John Buchan


It was a very spasmodic courtship. We didn’t see each other for six months, because I went to Europe again, and Jack began his summer and fall campaigning in Massachusetts. Then came six months when we were both back. Jack was in Congress, and I was in my last year at George Washington University. But it was still spasmodic, because he spent half of each week in Massachusetts. He’d call me from some oyster bar up there, with a great clinking of coins, to ask me out to the movies the following Wednesday in Washington. He loved Westerns and Civil War pictures. He was not the candy-and-flowers type, so every now and then he’d give me a book. He gave me The Raven, which is the life of Same Houston and also Pilgrim’s Way by John Buchan.”  - Jacqueline Kennedy

I was rereading John Buchan’s GREENMANTLE* (published 1916) for the first time since I was a teen and discovered this passage, which I completely missed before.

This is the part where the bold and crafty British spy discovers that it’s worse than he suspected. His nemesis is a cruel German military man, that he knew. But now he quails: this man has a pretty drawing room.

Anything could happen.

*no, there are no Raven Cycle clues to be had here


This week, we are sad to say goodbye to Judith Luna, the Senior Commissioning Editor of the Oxford World’s Classics series. To make the pain more bearable, we designed two cakes in the shape of Oxford World’s Classics jacket covers.

The messages on both cakes are not very subtle and demonstrate how sad we are that she is leaving after thirty-nine years working at OUP.

Images by Kirsty Doole for Oxford University Press.