Sir Quixote of the Moors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sir Quixote of the Moors
Sir Quixote of the Moors, John Buchan, 1st edition cover, 1895.png
First edition 1895
Author John Buchan
Country Scotland
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher T Fisher Unwin[1]
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 188[1]

Sir Quixote of the Moors is an 1895 novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It is Buchan's first novel, written when he was nineteen and an undergraduate at Glasgow University.[2] Buchan's original title was Sir Quixote, and he was annoyed by the addition of "of the Moors" by his publisher.[3]


The novel is set in Galloway in Scotland in the late 17th century, and follows the adventures of the impoverished Jean Sieur de Rohaine.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Although Sir Quixote received little review coverage on publication, what it did receive was generally good. One reviewer noted that Buchan's anachronistic tendency to scrutinise motive "lifts the romance far above such ingenious trifling as ... Hope's Prisoner of Zenda".[4]

David Daniell in The Interpreter's House (1975) states that while Sir Quixote is "an uncomfortable book"[5] it is nevertheless "a little masterpiece, astonishingly percipient for an adolescent Victorian".[6] He perceives a difference between Buchan's "literary" and "observed" landscapes, with the former being that of a writer who has read a great deal of French romance, or who has nicely compressed Sir Walter Scott. Buchan's observed Scottish landscape, on the other hand, is quite different: he has seen it, and has brooded on the words for it.[7]

Writing for the John Buchan Society website, Ronald Hargreaves suggests that the novel is unlikely to be of great interest to the modern reader. Because it purports to have been written in English by a seventeenth-century French nobleman, the style is stilted and old-fashioned. The novel does, however, exhibit many of the notable features of Buchan's later works, including compelling descriptions, narrative pace, skilful storytelling, and concepts of honour and duty. The idea of the nobility of sacrifice is central, as it would be many years later in Buchan's last work, Sick Heart River.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "British Library Item details". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "John Buchan Society website". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  3. ^ Daniell, David (1975). The Interpreter's House. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. p. 52. ISBN 0 17 146051 0.
  4. ^ Lownie, Andrew (2013). John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier. Thistle Publishing. p. 20-22. ISBN 978-1-909609-99-0.
  5. ^ Daniell, David (1975). The Interpreter's House. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. p. 51. ISBN 0 17 146051 0.
  6. ^ Daniell, David (1975). The Interpreter's House. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. p. 46. ISBN 0 17 146051 0.
  7. ^ Daniell, David (1975). The Interpreter's House. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. p. 3. ISBN 0 17 146051 0.

External links[edit]