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The John Buchan Society    

No 30/ Spring 2004


'The Immortal Memory': The London Burns Club, 25 January 1918, by Lt-Col John Buchan

The Horace Club, by Michael and Isobel Haslett

Evil's soft touch: The Three Hostages, BBC Radio 4, by Paul Bailey

John Buchan at the Douglas Library, by Heather Home

The corridors of Parkside: Nelsons in the 1950s, by John Kinross


Letter from Lord Tweedsmuir, 1979 Letter from Lord Tweedsmuir, 2004 The Memory of John Buchan, by Eileen Stewart Twenty-five years of the John Buchan Society, by Eileen Stewart Letters on John Buchan Publishing on John Buchan: The John Buchan Journal since 1980, by Kate Macdonald Notes and Queries

erratum re Stone of Scone Tolkien and Buchan: barmy theory the 4th film version of The Thirty-Nine Steps Current Research

new link to National Archives of Scotland article on JB in New Criterion Book News

new work on criminals in England, by Society member Neil Davie (in French) spy supplement in Intelligence and National Security Niall Ferguson and Empire 1916 review of Greenmantle, from Punch


The Horace Club
Michael and Isobel Haslett

The Horace Club was founded on 15 March 1898 and met for the first time on 11 May. The founder was Arnold Ward of Balliol College. This statement will surprise readers of Buchan's biographies, with Janet Adam Smith attributing its foundation to Buchan and three friends Raymond Asquith, Cuthbert Medd and Harold Baker (Adam Smith 1985, 31), and Andrew Lownie giving the honour to Buchan alone (Lownie 1995, 48). There is an explanation. After the club had ceased to exist in 1901 and 'The Book of the Horace Club' had been published by Basil Henry Blackwell, the 'Keeper of the Records' of the club, the records disappeared into the archives of Blackwell's, the booksellers. They briefly surfaced in 1983 when Sir Arthur Norrington published his 'Blackwell's 1879-1979: 'The History of a Family Firm' to celebrate its centenary. This book was written in a great hurry. Sir Basil Blackwell, the son of Basil Henry Blackwell, had intended to write it himself but found he was too old. He, therefore, commissioned Sir Arthur Norrington who did little more than note the existence of the club and the high quality of its members and their poetry.

In 2002 Rita Ricketts published 'Adventurers All', a much more detailed account of Blackwell's based on a much wider range of Sir Basil Blackwell's papers collected together after his death. She was the first to name Arnold Ward as founder, basing her account on the original records of the Horace Club (Ricketts 2002, 90). These consist of two white-volume Kelmscott folios in which have been pasted ninety-five poems by members of the Club. Each poem is handwritten, dated and signed by the author. In addition there is a memorandum by Dorothy M Ward, surviving sister of Arnold Ward, in which are details of the Horace Club's foundation, history, organisation, rules and membership. This is accompanied by an explanatory letter to Sir Basil Blackwell dated 17 June 1952. Finally there is an attendance record of the first six meetings, a list of reviews of 'The Books of the Horace Club' and a number of invitation cards to its meetings.

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