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rendellers

Buchan

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rendellers

I've had had a delicious romp with Rupert Penry-Jones in The (rewritten) 39 Steps followed by the documentary on Buchan on BBC4. I have seen the other films of this book but had not realised until tonight what a prolific writer Buchan was or that he had had such a varied career. Are there any Pals out there who can comment on either. What I found fascinating is that these books were published throughout WW1 and selling in quantities that presumably meant they were read by those at the front line

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Pighills

We saw this too.

I'd seen the one previously with/by Alfred Hitchcock a long, long time ago (a mere child when I watched it) and had enjoyed it, so wanted to watch it again. OH had never seen it. we both enjoyed it immensely.

I also wanted to record the BBC4 programme on John Buchan but it clashed with other programmes already lined up - am hoping to catch it on I-player or a re-run. Was it any good?

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centurion

I always have problems with the various versions of the 39 steps that mangle the original story which I first read at age 8 (and then went on to devour the other Richard Hannay novels right up to the Island of Sheep before I was 10). Re read many times. One oft ignored novel worth a look is The Courts of the Morning which includes many of the characters from the Hannay novels (and at least one villain who later meets a sticky end in one of the Hannay novels) but not Hannay himself. Its a tale of revolution and derring do in South America. There are pre echos (if you can have such a thing) of the Columbian drug cartels. Much depends on aircraft.

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marina
I've had had a delicious romp with Rupert Penry-Jones in The (rewritten) 39 Steps followed by the documentary on Buchan on BBC4. I have seen the other films of this book but had not realised until tonight what a prolific writer Buchan was or that he had had such a varied career. Are there any Pals out there who can comment on either. What I found fascinating is that these books were published throughout WW1 and selling in quantities that presumably meant they were read by those at the front line

He was also a fine poet.

http://oldpoetry.com/oauthor/show/John_Buchan

Home Thoughts From Abroad is a Great War Poem with a killer ending.

Marina

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Stebie9173

Directly rleated to WW1, Buchan wrote a book of remembrance about six friends killed in WW1 - "These for Remembrance", published in 1919.

- Thomas Arthur Nelson, Tank Corps, KIA 9-4-1917

- Auberon Thomas Herbert, Lord Lucas, RFC, KIA 10-11-1916

- Cecil Rawling CMG, KIA at Hooge Chateau 23-10-1917 (godfather to Buchan's son Billy)

- Lord Basil Temple Blackwood, Grenadier Guards, KIA 3-7-1917

- John Stuart-Wortley, C.O. of 2/6th South Staffs, KIA 21-3-1918 (cousin of Buchan's wife)

- Raymond Asquith, Grenadier Guards, KIA 15-9-1916

Steve.

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CuriousLancastrian
I've had had a delicious romp with Rupert Penry-Jones in The (rewritten) 39 Steps followed by the documentary on Buchan on BBC4. I have seen the other films of this book but had not realised until tonight what a prolific writer Buchan was or that he had had such a varied career. Are there any Pals out there who can comment on either. What I found fascinating is that these books were published throughout WW1 and selling in quantities that presumably meant they were read by those at the front line

I have been a fan of John Buchan for a long time. The school I attended in the early sixties had a prize for English literature called the Robert Donat prize. I believe the actor Robert Donat had been a former pupil. Our aged English teacher in the second year a veteran of the first world war I believe taught Robert Donat English. John Buchan was on our reading list. Of course Robert Donat was Hannay in the Hitchcock version of 39 steps which is perhaps John Buchans most famous book. Our English teacher one of the best and kindest of teachers was also a passionate devotee of Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. All with WW1 connections. It is a long time since I've read any of John Buchans books but if my memory serves me correctly Greenmantle is as relevant today when viewed against some of the events occurring in recent times as it may have been when written. I'm convinced Robert Donat had based his portrayal of Mr. Chips in Goodbye Mr. Chips on our old English teacher. I will never know. It is I think correct to say that Robert Donat as an actor was part of the effort portraying Britain to the American public as a cause worth supporting in the early forties.

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MartinWills

You can also add the memoir of Francis & Riversdale Grenfell to his list of books, and one should not forget that he co-authored the history of the 15th Division.

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nigelcave
You can also add the memoir of Francis & Riversdale Grenfell to his list of books, and one should not forget that he co-authored the history of the 15th Division.

And also 'The South African Forces in France' ... and managed to fit in being Governor General of Canada as well.

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Derek Robertson

As Steve has already mentioned, "These for Remembrance" is a "must read". ISBN 0-907675-80-8

John Buchan's brother, Alastair, one of those remembered in the book, died at Arras in 1917.

And as Marina states, his poetry is amongst the best of the Great War and is well worth a read IMHO:

We’ll stop at the yet ayont the hicht

And drink great wauchts o’ the scented nicht,

While the hoose lamps kin’le raw by raw

And a yellow star hings ower the law.

Davie will lauch like a wean at a fair

And nip my airm to make certain shure

That we’re back frae yon place o’ dule and dreid,

To oor ain kind warld –

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Steven Broomfield

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Malcolm

The Fifteenth (Scottish ) Division 1914-1919

was by J Stewart and John Buchan

Aye

Malcolm

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geraint

I really didn't think that last night's 39 Steps did justice, and thought it a terrible production. What was that sleek bi-plane , with a synchronised front firing machinegun doing on a Scottish moor in August 1914? I switched off and had a cuppa.

