John Buchan: Prester John

(2403 words)

Prester John was the first novel written by John Buchan since 1900. It appeared after his two-year stint of post-Boer War government work, resettling the Boers and later colonists into farms and townships in South Africa (1901-1903), and was his first full-length treatment in fiction of his African experience. He went to South Africa when he was 26, and he was 35, a recently-married man, when he wrote the novel. He had published an imperialist tract, The African Colony, as soon as he returned from South Africa, in 1903, but this was a more deeply-felt discussion to how South African civil society could be reformed than a creative response to the country. A few years later Buchan wrote a second African-inspired work, <…

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Macdonald, Kate. "Prester John". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2007
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]