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Arthur Ransome - Author

About the Author

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.

Featured books by Arthur Ransome

Other books by Arthur Ransome

The Child's Book of the Seasons

The Child's Book of the Seasons

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2019

Russian Fairy Tales

Russian Fairy Tales

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: eBook Release Date: 11/02/2018

RUSSIAN FAIRY TALES "e;Illustrated 18 Short Fairy Tales for Children"e; 1. The Magic Swan Geese 2. The Tale of Tsar Saltan 3. Emelya and the Pike 4. The Frog Tsarevna 5. Morozko 6. Twelve Months 7. Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf 8. Little Snow Girl (Snegurochka) 9. The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) 10. Kolobok Dough-Boy 11. Sadko 12. Ruslan and Ludmila 13. Golden Cockerel 14. The Scarlet Flower 15. The Humpbacked Little Pony 16. The Tale of the Fisherman and the Golden Fish 17. The Tale of the Dead (Sleeping) Princess and the Seven Knights 18. Sister Alyonushka and brother Ivanushka

Swallows And Amazons

Swallows And Amazons

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

For the Walker children, sailing the boat Swallow to an island for a camping trip is a fantastic adventure. But soon they find themselves under attack from the fierce pirates of the Amazon, Nancy and Peggy. And so begins the battles, alliances and discoveries in a summer like no other.

Great Northern?

Great Northern?

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves...

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

The Ds can't wait to go and stay with Nancy and Peggy in the Lake District during the summer holidays. But when the Amazons' dreadful Great Aunt invites herself to stay too, the summer is threatened with dullness. Staying indoors and reading poetry is not what anyone had in mind. To save the Ds from total boredom, the Amazons arrange for their friends to stay in a tumble-down hut in the woods. And as long as no one discovers they're there they can sail all summer long... In the Backstory you can learn how to make a campfire! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Missee Lee

Missee Lee

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2014

`So long,' called the harbourmaster. `Don't run into Missee Lee!' The Swallows, Amazons and Captain Flint don't pay much heed to the harbourmaster's friendly warning as they set off for China. They are on a round-the-world voyage aboard the Wild Cat and it's been plain sailing for a hundred ports. But when Gibber, the ship's monkey, accidentally sinks their faithful boat things take a serious turn for the worse. Separated, captured, miles from home, the Swallows and Amazons are about to meet their fate and the pirate who holds it: the legendary Missee Lee... In the 'Backstory' you can learn to decipher Nancy's Morse code and find out about the real life inspirations for Missee Lee Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Picts & The Martyrs

Picts & The Martyrs

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: eBook Release Date: 01/08/2014

Jibbooms and bobstays! Those two Blackett sisters are back at it again, and Nancy is right there in the thick of it. Their mother (doubtless suffering from exhaustion) has gone off sailing in the North Sea with Captain Flint on a rest cure, but she has allowed her two daughters to stay a fortnight at Beckfoot on the lakeshore with their trusty cook. She's also permitted their two old friends, Dick and Dorothea Callum, to come up for a visit. But when their redoubtable Great Aunt (aka G. A.) hears of their abandonment, she's horrified and off on the next train. The Amazons are dismayed; not only will their solo holiday be ruined but now they'll have to hide their two guests in the woods in an abandoned shepherd's cottage (where they'll be forced to live off the land like savages, ergo "e;The Picts"e;) while they'll be required to dress up in white pinafores, practice the pianoforte, and recite reams of parlor poetry aloud (ergo "e;The Martyrs"e;). Not much stretch here; no one dares trifle with the G.A. As usual with Ransome, the fun is gentle, the action nonstop, and the instructions on everything from tickling trout to setting anchors are precise and informed. Even the formidable maiden aunt proves to have virtues, not the least of which is her ability to say she's sorry. This is the eleventh title in a beloved series that have endeared themselves to three generations of readers, books as credible today as when Ransome penned them on the shores of his beloved Lake District in the 1930s.

