Introducing Arthur Ransome…
“Mine has not been a life of consistent effort towards a single end. It seems to me that I have been like a shuttlecock bandied to and fro by lunatics. I seem to have lived not one life, but snatches of a dozen different lives…”
The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome
Arthur Ransome wrote Swallows and Amazons and eleven other classic novels. Together they made him the leading children’s writer of his day, and one of the foremost of the 20th century. But there is far more to Ransome than Swallows and Amazons and its sequels alone.
In total he wrote over forty books, contributed to many more and wrote extensively for newspapers, including the Manchester Guardian. His subjects reflected his interests and his life. As a young man he was a romantic Bohemian, fascinated by the art of story-telling. Folklore took him to Russia in 1913. Once there, war and revolution turned him from romantic fiction to war reporting, political journalism and amateur diplomacy. Among many other adventures Ransome played chess with Lenin, discussed Shakespeare with Karl Radek, married Trotsky’s secretary and helped Estonia gain independence.
Perhaps it is no surprise he attracted both MI5 and MI6’s attention. Or that he once wrote “I seem to have lived not one life, but snatches from a dozen different lives”.
A keen fisherman and sailor, with a life-long love for the Lake District, Ransome was above all an accomplished and professional writer. In addition to children’s literature, he made significant contributions to sailing and angling writing, literary criticism and political journalism.
…and welcome to the Arthur Ransome Trust
The Arthur Ransome Trust (ART) exists to help people discover, explore and enjoy Arthur Ransome’s fascinating life and works. We’re working to create a Ransome Centre in the Lake District via exhibitions, events, educational materials and publishing.
Scroll down to see why that matters, and how you can help to create Ransome’s legacy in the 21st Century.