Specialist Catalogue: Arthur Ransome

Ransome is in many ways a biographer’s dream. The success and enduring popularity of the Swallows And Amazons books make him instantly recognisable, and a touchstone for decency, “cotton tents and grog and tea at four”, all anchored in the lore and landscape of the Lake District.


Against this, however, one can set - to take just two examples - him leaving his Yorkshire college to embrace Bohemian London in pursuit of a writing career; and leaving his family to move to Russia, first to study its folklore and produce Old Peter’s Russian Tales, second to act as a foreign correspondent during the outbreak of war in 1914 and subsequent Bolshevik Revolution, and third to work as a spy for the Secret Intelligence Service, all the while courting Leon Trotsky’s personal secretary Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina, who he would later marry.


Such a life provides much fertile ground for the book collector to cover, and the selection below chiefly comes from two recently acquired collections, and include fine first editions of the Swallows And Amazons series, as well as a host of other books by and about Ransome.


To view the PDF of the catalogue, click here or on the cover below.

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