John Buchan’s The Runagates Club is a classic of British interwar short fiction. These twelve stories appeared from 1913 to 1927, when he was at the peak of his powers, and feature Richard Hannay, Edward Leithen, and many newcomers to the Buchan canon.
‘Plenty of spies and plenty of spirits, and even some unscrupulous journalists – something to keep all thrill-seekers entertained … tales of horror and excitement with a gentleman narrator’, The Times Literary Supplement, 6 July 2018
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John Buchan designed The Runagates Club as a showcase for the best of his 1920s magazine fiction. He repurposed these stories with new beginnings, and framed them as after-dinner tales told over the port in a private gentleman’s dining-club. The narrators are a ready-made cast of storytelling characters, and Buchan filled out their backgrounds to fit the patrician, clubland background. This is interwar story-telling at its very best, with an introduction and notes on the text by Buchan expert Kate Macdonald.
Watch the video in which we explain the background to The Runagates Club, and why we’ve republished it.
‘If you are a fan of Buchan you will love this final collection of his stories. If you are new to his writing this is a fine example of the adventurous story telling that he is justifiably famed for, and the sort of powerful writing which typified the age’, Shiny New Books.
‘The newspaper romp ‘The Last Crusade’ is not only prophetic, but also probably the best depiction of fake news and demagoguery ever written – and never more relevant than in the modern climate!’ Crime Review.
She also did a reading for our YouTube channel, from Buchan’s story of existential sea-monsters, ‘Skule Skerry’.