The War of the Birds and The Beasts
Background to The War of the Birds and the Beasts
Ransome always planned to follow Old Peter’s Russian Tales with similar books. He agreed a second volume with Macmillan in 1917, but the pressures of his journalistic career meant that they only published a single story, The Soldier and Death, in 1920. By 1930 Ransome was preparing to try again, this time with his wife Evgenia’s help. But this also too came to nothing once he was busy writing sequels to Swallows and Amazons.
1984 marked the centenary of Ransome’s birth. His publishers and executors were keen to mark this anniversary, and they did so with three books: Hugh Brogan’s biography, The Life of Arthur Ransome; Christina Hardyment’s study of the places, people and events that Ransome incorporated into the Swallows and Amazons novels, Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk, and The War of the Birds and the Beasts and Other Russian Stories.
The War of the Birds and the Beasts was re-published by ART as part of Old Peter’s Russian Tales & the Battle of the Birds and the Beasts in 2016.
The War of the Birds and the Beasts contains eleven stories, including The Soldier and Death. Some of the other stories had been previously published in magazines, such as Country Life, whilst the remainder were being published for the first time.
Published by Jonathan Cape in June, 1984.