The Free Fishers, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


When Anthony Lammas, minister of the Kirk and Professor of Logic at St Andrews University, leaves his home town for London on business, he little imagines that within two days he will be deeply entangled in a web of mystery and intrigue.

But he's no ordinary professor. His boyhood allegiance to a brotherhood of deep-sea fishermen is to involve him and handsome ex-pupil, Lord Belses, with a beautiful but dangerous woman.

Set in the bleak Yorkshire hamlet of Hungrygrain during the Napoleonic Wars, this is a stirring tale of treason and romance.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn General
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781846970658



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Classic Buchan high adventure! The principal character is Anthony ("Nanty") Lammas, Professor of Philosophy and Logic at St Andrews University during the post-Trafalgar phase of the Napoleonic wars. Ostensibly a figure of great respectability (and indeed, an ordained official of the church) Lammas had grwon up in the smuggling ports of East Fife, and as a consequence of his adoloescent contacts he has been inducted as a member of The Free Fishers, a secret society of privateers.However, The Free Fishers are not quite what they seem as they are often used by the Government to conduct espionage against the French and their accomplices. It is in just such a mission that Lammas become embroiled.As always with Buchan, the prose is meticulous, and the descriptions of the countryside are quite astounding. As usual, there is perhaps too heavy a dependence upon outrageous coincidence, but for the most part the plot is perfectly sound.There are the usual cast of characters, including the almost mandatory female housekeeper who proves more stalwart than most of the men.A thoroughly enjoyable read!

Review by

Proper adventure book with British government in peril, beautiful rich women in peril and a lot of good eggs dashing around. Set before the railways (about the first decade of the 1800s)so most of the dashing around is done by coach. Wonderful technical descriptions of the transport - lots of different types of coaches/carriages and horses. Several crashes and near misses :-<br/><br/>"By God sir," Robin gasped. "That's the nicest bit of coachmanship I ever seen." "Simple enough," said Sir Turnour coolly, "if you keep your head and know the meaning of proper harnessing. I couldn't have done that if the pole chain hadn't been the right length - and the wheelers properly curbed up."<br/><br/>A bit 'Top Gear' with horses, but the real delight is the the Scottish vernacular and all the tearing around. I still like 'John Burnett of Barnes' best. But this rates 3 and a half stars.