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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Regarded by many critics as one of the finest historical novels ever written, Midwinter tells the tale of Alastair Maclean, confidant of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who embarks on a secret mission to raise support for the Jacobite cause in the west of England.
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published 1923 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Well, that was that. The first half starts off with a bang and draws you right into the story; then all at once the MC, Alasdair, begins to make a fool of himself and ignore the counsel of those wiser than himself. Obviously, knowing the history of the time (Bonnie Prince Charlie), I knew ahead of time that he couldn't succeed in his mission...but how it came about really felt contrived. Also, in disappoint there is a bit of cursing, and the whole thinking of another man's wife with fondness rea ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, nookbooks
31 AUG 2014 - currently reading. I am reading this one in advance of The Master of Ballantrae

The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

Both authors cover the same subject matter - the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. I thought it would be interesting to read how each author wrote about the Cause. Nice cover too!

P.S. Find your free version here:
(Note: You are able to read online here or download to PDF - this site has annoying "flashers" (those damn gifs (whic
Brian Wilson
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Midwinter is one of John Buchan’s better novels. The story is set in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie’s sweeps down from Scotland to take the throne from and unpopular George the Second. The main character, Alistair Maclean, is an officer and Jacobite in the service of the prince. His task is to seek out and win support- military preferably, from Old England for the Scottish campaign. The story however has little to do with the campaign and even Midwinter (who features only periodically) and is m ...more
Tracy Terry
Sep 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not as you might expect a story of the season (though this is in fact quite beautifully described), Midwinter is the name of one of the main characters - a gentleman outlaw, the leader of a rather secretive band of men, a dweller in Old England.

Originally published in the early 1920's and classed by some as a classic of Scottish literature and by others as one of the best historical novels ever written I feel a bit of an intellectual inferior in admitting that I didn't enjoy Midwinter, finding i
Ian Mapp
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Written in 1924 and set in the 1700s. Where do I find these books to read? The answer was no doubt in one of my top 100 books lists, where this has been described as one of the greatest historical novels.

Its OK.

It appears that Buchan divided his time writing worthy novels (like this) and more crowd pleasers, like the 39 steps.

This tells the story of a Jaconite agent, Alastair, sent into England to gain support for the uprising. Every chapter starts and ends with a moment of derring do and Englan
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Scotsman in Enemy England

Midwinter by John Buchan is a historical spy novel and it's a good book.

The story is set in the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie, more precisely during the Jacobite rising of 1745/46, and its protagonist is a captain of the Scottish army travelling through England to join his Prince in Scotland. On his way he realises that his assumed friends are actually his foes trying to get rid of him with all means because they betray the Jacobite cause. He is helped by a not yet fam
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm enjoying this book. It's well written and is an interesting telling of the Jacobite Rebellion of the 1740s during which Bonnie Prince Charles tried to regain his family's (the Stuarts)possession of the throne over Britain, Scotland and Ireland. As it's doesn't go into explaining much at all of the rebellion and the various parties involved, I'd suggest doing a quick Wikipedia review of the Jacobite rebellion. I read somewhere that Tolkien was fairly influenced by Buchan's writing and you can ...more
Robert Hepple
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 1924 novel set in England during the 1745 rebellion, following the travels of an agent (called Alistair Maclean!) sent to solicit support for the Scottish cause, but ends up being pursued after a double-cross. It has elements of 39 Steps moved back 150 years, as the pursued moves around ‘Old England’ with the help of the mysterious character Midwinter. He meets Samuel Johnson, who comes out with his famous quote ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ over 30 years earlier than th ...more
I don't know where this book appeared from on my bookshelve from but I had been looking forward to reading it for a while and was suprised at how unknown it appears to be. It is a decent piece of historical fiction following the adventures of a Scottish soldier in England during the Jacobite uprising. While there are few details on the broader historical context, and much goes unexplained, the story trots along at a fair pace and, in the end, is a decent read - not engrossing but also never bori ...more
Rog Harrison
This is a tale set in 1745 concerning a young Jacobite in England who falls in love and also meets Samuel Johnson. There is also the backdrop of the mysterious travellers of Old England. An unlikely story with many coincidences but I found it quite charming.
Helen Walton
Disappointed. It doesn't have the charm of Buchan's war novels, but it has all the sentiment and the stereotypes... ah the pure young woman with eyes of a child's innocent clarity and the brave slender shape of a youth. Bleurgh.
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John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a Scottish novelist and public servant who combined a successful career as an author of thrillers, historical novels, histories and biographies with a parallel career in public life. At the time of his death he was Governor-General of Canada.

Buchan was educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to South Africa in 1902 wh
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