Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

The Chinese Puzzle

Background to The Chinese Puzzle

In December, 1926, Ransome set off for China, to report on the war between the Nationalists and the Kuomingtang for the Manchester Guardian and the Baltimore Sun.  He traveled out by ship and returned across Russia in the Trans-Siberian Railway. His newspaper reports and articles on China appeared between January and August, 1927.

Back in Britain, Lloyd George suggested that Ransome turn his articles into a book, and both C P Scott and Stanley Unwin agreed. Unfortunately publication was delayed, first by Ransome taking time over his corrections, then by Lloyd George refusing to write his foreword until he had read the final proofs. This was disastrous for a book on fast-moving contemporaneous events. When it finally appeared, The Chinese Puzzle sold very poorly.


The Chinese Puzzle is a re-working of Ransome’s newspaper reports and articles from China, with a foreword by David Lloyd George.

First publication

Published by George Allen & Unwin in November, 1927.


  • Out of Print

Ransome's drawing of a crucible held in iron bars, our political literature logo, used for The Chinese Puzzle

I saw Lloyd George, who suggested I should make a book of my Chinese articles.

Also in Political Literature

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