The granddaughter of Perth-born author John Buchan is calling on spy fans to reread his classic novel The Thirty-Nine Steps on the 100th anniversary of its publication.
Ursula Buchan says her grandfather does not need impressive statues in his honour but she believes the best tribute to the author would be reading the book on its anniversary and “falling in love” with the story all over again.
Ursula, 62, herself a respected author and historian, said: “From the day The Thirty-Nine Steps was published in book form on October 19 1915 it has never been out of print. It has become a true classic not many books have remained in print for 100 years.
“But each new generation needs to be introduced to my grandfather’s work, while those who have read The Thirty-Nine Steps, I would encourage to go back and read it again.
“Sir Walter Scott, a writer my grandfather greatly admired, has an impressive statue in Edinburgh but John Buchan’s books are his memorial monument.”
Buchan, who was born in Perth and grew up in Fife, Glasgow and the Borders, wrote the classic novel in 1914 while ill in bed with a duodenal ulcer.
He took just six weeks to write the spy thriller, which proved a huge success with everyone including soldiers in the trenches during the First World War.
The book is seen as one of the first examples of a “man on the run” thriller.
Ursula, who is writing a biography of her grandfather, said: “It was fast paced, tense, full of paranoia, with the hero Richard Hannay not only being chased by police for a murder he didn’t commit but being chased by international spies.
“He had modern technology in the form of planes and cars that were just coming on to the scene and he even had plot lines involving cyphers and codes.
“It sold 25,000 copies in its first six weeks and became a roaring success.”