan project as it currently stands. There are five volumes in the project:

The Complete Adventures of Richard Hannay Vol. 1 (Buchan) ISBN 978-1-55246-???-?

Adventures of Mr. Dickson McCunn and Other Swashbucklers Vol. 3 (Buchan) ISBN 978-1-55246-???-?

The Historical Novels Vol. 4 (Buchan) ISBN 978-1-55246-???-?

Memory Hold-The-Door and Other Essays Vol. 5 (Buchan) ISBN 978-1-55246-???-? @

The Saga of Sir Edward Leithen

Volume 2. By John Buchan, with an introduction and essay by John Robert Colombo, Hard Cover Folio 390 pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-560-8 @$75.00

Lord Tweedsmuir created Richard Hanney

I have always admired the writings of John Buchan, and have watched the Adventures of Richard Hanney in “The Thirty-Nine Steps” more often than I shall admit to, in fact, I’m going to watch it again as I write this blog. Two points, Alfred Hitchcock did the original movie, and secondly the book version differs significantly from the film version, and it is the kind of book that once you start to read it, you won’t put it down. A third point Buchan’s sequel Greenmantle is even better.

John Buchan created a second character, Sir Edward Leithen whose travels and adventures spanned three continents in many novels and some short stories. My friend John Robert Colombo has written an essay to introduce this tomb once it is published. It does require another proof reading before going to press to expunge those testy scanning typos.

John Buchan in his other worldly incarnation was Lord Tweedsmuir and he was appointed by the King as The Governor General of Canada in 1936 and he died in office after a fall in 1941. It was Lord Tweedsmuir who initiated the Governor General’s Literary awards in 1937.

Stephen Leacock won this award for My Discovery of the West. There is a file folder in the Yosef Karsh fonds at National Archives labelled something to the effect “1937-Tweedsmuir-Leacock” which is unfortunately empty. I suspect Mr. Karsh was the photographer who immortalized Lord Tweedsmuir presenting Stephen Leacock with this award, but lacking the photographic evidence, I cannot prove it.There is a chapter on Alberta which describes in some detail a “have-not province” before the discovery of black gold at Leduc which I can recommend to you.

I continue to work on an omnibus edition of both Buchan and Leacock, but the problem is that so many other worthy projects are getting in the way.

I append below are two “Gallic” interpretations of Lord Tweedsmuir by Jean-Pierre Cagnat. I don’t think the author would have been fond of them, but J-P has an eye for detail which readers of Le Monde will already be familiar.