This is a fast-moving and exciting yarn which develops following Richard Hannay's accidental entanglement with a group of German spies in the years preceding First World War. The book was published in 1915. It has all the thrill of a schoolboy adventure with a cracking pace to boot. The reader is never bored. There are no silly romances to detract from the main plot (unlike the film adaptations) and this goes to make it a real boy's book. Buchan's description of the Scottish countryside, his knowledge of South Africa and England draws on his personal experience of these places. Richard Hannay, the hero, is intelligent, worldly-wise, physically fit, strongly patriotic and, above all, astute. He uses personal contacts to cut through the red tape and stiffness of a bureaucracy which ties up Government and for which he has no time as he fights the foe, wins the day and saves the country. He comes across as the friend we always wanted to have and possesses a character we feel inclined to emulate. John Buchan was a committed Christian who, as well as being a writer, enjoyed a very successful diplomatic career. He was made 1st Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935 when he became His Excellency the Right Honorable the Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia and Naval and Air Forces of Canada. He was born in August 1875 in Scotland and died February 1940.