O. Douglas

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Anna Masterton Buchan
Born 1877
Pathhead Scotland
Died 1948
Pen name O. Douglas
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Scottish
Period 1912 - 1948
Genres Fiction
Relative(s) John Buchan (brother)

O. Douglas was the pen name of Anna Masterton Buchan (1877–1948), a Scottish novelist.[1] She was born in Pathhead, Scotland, the daughter of the Reverend John Buchan and Helen Masterton. She was the younger sister of John Buchan, the renowned statesman and author. She attended Hutchesons' Grammar School in Glasgow, but lived most of her later life in Peebles in the Scottish border country, not far from the village of Broughton where her parents first met.[2]

Her first novel Olivia in India was published in 1912 by Hodder & Stoughton. Most of her novels were written and set between the wars, and portrayed small town or village life in southern Scotland, reflecting her own life.

Unforgettable, Unforgotten (1945) is a memoir of her brother John and of the Buchan family, while Farewell to Priorsford is her autobiography, published posthumously in 1950.

Her work is displayed alongside her brother's at the John Buchan Museum in Peebles.[3]

Literary style and reception[edit]

A contemporary review describes Olivia in India as a "happy book" and another commented: "To have read this book is to have met an extremely likeable personality in the author".[4] This was to be the hallmark of all her fiction, gently humorous domestic dramas with little if any reference to political events or social change.[5] Merren Strang, a character in Pink Sugar who writes novels similar to those of O. Douglas, describes her impulse to write "something very simple that would make pleasant reading — you see, there's nothing of Art for Art's sake about me". Merren later quotes one of her reviews, "'This is a book about good, gentle, scrupulous people who live on the bright side of life'", banteringly describing herself as circumscribed as a novelist by only having met decent people, and thus being unable to create convincing "ape and tiger sort of people" like the "strong novelists" of the day.[6]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Olivia in India (1912)
  • The Setons (1917)
  • Penny Plain (1920)
  • Ann and Her Mother (1922)
  • Pink Sugar (1924)
  • The Proper Place (1926)
  • Eliza for Common (1928)
  • The Day of Small Things (1930)
  • Priorsford (1932)
  • Taken by the Hand (1935)
  • Jane's Parlour (1937)
  • People Like Ourselves (1938)
  • The House That Is Our Own (1940)
  • Unforgettable, Unforgotten (1945) [under the name Anna Buchan]
  • Farewell to Priorsford (1950)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford Biography Index Number 101061010
  2. ^ Gazetteer for Scotland
  3. ^ The John Buchan Story
  4. ^
  5. ^ British Women Novelists, 1910s-1960s
  6. ^ Pink Sugar by O. Douglas, Hodder and Stoughton, 1924, Chapter X.

Further reading[edit]