Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

The Soldier and Death

Background to The Soldier and Death

Ransome had always intended to follow Old Peter’s Russian Tales with further collections of Russian folklore. In mid-1917, he secured agreement for a second volume with Macmillan, but progress on it was increasingly disrupted by his j0urnalistic duties, the growing crisis in Russia and Ransome’s poor health.

Ransome did complete The Soldier and Death as a kind of “tuning fork” for the rest of his second collection. Macmillan approved it, and subsequently published it as a single story in 1920. It has been republished since, both as a separate volume, and incorporated into The War of the Birds and the Beasts and Other Russian Tales.

Buried Treasure

The Soldier and Death was re-published by ART as part of Old Peter’s Russian Tales & the Battle of the Birds and the Beasts in 2016.


The Soldier and Death is a single folktale.

First publication

Published by John G Wilson in July, 1920.


Ransome's drawing of a parrot, our story telling logo, used for The Soldier and Death

A soldier served God and the Great Tzar for twenty-five years, earned three dry biscuits, and set off to walk his way home.


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