Robert Buchanan was born in Caverswall in Staffordshire on 18 August 1841. His family moved to Glasgow in 1850 where Buchanan was educated at the High School and the University. His father was a socialist and atheist, and an outspoken editor of various Glasgow newspapers. Derided in his childhood as the son of an infidel, Buchanan's life and work were beset by religious questioning. He was torn between the agnosticism of his heritage and the spiritualism towards which he was inevitably drawn in the search for a replacement for the discredited orthodoxies of Christianity.
At University Buchanan became interested in the theatre and sent samples of his poetry to eminent figures in London, receiving some tempered encouragement …
Nash, Andrew. "Robert Williams Buchanan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=627, accessed 22 January 2017.]