The World of Arthur Ransome
Arthur Ransome is most famous as the author of Swallows and Amazons, but he was also a literary critic, a foreign correspondent, a fisherman and a sailor. The World of Arthur Ransome explores the places that shaped the writer. It tells the story of his childhood, his friendships, his two wives and daughter. It also describes how and where he wrote each of his twelve classic children’s books, and the people and books that inspired them.
There is no doubt that Ransome’s spiritual home was the ‘Lake in the North’ where he set five of his twelve iconic books for children. He holidayed on the banks of Coniston Water as a boy and camped there as a young man, but his most important and longest-lasting home was Low Ludderburn, on the slopes of Cartmel Fell and close to Lake Windermere. There he wrote Swallows and Amazons and three of its sequels. Another four of his books were set in East Anglia, where he moved so that he could sail on the Norfolk Broads and the east coast rivers around Pin Mill. Here shipboard domestic arrangements came to the fore: all the cabins of his boats were equipped with writing desks and a bookcase. He was never happier than when writing while afloat in his favourite little yacht, the Nancy Blackett, immortalized as Goblin in We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea.
With a keen and affectionate eye, Christina Hardyment places this most loved of English authors
in the settings which so richly define his work.