Secret Water

Secret Water

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

'You'll start with a blank map, that doesn't do more than show roughly what's water and what isn't' When the Walker family's holiday plans are ruined by Daddy having to work, the whole summer seems lost at sea. But a dull holiday for the children is too miserable to bear so their parents hatch a plan. The Swallows are to be marooned on an island with only a blank map and a little sailing dinghy. Their task? To explore and chart the area, avoid the endless mud and survive. And what do they discover? Well, they might not be as alone as they first thought... Includes exclusive content: In the 'Backstory' you can find out about some real life explorers! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2014

'Like to spend a night in the Goblin?' The Swallows are staying on the Suffolk coast while they wait for their father to return home from China. But although the harbour is bursting with bobbing yachts, barges and steamers, this year there's no chance of any sailing for the landlocked Swallows. That is until they rescue young Jim Brading and his boat the Goblin from a sticky situation and to their delight are recruited as crew members. Mother agrees they can go, on one condition - they absolutely must not sail out past Beach End Buoy and into the open sea... Includes exclusive content: In the 'Backstory' you can test your knowledge of the book, and learn all about the art of sailing! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Coot Club

Coot Club

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

`Let fly jib sheet! Slack away main! Fenders out!' Dick and Dorothea - also known as The Ds - arrive in Norfolk all ready to learn how to sail. They couldn't hope for a better teacher than Tom Dudgeon. But Tom is in a spot of trouble. After seeing the beastly Margoletta moored clean across the nests of his beloved coots, Tom set the motorcruiser adrift. Now the enemy have offered a bounty on his head. Can they save the birds' nest from almost certain destruction? Will they avoid being caught by the awful Hullabaloos? Only some brave friends and quick thinking stands between them and disaster... Includes exclusive material: In `The Backstory' you can test your knowledge of the book, learn about the adventurous author and get some handy facts about birds and boats. Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

`Barbecued billygoats!' Can you imagine finding gold? That's just what the Swallows and Amazons and Dick and Dorothea decide to hunt for in the hills high above the lake. But it's a hot and dry summer and water is in scarce supply. Worse still for the troubled campers, they have competition: Squashy Hat. Anybody can see he is a prospector. And talk about squashy hats! The children have never seen squashier. Just who is he and what sort of traps is he laying? Using pigeons to carry messages, braving dangerous mines and fires, the Swallows, Amazons and D's Mining Company must stake their claim before their dreaded rival... Includes exclusive material: In `The Backstory' you can test your knowledge of the book and learn all about homing pigeons! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Favorite Russian Fairy Tales

Favorite Russian Fairy Tales

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2011

The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales

The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/12/2004

Coot Club

Coot Club

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

Tom Dudgeon has cast off a motor cruiser from its moorings to protect a coot's nest, but now the cruiser is searching high and low for him - even offering a reward. Tom accepts an invitation for a week's cruise to teach his new friends, Dick and Dorothea how to sail. You couldn't get a better sailor than Tom but can he really stay one jump ahead of his pursuers long enough to complete the voyage?

Missee Lee

Missee Lee

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

Nancy Blackett, the terror of the seas, has finally met a real pirate - the tiny, pistol-carrying Missee Lee, who has rescued them after their shipwreck off the coast of China. The only trouble is she wants to keep them. forever.

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

The dreaded Great Aunt has invited herself to stay with Nancy and Peggy just as their friends Dick and Dorothea arrive for the Summer holiday. Nancy and Peggy have to become Martyrs, wearing dresses and reading poetry (but breaking out at night), while Dick and Dorothea become Picts, secret inhabitants of the country who must never let themselves be seen. It's a desperate gamble to keep everyone out of trouble - but can it possibly work against the eagle eyes of the fearsome Great Aunt?

Peter Duck

Peter Duck

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

The Swallows and Amazons are sailing with Nancy and Peggy's Uncle Jim (better known as Captain Flint) when their hired deckhand tells them a tale of his younger days - a tale to set pulses racing and hopes shooting sky high. Soon their boat is on its way to a Caribbean treasure hunt and they find themselves up against shark, storm, earthquake - and the vilest pirate who ever eavesdropped at a porthole.

Swallowdale

Swallowdale

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

John, Susan, Titty and Roger return to the lake for another summer camping on their island with their old allies, Nancy and Peggy, otherwise known as the Amazon pirates. But immediately disaster strikes when the Swallows find themselves marooned ashore by the shipwreck of their boat. But if they can't have the island, there's always Swallowdale, the secret valley, hidden from the world and containing an extra secret concealed within it.

