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: The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations. John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir PC GCMG GCVO CH (26 August 1875 Ã¢ÂÂ 11 February 1940) was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation. After a brief career in law, Buchan simultaneously began writing and his political and diplomatic career, serving as a private secretary to the colonial administrator of various colonies in Southern Africa. Buchan was elected Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities, but spent most of his time on his writing career. He wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps and other adventure fiction.