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Stebie9173

And I was reliably informed that the train was on the wrong line, with the wrong livery, pulled by an engine from the wrong region, that wasn't going to be built for another 10-15 years.... ;)

Par for the course, however! :D

Steve.

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Gibbo

If we're starting the nit-picking, then Captain Vernon Kell really was the DG of MI5 but he was a Captain in the South Staffordshires, not the RN.

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David Filsell

It was quite the worst filmed version of 39 steps ever - a complete and utter travesty. Full of errors (aircraft, cars, fashions, behavior). Infact it was a complet c**k-up of a great story. Give me Donat every time, Moore second.

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marina
As Steve has already mentioned, "These for Remembrance" is a "must read". ISBN 0-907675-80-8

John Buchan's brother, Alastair, one of those remembered in the book, died at Arras in 1917.

And as Marina states, his poetry is amongst the best of the Great War and is well worth a read IMHO:

We’ll stop at the yet ayont the hicht

And drink great wauchts o’ the scented nicht,

While the hoose lamps kin’le raw by raw

And a yellow star hings ower the law.

Davie will lauch like a wean at a fair

And nip my airm to make certain shure

That we’re back frae yon place o’ dule and dreid,

To oor ain kind warld –

And the bit that gets me every time:

But Davie’s deid!

Nae mair gude nor ill can betide him.

We happit him doun by Beaumont toun,

And the half o’ my hert’s in the mools aside him.

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Steven Broomfield
I really didn't think that last night's 39 Steps did justice, and thought it a terrible production. What was that sleek bi-plane , with a synchronised front firing machinegun doing on a Scottish moor in August 1914? I switched off and had a cuppa.

I didn't bother to watch it. I read the previews in the ST and the Sunday Torygraph and they were enough to make me realise I'd get cross.

There has never been, and never will be, a better version than the Hithcock. Not because of its accuracy ( :lol: ), but because it's a damned fine film which kept the spirit of the book and, dare I say, improved it. I do wonder what Buchan thought of it, though. The Kenneth More version was a decent film, and the obert Powell one tried, but neither could better the Master.

A few months ago a group of us from work went to see the stage show, which was a spoof of the Hitchcock film, with a cast of four. Absolutely brilliant!

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geraint

Hmm! It's not nit-picking. Considering the budgets allocated its a fairly simple thing getting the period props right. It does detract. If something is worth doing; it should be done well, or not at all!

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rendellers

I enjoyed the tosh as I have long since learnt to live with inaccuracies.However I then wanted to watch the documentary and now want to read some more. Thank you for all your suggestions. Particularly interested as my grandfather was on the Arras area in 1917

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armourersergeant

Watched it and was plesantly surprised though did not like the end too much.

As for the docu I found it very informative.

As Steve has mentioned above he wrote a book to those friends he lost. One of which was Brigadier-General Rawling DSO, CMG, CIE a brave man, who was killed in action and along with Buchan was intent on scaling Everest in 1915. War got in the way. \I waited with baited breath but heard nothing of him, though really did not expect to, even though he was godfather to Buchan's son.

Only annoying thing? Wife told me it started at 8.30pm- annoyed was not the word as I love the start of the book the most. In fact I enjoyed the play on the theme for the most, though as I say did not like the end.

regards

Arm

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MartinWills

The play was a hilarious take on the original film and was touring the UK recently.

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Moonraker

In a feature in Radio Times that I glanced at, the makers admitted that the cars were too modern for the period and that the plane was a three-quarters version of a post-1914 design. Overall, the latest production was OK (but as with the Powell version there seemed to be a lot of tarmac in Scotland in 1914).

Film-makers have a very long tradition of featuring the wrong train in the wrong place in the wrong period. See John Huntley, Railways and the Screen.

Moonraker

PS I noticed that in the end scene - after war had broken out and he had jopined up - Hannay was wearing a couple of medal ribbons, presumably relating to his Boer War service; if so, this was a nice touch that some productions would have overlooked.

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centurion

One thing about the two main WW1 novels - Greenmantle and Mr Standfast. Buchan assumes a fair knowledge about the war and doesn't explain some things as he assumes the reader already knows - so some understanding of the situation around Ezerum makes the first of these much more understandable at the end whilst some idea about the German 1918 offensive is helpful for the second book

Incidentally in Mr Standfast reference is made to the Shark Gladdas aircraft with a brilliant performance but a completely unreliable engine. I suspect that this refers to one of the Dragon engined types that never made it into service (possibly the Bristol Badger). The public even then would be unaware of the Dragon engine scandal.

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Gibbo

Several John Buchan books, including The Thirty-Nine Steps, are available for free download from Project Gutenberg, although, since I saw The Thirty-Nine Steps for only £6.99 in Waterstones yesterday, I'll probably stick to the traditional format.

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Drover

Buchan was also apparently the author of the 24 volume "Nelson's History of the War" which was published as the war progressed. I've got most of the set although never yet got around to reading them.

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