Prester John by John Buchan

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This unique edition of Prester John from Dead Dodo Vintage includes the full original text as well as exclusive features not available in other editions.

Prester John was written as a boys' adventure story set mostly in South Africa. It was published in 1910 when Buchan was 35. The South African background was based on the two years from 1901 which Buchan spent as a private secretary to Lord Milner, High Commissioner to South Africa and later governor of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Buchan was a strong supporter of the British Empire and the British Commonwealth, and this can be seen in this novel. Containing the racial stereotypes and caricatures of its day, the book was popular, and constitutes an excellent example of early 20th century adventure novel. It is still in print today and much of the novel's theme of cultural clash is still relevant.

Buchan's rich, lively descriptions of the South African landscape, which he knew well, are memorable.

It contains the notable line: "Perfect love casteth out fear, the Bible says; but, to speak it reverently, so does perfect hate.

Although the novel contains observations on relations between blacks and whites, the clash of different cultures and civilisations and the role of imperial paternalism, it needs to be read primarily as a fast-moving novel of adventure in the style of novels by Robert Louis Stevenson and Rider Haggard.


About John Buchan

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Author of the iconic novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan filled many roles including barrister, colonial administrator, publisher, Director of Intelligence, and Member of Parliament. The Thirty-Nine Steps, first in the Richard Hannay series, is widely regarded as the starting point for espionage fiction and was written to pass time while Buchan recovered from an illness. During the outbreak of the First World War, Buchan wrote propaganda for the British war effort, combining his skills as author and politician. In 1935 Buchan was appointed the 15th Governor General of Canada and established the Governor General’s Literacy Award. Buchan was enthusiastic about literacy and the evolution of Canadian culture. He died in 1940 and received a state funeral in Canada before his ashes were returned to the United Kingdom.
Published June 11, 2013 by Seahorse Publishing. 193 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Non-fiction