Susan Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir

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Susan Buchan
Susan, Lady Tweedsmuir, 1937
Susan, Lady Tweedsmuir, 1937
Born Susan Charlotte Grosvenor
20 April 1882[1]
London, England
Died 21 March 1977
Burford, Oxfordshire, England
Nationality British
Genre Fiction, History, Biography
Spouse John Buchan
Children Alice, John, William, Alastair
Relatives Norman de L'Aigle Grosvenor (father)
Caroline Grosvenor (mother)

Susan Charlotte Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir (née Grosvenor; 20 April 1882 – 21 March 1977) was a British writer and the wife of author John Buchan. Between 1935 and 1940 she was viceregal consort of Canada while her husband was the governor general.[2] She was also the author of several novels, children's books, and biographies, some of which were published under the name Susan Tweedsmuir.[3]

Susan was a daughter of the Honourable Norman de L'Aigle Grosvenor (son of the first Lord Ebury) and his wife Caroline Susan Theodora Stuart-Wortley (a granddaughter of the first Lord Wharncliffe), and thus a cousin of the Dukes of Westminster. She married John Buchan on 15 July 1907, and became the Baroness Tweedsmuir (known as Lady Tweedsmuir) when he was created Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935. The Buchans had four children, Alice, John, William, and Alastair, two of whom would spend most of their lives in Canada.[2]

Her time as Vicereine of Canada is remembered for her energetic relief work. Her library project of gathering books in Eastern Canada for impoverished western communities and sending train carloads of them west was the foundation of public libraries across the prairies.[4]

Her work for literacy in western Canada is still remembered and she is a heroine in Canada of the Great Depression. Her interest in literary education influenced the establishment of the Governor General's Awards, for many years Canada's primary literary awards, and the library at Rideau Hall.[5] Following her husband's death she returned to Britain, where she wrote several more novels, a series of memoirs, and a biography of her husband.

She died at Burford, near Oxford, in 1977 and was buried beside her husband in the churchyard at Elsfield.

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Sword of State: Wellington after Waterloo (1928)
  • Jim and the Dragon (1929)
  • Lady Louisa Stuart: Her Memories and Portraits (1932)
  • The Vision at the Inn: A Play in One Act (1933)
  • Funeral March of a Marionette: Charlotte of Albany (1935)
  • The Scent of Water (1937)
  • Mice on Horseback (1940)
  • Canada in The British Commonwealth in Pictures series (1941)
  • The Cat's Grandmother (1942)
  • The Silver Ball (1944)
  • John Buchan by His Wife and Friends (1947)
  • The Rainbow through the Rain (1950)
  • The Lilac and the Rose (1952)
  • The Freedom of the Garden (1952)
  • A Winter Bouquet (1954)
  • Cousin Harriet (1957)
  • Dashbury Park (1959)
  • A Stone in the Pool (1961)
  • The Edwardian Lady (1966)

References[edit]

  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
  2. ^ a b Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Governor General: Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Susan Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir". Library Thing. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Little, G. (2012). "The People Must Have Plenty of Books: Lady Tweedsmuir's Prairie Library Scheme, 1936-40". Library and Information History Journal, 28(2), 103-116.
  5. ^ John Buchan profile, online-literature.com; accessed 3 April 2016.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Countess of Bessborough
Viceregal Consort of Canada
1931–1935
Succeeded by
HRH The Countess of Athlone