Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

1929 to 1947 Children’s Literature

Children’s literature: Arthur Ransome’s timeline, part 5  


  • Jan: The Altounyans leave for Aleppo.
  • Mar 19: Ransome gives the Manchester Guardian three months notice.
  • Mar 24: Begins writing Swallows & Amazons.
  • Jun 30: Ransome’s close friend, Ted Scott, the Manchester Guardian’s editor, persuaded Ransome to continue work, writing the paper’s prestigious Saturday essay.
  • Jul 13: Ransome’s first Drawn at a Venture weekly essay published in the Guardian.
  • Jul 22: Rod and Line published.
  • Sep 13: Ransome’s last Rod and Line fishing essay published in the Guardian.
  • Nov: Travels to Egypt to report on elections. Meets Malcolm Muggeridge and Somerset Maugham.


  • Feb: Returns from Egypt and completes the revisions for Swallows & Amazons.
  • Jul 21: Swallows and Amazons published.



  • Jan 2: Ransome’s last Drawn at a Venture weekly essay published in the Guardian.
  • Jan: Arthur and Evgenia set off for Aleppo to visit the Altounyans.
  • Feb 1: Arrive in Aleppo.
  • Apr 13: Leave Aleppo.
  • May 1: Arrive back at Low Ludderburn.
  • Oct 1: WG Collingwood died.
  • Oct 24: Peter Duck published.


  • Autumn: Ransome suffers acute appendicitis whilst cruising on the Norfolk Broads.
  • Autumn: Convalesces with Evgenia in St Mawes, Cornwall.
  • Nov 13: Winter Holiday published.


  • Spring: Spends 3 weeks cruising on the Broads with Evgenia, researching Coot Club.
  • July: Acquires a new dinghy, Coch-y-bonddhu.
  • Nov 26: Coot Club published.


  • Sold Swallow.
  • Summer: Sold Low Ludderburn and moved to Broke Farm, Levington, Suffolk.
  • Sep 8: Ransome purchases Electron, a 7 Ton Hillyard Cutter, in Poole. He renamed her Nancy Blackett and sailed her back to Pin Mill.


  • Jan: Begins work on We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea.
  • Jun: Sails Nancy Blackett to Holland, testing We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea’s plot.
  • Nov 13: Pigeon Post published.


  • Jun 1: Received the first Carnegie Medal from the Archbishop of York in Scarborough, for Pigeon Post. The medal was awarded by the Library Association (now CILIP).
  • Nov 12: We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea published.


  • Winter: Begins to write The Big Six (shelved in favour of Secret Water).
  • Spring: Commissions Selina King from the Pin Mill boatbuilder, Harry King.
  • Sold Nancy Blackett.


  • Apr 3: Moved to Harkstead Hall
  • Aug: Ivy Walker died.

(Sep 3: Britain declares war on Germany)

  • Autumn: Sailed Selina King to Lowestoft, to be laid up for the duration.
  • Nov 28: Secret Water published.


  • Jan: Resumed The Big Six.

(Continuous): Air raids increasingly disturb Ransome’s ability to sleep and thus work.

  • Oct 1: Purchased The Heald, Coniston.
  • Nov 29: The Big Six published.




Began work on Great Northern? and The River Comes First.


  • May: Ransome and Evgenia visit the Outer Hebrides for research.

(May 8: War in Europe ends).

  • Jun 1: Leave The Heald.
  • Oct 12: Arrive at 12, Weymouth St, London.
  • Dec: Work begins on Ransome’s fourth yacht, Peter Duck, at Harry King’s, Pin Mill.


  • Oct: Ransome sells Peter Duck.
  • Nov: Ransome re-purchases Peter Duck.


  • Second research visit to the Outer Hebrides.
  • Aug 25: Great Northern? published.

Continue discovering Ransome:

Ransome's drawing of two children discovering a cave, our discover ransome logoRansome's drawing of binoculars, our biography logoRansome's drawing of a wooden hut in snow, our bibliography logoRansome's drawing of stick figures making semaphore signals, our timeline logoRansome's drawing of children pleading with chinese adults, our literary estate logoRansome's drawing of a luggage label, our links logoRansome's drawing of a girl crushing rocks, our news logo