Book Dedication for May, 2011

Dedication from The Thirty-Nine Steps, by John Buchan. First published 1915; my copy published by the Penguin Group as a Penguin Classic in 2004.

TO

THOMAS ARTHUR NELSON,

LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE

MY DEAR TOMMY,

You and I have long cherished an affection for that elementary type of tale which Americans call the ‘dime novel,’ and which we know as the ‘shocker’ — the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible. During an illness last winter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness, and was driven to write one for myself. This little volume is the result, and I should like to put your name on it, in memory of our long friendship, in these days when the wildest fictions are so much less improbable than the facts.

J. B.

I did a wee bit of research and discovered that Mr. Nelson, a member of the Lothian and Border Horse regiment, was killed in World War I, 1917, just two years after Buchan’s novel was published.

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