by John Buchan
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'Eat your heart out Jason Bourne' – Evening Standard
Introduced by Hew Strachan, Mr Standfast is the third of five Richard Hannay thrillers. Brigadier-General Richard Hannay is recalled from active service on the Western Front and tasked with a secret mission to catch a dangerous German agent who is at large in Britain. Travelling incognito, he infiltrates a community of conscientious objectors with the aim of ferreting out the spy. During this adventure, Hannay at last finds love – in the form of 18-year-old Mary Lamington.
Mr Standfast was recently chosen as a favourite book by comedian Alexander Armstrong for BBC 2's My Life in Books programme. Click here to see a clip of Alexander reading from Mr Standfast.
John Buchan was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist. He published nearly 30 novels and seven collections of short stories. He was born in Perth, an eldest son, and studied at Glasgow and Oxford. 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 and they subsequently had four children. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and Conservative MP, Buchan moved to Canada in 1935. He served as Governor General there until his death in 1940.
Hew Strachan is Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford; his research interests include military history from the 18th century to date, including contemporary strategic studies, but with particular interest in the First World War and in the history of the British Army.