Buchan’s critics – or as I refer to them, people who’ve read more than one book – have been aghast for years. His homophobia is a matter of public record and he takes pride in an attitude to women that has been copied and pasted directly out of a Taliban recruitment poster.

“It is very hard for a husband to love his wife when she insists on wearing the trousers and refusing to submit,” he infamously wrote in 2004. “The children become traumatised when the wife belittles the so-called head of the house, or he beats up his wife because she will not submit.”

Yep, nothing like traumatising the kids because you’ve had to do your husbandly duty by assaulting your uppity wife to put her back in the place assigned to her by the God of Love.

Despite this medieval barbarism, however, Buchan pulls in vast, fairly affluent crowds. And to understand why, you need look no further than his hat.

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