John Buchan: Greenmantle (3071 words)


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John Buchan’s thriller Greenmantle has become a historical document as well as retaining its position as one of the great adventure novels written during the First World War. It is based on little-known episodes from the war, which were important at the time but which were overshadowed by later events in the history of the war as a whole. In Greenmantle Buchan teaches us war history, but we have to be careful that we recognise the fantasy, since Buchan was absorbing fact throughout the war and making fiction from it (Macdonald 2007a). Greenmantle was a hugely popular book, and was read by soldiers as well as civilians, possibly because it was one of the war books which “encouraged participation and …

Citation: Macdonald, Kate. "Greenmantle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 August 2007 [, accessed 09 December 2022.]

20321 Greenmantle 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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