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Arthur Ransome Trust headline news

‘No supplies from Atkinson’s. Occupied by treacherous enemy.’
Pigeon Post

A History of Story-Telling

21 July, 2021

We’re pleased to announce the forthcoming republication of A History of Story-Telling, with an introduction by Philip Pullman.

The man who is interested in the way of doing a thing as in the thing when done, is the man who is likely to put a new tool in the hands of his fellow-craftsmen.

In 1901 Arthur Ransome abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher’s office boy in Bohemian London. He read voraciously, spending every penny he could on books rather than food. He longed to tell stories but was continually dissatisfied by his attempts to do so. By 1909 his ‘continual worrying over the technique of narrative’ led him to A History of Story-Telling. Despite its title, A History of Story-Telling is no simple compendium of facts and dates. Instead Ransome gave his pen a livlier, more thought-provoking and enduring aim: to write of story-telling as an activity he loved, exploring, through his heroes’ masterpieces, the development of story-telling technique and the gradual perfecting of narrative form.

It remains relevant over a century later, for both its general observations about story-telling, and for its more specific insights into Ransome’s own fiction, including Old Peter’s Russian Tales, The Elixir of Life and the twelve classic Swallows and Amazons novels.

‘Anyone who actually makes a practce of telling stories will recognise at once that Ransome knows what he is talking about … and what an agreeable companion he is, with his pipe and his knapsack, and his broad sympathies, his interest in everything human and his fascination with the art of telling stories.’ (Philip Pullman).

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‘Wells dry. Bones scatter the desert. Life impossible.’
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The Picts and the Martyrs

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‘Crawling home more dead than alive. Bellies pinched. Throats parched. Please put the kettle on.’
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HARK! Check out our Home Activities Resource Kit

29 March, 2020

Are you stuck at home – and worse, bored?

Or are you looking for inspiration for someone who is?

If so, check out our new, free Home Activities Resource Kit. You’ll find:

  • A range of Swallows and Amazons-themed brain-teasers, from word searches to picture puzzles;
  • Ideas to spark your imagination and creativity with pen, words, crayons and drawings;
  • Suggestions for new skills to dabble in or master as your time and enthusiasm allows.

Remember, a lifetime of exploration and adventure really can begin at home.

The Elixir of Life – Reborn

2 December, 2018

We’re pleased to announce republication of The Elixir of Life.

Thriller, horror and historical romance, The Elixir is Arthur Ransome’s only novel for adults. As Christina Hardyment’s introduction explains, it is utterly unlike Swallows and Amazons and its sequels. Even so, readers familiar with the latter will find hints in The Elixir of the celebrated novelist Ransome would become, whilst all may enjoy this stirring tale of life, death and love in its own right.

Why not try it yourself, as winter draws in?

Autobiography published

3 March, 2018

We released our new edition of The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome today. It’s the second publication in our Buried Treasure project. Our new edition contains:

  • The full text from the first, 1976 Jonathan Cape edition, as edited by Ransome’s literary executor and friend, Sir Rupert Hart-Davis;
  • Sir Rupert’s prologue and epilogue;
  • A new selection of 60 black and white photographs;
  • New, specially-produced maps.

It is available now from our shop.