Racundra’s Third Cruise
Background to Racundra’s Third Cruise
Racundra’s First Cruise in 1922 had been a great success, in both the sailing and literary senses. Sailing-wise, Ransome and Evgenia Shelepina followed it with a second cruise in 1923, which ended with Racundra over-wintering in Reval. The following April Arthur and Ivy Ransome’s divorce was completed and, on May 8, he married Evgenia in the British Consulate in Reval.
There were now no barriers to Ransome returning to live in Britain permanently with Evgenia. Before they did so, they had their third and final cruise in Racundra, this time up the Dvina River in August and September of 1924.
It seems that Ransome had plans to publish an account of this cruise, because he kept a detailed daily summary alongside his deck-log. He subsequently wrote up the first 23 days of the trip, but otherwise did not complete his manuscript. Why isn’t clear, but it may simply be that Ransome was too busy. After the voyage finished they had to lay Racundra up and tidy their other affairs before leaving for England in November. Within weeks Ransome was travelling again, this time to Egypt and, as soon as he returned, he and Evgenia were busy house-hunting, moving to Low Ludderburn near Windermere in May. By August he was starting his weekly Rod and Line column for the Manchester Guardian, in addition to book reviews and political articles on Russia and the Middle East.
Racundra’s Third Cruise contains Ransome’s draft manuscript, transcribed notes and supporting material, together with a short introduction by Brian Hammett.
Published by Fernhurst Books in 2002.
- In Print