The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan, first published in 1915 by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.
The novel formed the basis for a number of film adaptations, notably: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version; a 1959 colour remake; a 1978 version which is perhaps most faithful to the novel; and a 2008 version for British television....
I returned from the City about three o’clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life. I had been three months in the Old Country, and was fed up with it. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would have been feeling like that I should have laughed at him; but there was the fact. The weather made me liverish, the talk of the ordinary Englishman made me sick, I couldn’t get enough exercise, and the amusements of London seemed as flat as sodawater that has been standing in the sun. ‘Richard Hannay,’ I kept...
On the last day of May 1902 the signature at Pretoria of the conditions of peace brought to an end a war which
had lasted for nearly three years, and had among other things destroyed a government, dissolved a society, and
laid waste a country. In those last months of fighting some progress had been made with the reconstruction--at
least with that not unimportant branch of it which is concerned with the machinery of government.