Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome

Background to The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome

Jonathan Cape first suggested that Ransome write his autobiography as early as 1939, but he was reluctant and didn’t begin to do so until ten years later. He then worked intermittently at it until 1961, but never completed it.

Ransome’s first literary executor, Rupert Hart-Davis edited and tidied up Ransome’s completed chapters after his death.

Synopsis

The Autobiography recounts Ransome’s life in detail from 1884 to 1932, the time when he had just begun to write the Swallows and Amazons novels. Hart-Davis added a short Epilogue that summarises the remaining 35 years of Ransome’s life.

First publication

Published by Jonathan Cape in September, 1976.

Availability

  • Out of Print

Ransome's drawing of three pigeons, our autobiography logo, used for The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome

The writing of an autobiography at sixty-five, seventy-three, seventy-eight, knowing that there is no time in which to put right the mistakes of the past, is like a reheasal for the Day of Judgement, and not an early rehearal either but perhaps the very last.

Also in Autobiography & Letters


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 two flags, our swallows and amazons series logoRansome's drawing of a parrot, our story telling logoRansome's drawing of a hand holding a candle, our literary criticism logoRansome's drawing of two children in a boat, our sailing literature logoRansome's drawing of a cormorant eating a fish, our fishing literature logoRansome's drawing of a crucible held in iron bars, our political literature logoRansome's drawing of a pestle and mortar, our essay collections logoRansome's drawing of an armadillo, our world about him logoRansome's drawing of three pigeons, our autobiography logo