Mr. Standfast

John Buchan (1875 - 1940)

This is the third of Buchan's Richard Hannay novels, following The Thirty-nine Steps and Greenmantle. Set, like Greenmantle, during World War I, it deals Brigadier-General Hannay's recall from the Western Front, to engage in espionage, and forced (much to his chagrin) to pose as a pacifist. He becomes a South African conscientious objector, using the name Cornelius Brand. Under the orders of his spymaster, Sir Walter Bullivant, he travels in the book through England to Scotland, back to the Western Front, and ultimately, for the book's denouement, into the Alps. Those who know Greenmantle will meet some old friends again here, including Bullivant, the American John Blenkiron, the South African Peter Pienaar and others.

To quote Hannay's contemporary, Sherlock Holmes, “The game's afoot!” How will it come out? And though Hannay is no James Bond, might he perhaps be a literary ancestor of Ian Fleming's Agent Double-O Seven? Judge for yourself.

There are also a fair number of unpronounceable Gaelic names. A further warning: this book was published in 1919 and it reflects a certain number of standards and mores of the day. It is by no means free of racist remarks and attitudes, and it is quite clear that Hannay has no use for pacifists, socialists, feminists, overly intellectual professors, and so forth. How far Hannay's fictional views mirror those of Buchan himself, I could not possibly say. Buchan of course went on to become first Baron Tweedsmuir, and Governor-General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940 (if you go to his Wikipedia site, you can see him very unhappily attired in a Native American headdress. President Calvin Coolidge, photographed the same way in 1927, looked equally unhappy).
(Introduction by Nicholas Clifford)

Genre(s): Action & Adventure Fiction, Suspense, Espionage, Political & Thrillers, War & Military Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - The Wicket-Gate Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 02 02 - The Village Named Morality Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 03 03 - The Reflections of a Cured Dyspeptic Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 04 04 - Andrew Amos Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 05 05 - Various Doings in the West Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 06 06 - The Skirts of the Coolin Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 07 07 - I Hear of the Wild Birds Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 08 08 - The Adventures of a Bagman Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 09 09 - I Take the Wings of a Dove Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 10 10 - The Advantages of an Air Raid Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 11 11 - The Valley of Humiliation Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 12 12 - I Become a Combatant Once More Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 13 13 - The Adventure of the Picardy Chateau Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 14 14 - Mr. Blenkiron Discourses on Love and War Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 15 15 - St. Anton Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 16 16 - I Lie on a Hard Bed Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 17 17 - The Col of the Swallows Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 18 18 - The Underground Railway Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 19 19 - The Cage of the Wild Birds Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 20 20 - The Storm Breaks in the West Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 21 21 - How an Exile Returned to His Own People Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 22 22 - The Summons Comes for Mr. Standfast Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)