44 Facts About Arthur Ransome


Arthur Michell Ransome was an English author and journalist.


Arthur Ransome is best known for writing and illustrating the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads.


The entire series remains in print, and Swallows and Amazons is the basis for a tourist industry around Windermere and Coniston Water, the two lakes Ransome adapted as his fictional North Country lake.


Arthur Ransome wrote about the literary life of London, and about Russia before, during, and after the revolutions of 1917.


Arthur Ransome was the eldest of four children: he had two sisters Cecily and Joyce, and a brother Geoffrey who was killed in the First World War in 1918.


Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds; the house at 6 Ash Grove, in the Hyde Park area, has a blue plaque beside the door commemorating his birthplace.


Arthur Ransome's father was professor of history at Yorkshire College.


Arthur Ransome's mother did not want him to abandon his studies for writing, but was later supportive of his books.


Arthur Ransome urged him to publish The Picts and the Martyrs in 1943, although his second wife Evgenia hated it, and was often discouraging about his books while he was writing them.


Arthur Ransome was educated first in Windermere and then at Rugby School but did not entirely enjoy the experience, because of his poor eyesight, lack of athletic skill, and limited academic achievement.


Arthur Ransome studied chemistry at Yorkshire College, where his late father had worked.


Arthur Ransome took low-paying jobs as an office assistant in a publishing company and as editor of a failing magazine, Temple Bar Magazine, while establishing himself as a member of the literary scene.


Arthur Ransome married Ivy Constance Walker in 1909 and they had one daughter, Tabitha.


Arthur Ransome began writing books of biography and literary criticism on various authors; one on Edgar Allan Poe was published in 1910 and another on Oscar Wilde in 1912.


Arthur Ransome's wife attended the 1913 trial, sitting in the public gallery as Ransome would not let her sit beside him.


Arthur Ransome won the suit, supported by Robbie Ross, the editor of De Profundis.


Arthur Ransome did remove the offending passages from the second edition of his book and refused all interviews, despite the obvious publicity value.


Secker agreed to release the rights, and Arthur Ransome handed Poe and Wilde over to Granville.


The work on Wilde was well received and successful, running to eight editions, but Arthur Ransome saw little in return; in 1912 Granville was charged with embezzlement and fled the country, leaving Arthur Ransome to struggle even to register himself as a creditor of Granville's ruined company.


Arthur Ransome had been working on a similar literary biography of Robert Louis Stevenson, but that was abandoned with the manuscript in the first draft and not rediscovered until 1999.


In 1913 Arthur Ransome left his first wife and daughter and went to Russia to study its folklore.


In 1915, Arthur Ransome published The Elixir of Life, which was to be his only full-length novel apart from the Swallows and Amazons series.


Arthur Ransome published Old Peter's Russian Tales, a collection of 21 folktales from Russia, the following year.


Arthur Ransome covered the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and came to sympathise with the Bolshevik cause, becoming personally close to a number of its leaders, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Karl Radek.


Arthur Ransome met the woman who would become his second wife, Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina, who then worked as Trotsky's personal secretary.


Arthur Ransome was on excellent terms with the Bolsheviks and frequently brought us information of the greatest value.


In October 1919, Arthur Ransome met Reginald Leeper of the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department, who required Arthur Ransome privately to submit his articles and public speaking engagements for approval.


In October 1919, as Arthur Ransome was returning to Moscow on behalf of The Manchester Guardian, the Estonian foreign minister Ants Piip entrusted him to deliver a secret armistice proposal to the Bolsheviks.


Arthur Ransome wrote a successful book about his experiences, Racundra's First Cruise.


Arthur Ransome joined the staff of The Manchester Guardian when he returned to Russia and the Baltic states.


Arthur Ransome apparently based the Walker children in the book partly on the Altounyan family.


Arthur Ransome had a long-standing friendship with the mother of the Altounyans, and their Collingwood grandparents.


Arthur Ransome's writing is noted for his detailed descriptions of activities.


Arthur Ransome's move to East Anglia brought a change of location for four of the books, and Ransome started using the real landscape and geography of East Anglia, so that one can use the maps printed in the books as a guide to the real area.


The original concept of Peter Duck was a story made up by the children themselves, and Peter Duck had appeared in the preceding volume, Swallowdale, as a character whom the children created, but Arthur Ransome dropped the foreword of explanation from Peter Duck before it was published.


Myles North, an admirer of Arthur Ransome, provided much of the basic plot of the book.


Arthur Ransome was originally named Spindrift when launched in 1931.


Arthur Ransome was laid up during the war and they sold her in 1946.


Arthur Ransome owned her from 1947 to 1949; her design was the basis for a class of which over 40 were built.


Arthur Ransome married twice, first to Ivy Constance Walker in 1909, with whom he had a daughter, Tabitha Arthur Ransome; the couple divorced in 1924.


Arthur Ransome died in Cheadle Royal Hospital on 3 June 1967.


The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis, was published posthumously in 1976.


Arthur Ransome won the inaugural Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising Pigeon Post in the Swallows and Amazons series as the year's best children's book by a British subject.


The Arthur Ransome Society founded in 1990 in the UK now has a worldwide membership.