JOHN BUCHAN was born in Perth in 1875, the son of a Scottish Presbyterian minister, and educated at Glasgow. He gained a first at Oxford University, where he began writing, producing two volumes of essays, four novels and two collections of stories and poems before the age of twenty-five. He worked briefly as a lawyer, then served as a private secretary in the colonial administration of South Africa after the Boer War. During the war he worked both as a journalist and at Britain's War Propaganda Bureau, eventually becoming Director of Information. He published his most popular novel, The Thirty-Nine Steps, in 1915, and it has never since been out of print. In 1935 Buchan was elevated to the peerage, becoming Baron Tweedmuir of Elsfield, and later that year was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V. He died on February 11, 1940.