John Macnab

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John Macnab
Author John Buchan
Country Scotland
Language English
Series Edward Leithen
Genre Novel
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 208 pp
ISBN NA & reissue ISBN 1-85326-296-X
Preceded by The Power House
Followed by The Dancing Floor

John Macnab is a novel by John Buchan, published in 1925.

Plot summary[edit]

Three successful but bored friends in their mid-forties decide to turn to poaching. They are Sir Edward Leithen, lawyer, Tory Member of Parliament (MP), and ex-Attorney General; John Palliser-Yeates, banker and sportsman; and Charles, Earl of Lamancha, former adventurer and present Tory Cabinet Minister. Under the collective name of 'John Macnab', they set up in the Highland home of Sir Archie Roylance, a disabled war hero who wishes to be a Conservative MP.

They issue a challenge to three of Roylance’s neighbours: first the Radens, who are an old-established family, about to die out; next, the Bandicotts: an American archaeologist and his son, who are renting a grand estate for the summer; and lastly the Claybodys, vulgar, bekilted nouveaux riches. These neighbours are forewarned that 'John Macnab' will poach a salmon or a stag from their land and return it to them undetected. The outcome is that the men's boredom is dispelled with the assistance of helpers (including a homeless waif, 'Fish Benjie' and an athletic journalist, Crossby), and Archie Roylance marries Janet Raden, daughter of the grandee.


The Return of John MacNab was written by Andrew Greig as a 1990s retelling of the story.

TV adaptation[edit]

John Prebble adapted the book for a three-part BBC television production in 1976, directed by Donald McWhinnie.

Cast :

External links[edit]