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Comments and Characters - Non-Fiction
Published 1940


When the late Lord Tweedsmuir wrote his autobiography he did not even mention that as a young man he had edited a weekly paper called The Scottish Review - and killed it in less than two years because, fresh from the august Spectator, he insisted on giving a 'penny public' fare more suited to a 'sixpenny public'. The question therefore arises whether he would have cared that the articles which he contributed to that forgotten periodical should be resuscitated. For, although in such titles as 'The Balkans and German Policy' and 'China and her Prospects' there is actuality enough, the particular events which called forth the articles bearing them seem, when deprived of the historical context which could hardly be afforded them in a short leader, as remote from the sphere of our present sorrow as do the writer's apprehensions over Socialism from the tendency of our present policies. Nor did John Buchan's temperate Liberalism amount to such a political philosophy as might have given these occasional utterances a value beyond their occasion. Nevertheless, his writing even then was good enough to make these thirty-year-old and not all political Comments and Characters (Nelson, 7/6) still good desultory reading, especially for those with thirty-year-old memories.

Punch, November 13th, 1940

A useful article on this extremely rare Buchan title, by Buchan specialist Michael Redley, was published in the Spring 2002 issue of the John Buchan Journal, available through Journal Orders.

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