Where was Arthur Ransome during Lenin’s funeral?
- Which of his books won the first Carnegie medal, still the most prestigious award for children’s literature today?
- How did he come to live “snatches from a dozen different lives”?
There are short answers to two of these questions. Arthur Ransome was in Moscow on January 27, 1924, to report on Lenin’s funeral. On June 1, 1937, he was in Scarborough to receive the first Carnegie medal for Pigeon Post, the 6th novel in his celebrated Swallows and Amazons series.
But there are also longer answers to both. For the roots of how Ransome became both a leading foreign correspondent and one of Britain’s foremost children’s authors interweave through his fascinating life. His interest in story-telling contributed to his first going to Russia, to study folk lore. Once there the First World War intervened, leading him into journalism. That new career refined his style, helping him to develop the direct, seemingly effortless prose that marks Pigeon Post and the other Swallows and Amazons novels out.
You can begin to explore Arthur Ransome’s life, literature and times through our:
- Biography: an introduction to Ransome’s varied life;
- Bibliography: information on every book Ransome wrote, plus his other literary contributions, articles and the many books written about him;
- Timeline: from Ransome’s birth, in 1884 in Leeds, to his death, in 1967;
- Literary Estate: Arthur Ransome’s literary legacy lives on. Our Literary Estate page provides details on how it is administered;
- Links: to other Arthur Ransome-focused organisations.
You can also catch up with the latest news about Arthur Ransome’s life and works in our News section.
A good book is not merely a thing that keeps a child (or a grown-up person) amused while reading. It is an experience he shares, something that he himself lives.