Robert Williams Buchanan (1841-1901) was a Scottish poet, novelist and dramatist. Buchanan senior, a native of Ayr, Scotland, lived for some years in Manchester, then moved to Glasgow, where Buchanan junior was educated, at the high school and the university, one of his fellow-students being the poet David Gray. His essay on Gray, originally published in the Cornhill Magazine, tells the story of their close friendship and of their journey to London in 1860 in search of fame. His first book was Poems and Love Lyrics which although undated was almost certainly published in 1858. After a period of struggle and disappointment Buchanan published Undertones in 1863. This tentative volume was followed by Idyls and Legends of Inverburn (1865), London Poems (1866), and North Coast and Other Poems (1868), wherein he displayed a faculty for poetic narrative, and a sympathetic insight into the humbler conditions of life. In 1876, The Shadow of the Sword, the first and one of the best of a long series of novels, was published.