by John Buchan
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'John Buchan was the first to realise the enormous dramatic value of adventure in familiar surroundings happening to unadventurous men' – Graham Greene
Buchan’s favourite of all his novels, Witch Wood deals with the hypocrisy that can lie beneath god-fearing respectability. The book is set in the terrifying times of the first half of the seventeenth century when the Church of Scotland unleashed a wave of cruelty and intolerance. Minister Sempill witnesses devil worship in the ’Witch Wood’ and is persecuted.
John Buchan was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist, born in Perth in 1875. He published nearly 30 novels and seven collections of short stories. 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.
Allan Massie is a journalist and author of seventeen highly praised novels. Born in Singapore in 1938, he was brought up in Aberdeenshire and educated at Glenalmond School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the Booker Prize. He is married, has three children and lives in the Scottish Borders.