4

In John Buchan's famous short novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, much of the plot (ha) revolves around a German plot to assassinate the Greek Premier, which is thwarted by the story's hero. All this happens just before Britain joins the First World War.

Was this based on, or inspired by, any real-life plot?

2

Surely the Serbian plot to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (the event which set off World War I) would not have been far from Buchan's mind, since he wrote it shortly after the start of the war.

This is in some sense the reverse ... a German plot to assassinate a Balkan head of state, rather than a Balkan plot to assassinate the Austrian heir to the throne.

I think this would have been sufficient inspiration for Buchan. I don't see why we need to postulate any real-life plot closer to the novel's plot.

  • The main difference being that the Serbian plot succeeded and the fictional German one failed ... – Rand al'Thor Mar 24 at 16:20
  • @Randal'Thor: Richard Hannay wasn't in Serbia at the time. :-) – Peter Shor Mar 24 at 17:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.