Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

Books About Arthur Ransome


This page lists books about Arthur Ransome, including biographies, bibliographies, and volumes focussed on particular parts of his life and works.

Titles in bold are currently in print in the UK, by the publishers shown.

All are on sale to the public, except for Amazon Publications, which are only sold to members of The Arthur Ransome Society.

Books about Arthur Ransome:

  • Arthur Ransome, Hugh Shelley, A Bodley Head Monograph (1960). This is the only book published about Arthur Ransome during his lifetime.
  • The Life of Arthur Ransome, Hugh Brogan, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-02010-2 (1984) Hardback. A full biography of Arthur Ransome.
  • Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk, Christina Hardyment, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-02590-2 (1984) Paperback. A search in the Lake District, East Anglia and farther afield for the people, places and events that helped to inspire Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons novels.
  • Nancy Blackett: Under Sail with Arthur Ransome, Roger Wardale, Jonathan Cape, 1991, ISBN (1991) Paperback. A study of Arthur Ransome’s life, focussing on his sailing career and the yachts and dinghies he owned and sailed. Re-issued in 2010 (see below).
  • Where it all Began, Pauline Marshall (1991) Paperback. A memoir of life in the area around Bank Ground Farm, Coniston, in the early 1930s, at the time of Swallows and Amazons.
  • Distilled Enthusiasms, Redney Dingle, The Arthur Ransome Society (1991) Paperback. A booklet analysing readers’ views on the style, content and characters of Ransome’s 12 Swallows and Amazons books.
  • Approaching Arthur Ransome, Peter Hunt, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-03288-7 (1992) Hardback. A critical study of Arthur Ransome’s legacy to English literature.
  • Ransome at Home: Snug Berths and Temporary Moorings, C E (Ted) Alexander, Amazon Publications (1996) Paperback. A detailed examination of Arthur Ransome’s many homes.
  • Renewed Enthusiasms, Rodney Dingle, The Arthur Ransome Society (1998) Paperback. A booklet analysing readers’ views on the style, content and characters of Ransome’s 12 Swallows and Amazons books.
  • Arthur Ransome and the World of Swallows and Amazons, Roger Wardale, Great Northern Books ISBN 0-9535035-4-2 (2000) Hardback. A study of Arthur Ransome’s life and the background to his Swallows and Amazons novels.
  • A Ransome Bookcase, John Cowan, Amazon Publications (2000) Hardback. A bibliography focussing on the first editions of books written by Ransome and those he contributed to. A very readable companion to Wayne Hammond’s definitive bibliography.
  • Arthur Ransome’s Railways, David Carter (2000) Paperback. A booklet examining the railway locations and references in Ransome’s 12 Swallows and Amazons novels.
  • Arthur Ransome, Wayne G Hammond, Oak Knoll Press ISBN 1-58456-022-3 (2001) Hardback. The most comprehensive bibliography available for Arthur Ransome’s works.
  • Ransome in the Baltic, Ted Alexander, ISBN 9984-9552-0-6 (2001) Paperback. A booklet published in Riga, Latvia, summarising Ransome’s links to the Baltic States in the period 1920 – 1924.
  • Arthur Ransome’s Family, 1649-1975, Judy Andrews (2002) Paperback. Arthur Ransome’s family tree, with background information.
  • Ransome in Russia, Ted Alexander & Tatiana Verizhnikova, Portchester Publishing ISBN 0-9545554-0-6 (2003) Hardback. An examination of Ransome’s life in Russia and the Baltic between 1913 and 1924.
  • Discovering Swallows and Ransome’s, John Berry, Sigma Press ISBN 1-85058-814-7 (2004) Paperback. John Berry’s memoir recounts his quest to discover the background to Ransome’s fictional characters, and his own friendship with Arthur and Evgenia Ransome in the 1950s.
  • The Best of Childhood, Various, Amazon Publications (2004) Hardback. A study of how Arthur Ransome wrote his 12 Swallows and Amazons novels, using extensive quotations from his diaries and letters.