The Big Six

The Big Six

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

It's great detective work that's needed now. Bill, Peter and Joe are falsely accused of setting boats adrift and the whole river is against them. Only Dick, Dorothea and Tom Dudgeon are there to stand by their friends and they soon set to work to investigate the crimes and trap the real criminals

Secret Water

Secret Water

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

John, Susan, Titty and Roger, the crew of the Swallow, take on the job of mapping the mass of small islands round Pin Mill while living on the biggest one. But who are the mysterious savages who lurk in the islands - and is the tribal totem they find in their campsite a threat of attack. ?

Winter Holiday

Winter Holiday

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

'Well,' said Nancy, 'You know what it's like. Dark at teatime and sleeping indoors: nothing ever happens in the winter holidays.'Nothing - except a polar expedition, full of mountain rescues, blizzards, igloos, ice sailing and heroic work amidst the frozen wastes. For Dick and Dorothea, newcomers to the lake, meeting up with the Swallows and Amazons sweeps them into a wild adventure where they must prove their worth to the team

Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

Reunited for the summer, the Swallows and Amazons with Dick and Dorothea launch a prospecting expedition to find the lost gold mine of the high hills above the lake. But the mining camp runs into all sorts of trouble: not only the danger of fire in the drought ridden countryside but also scary encounters with unsafe tunnels. Worst of all is the sinister Squashy Hat, who appears to be a rival prospector and who's certainly a spy - how can they keep working without him discovering what they've found?

Great Northern?

Great Northern?

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

'I was wrong,' said Captain Flint. 'He's not mad but bad. It isn't only eggs he wants. He wants to take the credit for it. You're quite right. It's up to us, it's up to the ship, to see he doesn't.'Dick's birdwatching discovery turns the cruise of the Sea Bear into a desperate chase. Not only do the Swallows and Amazons have to prove the facts of the case but they also have to dodge the savage natives and evade the ruthless pursuit of a fanatic egg-collector, determined to kill a pair of rare birds and steal the credit. Fortunately, Nancy has a few plans.

Swallows And Amazons

Swallows And Amazons

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

John, Susan, Titty and Roger sail their boat, Swallow, to a deserted island for a summer camping trip. Exploring and playing sailors is an adventure in itself but the island holds more excitement in store. Two fierce Amazon Pirates, Nancy and Peggy, challenge them to war and a summer of battles and alliances ensues.

Coots in the North and Other Stories

Coots in the North and Other Stories

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/10/1988

While working on his book The Life of Arthur Ransome, Hugh Brogan chanced upon the unfinished scrip of a thirteenth 'Swallows and Amazons' story in Ransome's desk in the Abbot Hall Museum in Cumbria, where it had lain unknown except to a few. It had no title ('Coots in the North' is Brogan's invention) but there were a few preliminary drawings which Ransome might have included had this gem been brought to life in book form. Why he abandoned it is not know, for he left a clear outline of how he intended to go on once the three young Coots - Joe, Bill and Pete - had completed their hair-raising journey as stowaways from Norfolk to the lakes in the North. There, on a salvage mission, they encounter for the first time the intrepid Nancy Blackett. 'Coots in the North' is introduced by Brogan's lively account of how Arthur Ransome found fame and fortune through the Swallows and Amazons, and is accompanied in this collection by other delights which turned up among Ransome's papres in the Brotherton Library at Leeds University. An unfinished Victorian 'Bevis'-style novel yielded two superb stories, complete in themselves - 'The Cloudburst' and a fishing tale called 'The River Comes First'. The Baltic sailing mysteries originally published in Pall Mall Magazine in 1929, 'Two Shorts and a Long' and 'The Unofficial Side'; the Breton ghost story 'Ankou', which first appeared in English review in1914; and an eerie cautionary tale of old Russia called 'The Shepherd's Pipe' complete this testament to Ransome's storytelling genius, which should not be missed by enthusiasts young or old.

Secret Water

Secret Water

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/1984

The Swallows are marooned with just a little sailing boat for company. Will they survive their chance to become true explorers? When the Walker family's holiday plans are ruined by Daddy having to work, the whole summer seems lost at sea. But a dull holiday for the children is too miserable to bear so their parents hatch a plan. The Swallows are to be marooned on an island with only a blank map and a little sailing dinghy. Their task? To explore and chart the area, avoid the endless mud and survive. And what do they discover? Well, they might not be as alone as they first thought.

