1st US edition (publ. Doran
Huntingtower is a novel written by John Buchan in 1922. The first of his three Dickson McCunn books, it is set near Carrick in south west Scotland around 1920. The hero is a 55-year old grocer Dickson McCunn, who has sold his business and taken early retirement. As soon as he ventures out to explore the world, he is swept out of his bourgeois rut into bizarre and outlandish adventures, and forced to become a reluctant hero.
The story revolves around the imprisonment under false pretenses by Bolshevik agents of an exiled Russian noblewoman. The Scottish local community mobilises to uncover and thwart the conspiracy against her, and to defend the neutrality of Scotland against the Russian revolutionary struggle. A plot based on espionage and covert violence is set against the seemingly tranquil Scottish rural backdrop, a narrative device commonly found in Buchan’s novels. He uses this notably in The Thirty Nine Steps. The novel contrasts the domestic characters, heroes and villains, with their more alien Russian counterparts. Huntingtower is characteristic of Buchan’s novels, particularly in its class-based paternalism; its xenophobic prejudices, which are mitigated by instinctive humanity and dry humour; and its shrewd common-sense understanding of personality and motivation.
The subsequent novels in the Dickson McCunn trilogy are Castle Gay (1930) and The House of the Four Winds (1935).
The 1927 Black and White silent film Huntingtower was based on the novel and directed by George Pearson. "Huntingtower" was adapted for BBC television in 1957. Starring James Hayter (Apr 23, 1907 - Mar 27, 1983), the six episodes were aired weekly, from Jun 16 through Jul 21. Huntingtower was also adapted in three one-hour episodes for BBC Radio in 2009 by Trevor Royal and directed by Patrick Raynor, and starred Roy Hanlon as McCunn, Stuart McQuarry as Heritage and David McKail as the Narrator. In addition to the above, BBC Scotland produced an adaptation which was broadcast over six episodes starting in October 1978. Among the cast of the Gorbal Diehard's one Iain Stewart who played Napoleon, surfaced on TV 20 years later as Professor Iain Stewart geologist and presenter of such programmes as Men of Rock and more recently 'How to Grow A Planet'.
- ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0371687/
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