Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

The Souls of the Streets

Background to The Souls of the Streets

In 1904 Ransome’s friend, the poet and playwright Gordon Bottomley, introduced Ransome to William Holmes, the owner of the Lanthorn Press, a small printer in Ulverston, Cumbria. Holmes wanted to expand into book publishing, but needed someone to act as both a talent scout, to find suitable young authors, and also as an agent, able to liaise with a suitable publisher in London to distribute his books. Ransome fitted both of Holmes’s needs, whilst Holmes offered Ransome the opportunity to publish his first book of essays.

Ransome regarded this as his first book, discounting The ABC of Physical Culture and his other ghost-written books of practical instruction.


The Souls of the Streets and Other Little Papers is a collection of eight short essays: The Souls of the Streets; A Tuscan Melody; The Hidden Lands; A Man Who Knew Himself; Two Tramps; Spring; The Secret of the Wild Rose.

First publication

Published by S C Brown, Langham & Co, London, August 1904.


  • Out of Print

Ransome's drawing of a pestle and mortar, our essay collections logo, used for The Souls of the Streets

I opened it with shaking hands, to find half a dozen copies of my first book, bound in pale mottled paper boards, with a brown cloth spine and a label with the title on it.


Also in Essay Collections

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