Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

Highways and Byways in Fairyland

Background to Highways and Byways in Fairyland

Ransome wrote Highways and Byways in Fairyland whilst staying at Wallnook Farm, Cartmel, in 1906. In his Autobiography, Ransome relates metting Ford Maddox Hueffer by appointment outside the House of Commons. Hueffer had read some of Ransome’s fairy stories and wanted him to write “one of five little volumes” to be published together in a cardboard case. The other books were to be contributed by Netta Syrett, Anne Pye, Lady Margaret Sackville and Hueffer himself.

Ransome later felt that Highways and Byways in Fairyland was “a good idea wasted”, whilst his biographer, Hugh Brogan regarded it as arguably Ransome’s worst book.


Highways and Byways in Fairyland contains seven stories: The Way to Fairyland; The Mountain of the Gnomes; The Water Palace; The Farms of the Brownies; The Pixy Woods; The Dancing Ring and The Way Out.

First publication

Published by The Pinafore Library, December 1906.


  • Out of Print

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