How did Arthur Ransome react when Queen Victoria died?
- Where did he re-discover fishing, the passion he had given up after his father’s untimely death?
- When did he help Professor Pokrovsky pack up the Russian Imperial Archives?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, for a future writer, the then 17 year old Arthur Ransome responded to Victoria’s death with pen and paper. The resulting poem was, in his own estimation, dire. But it did became his first published work. It appeared in his local newspaper in Rugby.
He was originally introduced to fishing by his father, Cyril Ransome, a passionate angler. But perhaps understandably Ransome stopped fishing in 1897, following Cyril’s death, itself the result of a fishing-related accident. It was not until 1910 that a friendly postman reintroduced Ransome to arguably his greatest passion.
Our chronological tour of Arthur Ransome’s life, literature and times catalogues these and many other details, including the twenty hours Ransome spent with Professor Pokrovsky.
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Some thirty years ago, in Moscow, I was asked by a young Russian writer what was the first thing I could remember.