Articles by Arthur Ransome
Arthur Ransome had over 1,500 known articles published in newpapers and periodicals between 1900 and 1957. He almost certainly wrote many more: reliable records no longer exist for many of his earliest efforts, whilst his later work included unsigned newspaper leaders, “Special Correspondant” reports and articles published under pseudonyms.
The most comprehensive listing of Arthur Ransome’s known articles can be found in Arthur Ransome, A Bibliography, Wayne G Hammond (2000) ISBN 1-58456-022-3.
Ransome’s first published work is a poem on the death of Queen Victoria, entitled The Passing. Published in the Rugby News and District Observer on 26 January, 1901, Ransome later described it as “a dreadful piece of earnest doggerel“. His last recorded article, On Fishing Diaries, was published on 3 January, 1957.
War reporting and political journalism
During his career Ransome worked for the Daily News during the First World War and the Manchester Guardian afterwards. His work also appeared in the London Star, the Observer, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, the London Sunday Times, the Toronto Globe and the China Weekly Review.
Ransome’s journalistic career began in August 1915, when he wrote a telegram on behalf of the Daily News’s ailing correspondent in Petrograd. His output as a War Reporter and Political Corresppondent then grew throughout the war: 14 articles in 1915, 134 in 1916, 175 in 1917, and 204 in 1918.
The Manchester Guardian
He began writing for the Manchester Guardian in November, 1919. This was the beginning of a “long and very happy association” in which Ransome was at times their Russian Correspondant, foreign correspondant and leader writer; one of their book reviewers; the author of their weekly Rod and Line fishing columns (215 articles between August, 1925 and September, 1929), and their Saturday Articles, Drawn to a Venture (58 articles between July, 1929 and January, 1932). Ransome eventually relinquished this role to concentrate on his successful Swallows and Amazons novels.
Ransome is known to have used several pseudonyms. These included the initials KQ in his early years and the name William Blunt, used for his Observer reviews of mystery novels.
The Saturday article as I understand it evades any close connection with rapidly decomposing news. It may discuss things of to-day or to-morrow or yesterday, but it harks back for its mood to a time when the reading of a newspaper was a leisurely affair.