  • A Ransome Broadside, Various, Amazon Publications (2005) Paperback. A collection of writings about the Norfolk Broads at the time Ransome knew them.
  • Ransome in China, 1927, David Jones, Amazon Publications (2006) Hardback. An examination of Ransome’s four month visit to China as political correspondant for the Manchester Guardian, and how this visit helped to inspire his novel Missee Lee.
  • Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk, Christina Hardyment, Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-0-7112-2692-0 (2006) Paperback. A fully revised and updated edition of Christina Hardyment’s 1984 original. A search in the Lake District, East Anglia and farther afield for the people, places and events that helped to inspire Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons novels.
  • Arthur Ransome, Hugh Shelley, Amazon Publications (2007). This is a reprint of the 1960 Bodley Head monogrph. It adds an introduction examining the correspondance between Ransome and Shelley.
  • The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome, Roland Chambers, Faber and Faber, Ltd, ISBN 978-0-571-22261-2 (2009) Hardback. A biography of Arthur Ransome’s life, focussing on the period he spent in Russia and the Baltic between 1913 and 1924.
  • Ransome’s Foreign Legion, Robert Thompson, Amazon Publications (2009) Hardback. A study of how Ransome’s 12 Swallows and Amazons novels have been translated into 18 languages, from Chinese to Swedish.
  • Arthur Ransome Under Sail, Roger Wardale, Sigma Press, ISBN 978-1850588559 (2010) Paperback. A revised and re-issued edition, originally published as Nancy Blackett: Under Sail with Arthur Ransome in 1991.
  • Arthur Ransome, Master Story-teller, Roger Wardale. Great Northern Books, ISBN 978-1-905080-81-6 (2010) Hardback. A study of how Arthur Ransome wrote his 12 Swallows and Amazons novels.
  • Fair Cops and Glowworms, ed Paul Crisp. Amazon Publications (2011) Hardback. A collection of Arthur Ransome’s Manchester Guardian fishing essays.
  • Genetic Building Blocks: the Forebears of Arthur Ransome, Margaret Ratcliffe. Amazon Publications (2012) Hardback. An examination of Arthur Ransome’s relations’ writing, mainly from private correspondence and manuscripts.
  • The World of Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment. Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-0-7112-3297-6 (2012) Hardback. A study of the places that shaped Arthur Ransome’s writing life.
  • Arthur Ransome on the Broads, Roger Wardale. Amberley Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4456-1152-5 (2013) Paperback. How Arthur Ransome’s eight cruising holidays on the Broads inspired and informed his novels Coot club and The Big Six.
  • Drawn at a Venture, ed Paul Crisp. Amazon Publications (2014) Hardback. A collection of Arthur Ransome’s Saturday articles for the Manchester Guardian.
  • Collecting our Thoughts: Essays reflecting Arthur Ransome’s reading, ed Margaret Ratcliffe. Amazon Publications (2015) Paperback. A selection of essays.
  • From our Special Correspondent… The Journalism of Arthur Ransome in Egypt, Nancy M Endersby-Harshman. Amazon Publications (2016) A study of Ransome’s trips to Egypt, reporting for the Manchester Guardian.
  • Swallows, Amazons and Coots: A Reading of Arthur Ransome, Julian Lovelock. The Lutterworth Press, ISBN 978-0-7188-9436-8 (2016) Paperback. A critical examination of Ransome’s fiction technique.

Ransome's drawing of a mastodon, our books about ransome logo

“Here it is,” he said. “Farthest North, the Voyage and Exploration of the Fram and the Fifteen Month Sledge Expedition. This will tell us all we need to know.”


Continue exploring Ransome’s bibliography:

Ransome's drawing of two children discovering a cave, our discover ransome logoRansome's drawing of a wooden hut in snow, our bibliography logoRansome's drawing of a dog on weighing scales, our books by ransome logoRansome's drawing of grasshoppers, our contributions logoRansome's drawing of geometric signalling shapes, our articles logobooks-about-ransome-1