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Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: Ursula Buchan in conversation with Adam Begley on her life of John Buchan, and the art of writing biography.

1st August 2019
Venue: St Peter's Church, North St, Oundle PE8 4AL
Time: 7.45pm

Written with unprecedented access to documents, papers and photographs held by Buchan’s family, Ursula Buchan brings her grandfather John Buchan to life in a major new biography of the man who created the modern spy thriller.

John Buchan's name is known across the world for The Thirty-Nine Steps. In the past one hundred years the classic thriller has never been out of print and has inspired numerous adaptations for film, television, radio and stage, beginning with the celebrated version by Alfred Hitchcock.

Yet there was vastly more to 'JB'. He wrote more than a hundred books - fiction and non-fiction - and a thousand articles for newspapers and magazines. He was a scholar, antiquarian, barrister, colonial administrator, journal editor, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, member of parliament and imperial proconsul - given a state funeral when he died, a deeply admired and loved Governor-General of Canada.

His teenage years in Glasgow's Gorbals, where his father was the Free Church minister, contributed to his ease with shepherds and ambassadors, fur-trappers and prime ministers. His improbable marriage to a member of the aristocratic Grosvenor family means that this account of his life contains, at its heart, an enduring love story.

Ursula Buchan, his granddaughter, has written this comprehensive and illuminating biography. With perception, style, wit and a penetratingly clear eye, she brings vividly to life this remarkable man and his times.

Ursula is an award-winning journalist and author, having written eighteen books and contributed regularly to the Spectator, Observer, Independent, SundayTelegraph, DailyTelegraph and The Garden.

Adam Begley is the author of two acclaimed biographies: Updike (2014) and The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera, (2017).

He was the books editor of the New York Observer from 1996 to 2009 and has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography.

Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before 25th July, available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle.

Open hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Mon to Fri: Tel 01832 274734, online at www.oundlefestival.org.uk

Any queries call Helen on 07743988181 or email oundlelitfestival@hotmail.co.uk