Old Peter's Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment

Old Peter's Russian Tales

Written by Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment
Illustrated by Christina Hardyment

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

July 2010 Guest Editor Marcus Sedgwick: "I think this was the book that more than any other gave me a love of folk and fairy tales. Written by Ransome years before his Swallow and Amazon series, it's full of delightful writing, and things both light and dark. Ever since I started writing myself I've tried to find ways to work folk tales into my stories."


Old Peter's Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment

About the Author

Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment

Arthur Ransome was born on January 18, 1884, in Leeds, where his father was a Professor of History. His father was a lover of the hills and lakes of Furness, and carried the baby Arthur up to the top of Coniston Old Man (later to become 'Kanchenjunga' in the books) when he was only a few weeks old. Every summer, he took his family by train to Greenodd, complete with their belongings packed into a large tin bath, and then by cart along the valley to Lowick and, finally, to Nibthwaite, on the shores of Coniston Water.

It was to be a long time before the memories came to life in Swallows and Amazons and the rest of the books about the children who sailed and explored the lakes and mountains of England. Always fired by ambition to be a writer, Arthur Ransome took his first job with a London publisher and then with the famous newspaper, the Manchester Guardian, for whom he worked for many years as a foreign correspondent.

As a young man, Ransome spent many more happy holidays on the shores of Coniston with his friends the Collingwood family. Mr and Mrs Collingwood treated Arthur as a son and he pays them grateful recognition in his autobiography by saying 'My whole life has been happier for knowing them'. He spent hours on Peel Island, which was to become famous all over the world as Wildcat Island, picnicking there with the Collingwood daughters Dora and Barbara.

Christina Hardyment has written books and articles on a dizzying range of subjects (including her collection of historical sewing machines, domestic technology, family life and a biography of Sir Thomas Malory). She lives in a rambling house in Oxford with a huge garden, where she is already planning camps and a treehouse for her grandchildren. Time off is spent sailing on the river, in a British Moth dinghy.

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Book Info


256 pages


Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment
More books by Arthur Ransome, Christina Hardyment


Jane Nissen Books

Publication date

1st September 2003




Publisher Profile

Jane Nissen Books is an imprint of Jane Nissen Books

logo Upon retirement from Penguin in 2001, and with the belief that children of the 21st Century should have access to some of the best-loved books of the 20th Century, many of which have gone out of print over the years, Jane Nissen set up her own publishing company with the sole purpose of bringing lost children's classics back into print. In 2007, Jane was granted the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguished service to the world of British children's books.

Publisher's Website


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