Midwinter

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Midwinter  (1923) 
by John Buchan
Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., Great Britain, undated. An historical novel; it is set during the Jacobite rising of 1745, when an army of Scottish highlanders advanced into England seeking to place Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stuart), the grandson of ousted King James II, on the throne.

At first glance another romance about of of the ill-fated attempts of Charles Stuart to seat himself on the throne occupied by George I would seem to be superfluous. But John Buchanan has mixed his ingredients well. The well-known story of indecision, bad management, and inertia has been coated over with intrigue and mystery until it fairly shines. There are the Spoonbills, the men of Old England, led by the philosophical Master Midwinter, who live in the forest and can be summoned by certain ditty whistled where a tuft of broom is tied to the signpost at a crossroads. […] And last of all there is Samuel Johnson, not yet the great lexicographer but a poor, ill, clumsy young tutor who loves the lady, too, albeit hopelessly, and is downhearted because he is not permitted to go off to the wars. […] Altogether this tale is, besides being highly diverting, more intelligent than most. (—Extracted from the Forum, 1924. Full review (with spoilers) on the Discussion page.)


MIDWINTER

CERTAIN TRAVELLERS IN
OLD ENGLAND


BY
JOHN BUCHAN


Thomas Nelson and Sons - Logo.png

THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, Ltd.
LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT
THE PRESS OF THE PUBLISHERS

TO
VERNON WATNEY

We two confess twin loyalties—
Wychwood beneath the April skies
Is yours, and many a scented road
That winds in June by Evenlode.
Not less when autumn fires the brake,
Yours the deep heath by Fannich's lake,
The corries where the dun deer roar
And eagles wheel above Sgurr Mór.
So I, who love with equal mind
The southern sun, the northern wind,
The lilied lowland water-mead
And the grey hills that cradle Tweed,
Bring you this tale which haply tries
To intertwine our loyalties.

CONTENTS

  1. Preface*
  2. I. In which a Highland Gentleman misses his Way 15
  3. II. In which a Nobleman is Perplexed 33
  4. III. In which Private Matters cut across Affairs of State 55
  5. IV. Mr Kyd of Greyhouses 66
  6. V. Chance-Medley 78
  7. VI. Introduces the Runaway Lady 94
  8. VII. How a Man may hunt with the Hounds and yet run with the Hare 106
  9. VIII. Broom at the Cross-Roads 120
  10. IX. Old England 132
  11. X. Snowbound at the sleeping Deer 146
  12. XI. Night at the Same: Two Visitors 164
  13. XII. The Hut in the Oak Shaw 175
  14. XIII. Journeyman John 188
  15. XIV. Duchess Kitty on the Road 200
  16. XV. Bids Farewell to a Scots Laird 212
  17. XVI. Bids Farewell to an English Lady 230
  18. XVII. Ordeal of Honour 240
  19. XVIII. In which Three Gentlemen confess their Nakedness 257
  20. XIX. Ramoth-Gilead 270

* Not included in the listing

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.


The author died in 1940, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.