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome At All

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/1984

The poor old Amazons become Martyrs and the Ds Picts living in the woods, in Arthur Ransome's 11th adventure. The Ds can't wait to go and stay with Nancy and Peggy in the Lake District during the summer holidays. But when the Amazons' dreadful Great Aunt invites herself to stay too, the summer is threatened with dullness. Staying indoors and reading poetry is not what the Amazons had in mind. To save the Ds from the same fate they organise for them to stay in the Dogs' Home, a tumble-down hut in the woods. As long as no one discovers they're there they can sail all summer long.

Winter Holiday

Winter Holiday

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/09/1984

'You know what it's like. Dark at teatime and sleeping indoors: nothing ever happens in the winter holidays. Or so Nancy thinks. Then the lake ices over completely and the Swallows and Amazons, along with Dick and Dorothea -- 'the D's' -- plan a race to find the North Pole. How will they reach it if they can't sail? By sledges of course! But when a blizzard blows up and there is a mix up about signals, the D's disappear into the Arctic night. Disaster looms. Can the Swallows and Amazons save their friends?

Peter Duck

Peter Duck

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/1983

`Why do they call him Black Jake? Is it because of his hair?' Titty asked. `Because of his heart' said Peter Duck The Swallows and Amazons, as well as Captain Flint and the ancient able seaman Peter Duck, set sail on the Wild Cat bound for the Channel. But they are shadowed by the Viper, manned by none other than Black Jake - a beastly pirate with a dark plan. Can the children race ahead and uncover the buried treasure before the pirate? Can they survive storms, earthquakes, crabs and even a waterspout and make it home?

Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/1983

`Barbecued billygoats!' Can you imagine finding gold? That's just what the Swallows and Amazons and Dick and Dorothea decide to hunt for in the hills high above the lake. But it's a hot and dry summer and water is in scarce supply. Worse still for the troubled campers, they have competition: Squashy Hat. Anybody can see he is a prospector. And talk about squashy hats! The children have never seen squashier. Just who is he and what sort of traps is he laying? Using pigeons to carry messages, braving dangerous mines and fires, the Swallows, Amazons and D's Mining Company must stake their claim before their dreaded rival...

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/1983

'Like to spend a night in the Goblin?' The Swallows are staying on the Suffolk coast while they wait for their father to return home from China. But although the harbour is bursting with bobbing yachts, barges and steamers, this year there's no chance of any sailing for the landlocked Swallows. That is until they rescue young Jim Brading and his boat the Goblin from a sticky situation and to their delight are recruited as crew members. Mother agrees they can go, on one condition - they absolutely must not sail out past Beach End Buoy and into the open sea...

Coot Club

Coot Club

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/06/1982

`Let fly jib sheet! Slack away main! Fenders out!' Dick and Dorothea - also known as The Ds - arrive in Norfolk all ready to learn how to sail. They couldn't hope for a better teacher than Tom Dudgeon. But Tom is in a spot of trouble. After seeing the beastly Margoletta moored clean across the nests of his beloved coots, Tom set the motorcruiser adrift. Now the enemy have offered a bounty on his head. Can they save the birds' nest from almost certain destruction? Will they avoid being caught by the awful Hullabaloos? Only some brave friends and quick thinking stands between them and disaster...

Missee Lee

Missee Lee

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/06/1982

In the tenth instalment of the Swallows and Amazons series, the young crew come face-to-face with the fiercest pirate of the South China Seas. 'So long, ' called the harbourmaster. 'Don't run into Missee Lee!' The Swallows, Amazons and Captain Flint are on a round-the-world voyage. It's been plain sailing for a hundred ports and now they are on their way to China. A friendly harbourmaster has given them a warning: to watch out for pirates roaming the waters around the Chinese coast, but they haven't paid much heed. Until the day that Gibber the monkey accidentally sinks the faithful Wild Cat. Separated, captured, miles from home, the Swallows and Amazons are about to meet their fate and the pirate who holds it: the legendary Missee Lee.

Great Northern?

Great Northern?

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/06/1982

Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves...

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons

Author: Arthur Ransome Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/04/1982

A master storyteller, sympathetically in touch with real children and their interests, has created characters who are accepted as friends by children everywhere, not to mention plots which are eminently plausible and unexpected.' SUNDAY TIMES, in an article listing Swallows and Amazons among '99 Best Books for Children.

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