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To mark the centenary of the birth of one of the most accomplished and popular writers for children ever published, Hugh Brogan gives us the whole story of Arthur Ransome's extraordinary life in a fascinating book that has been six years in the writing. With compete access to the Ransome papers, and much material besides that has only come to light from other private sources since the Autobiography appeared in 1976, Brogan balances his account perfectly to complement Ransome's own, dealing less with the early years but telling us a great deal more about Ransome's experiences in Russia at the time of the Revolution, and providing for the first time the surprising background to the Swallows and Amazons books. Arthur Ransome, the son of a university professor, grew up in Leeds and went to school in the Lake District before transferring to Rugby, where he remained an undistinguished scholar and a duffer at games because of his extreme short sight. His abiding passions were then to become a writer and to pursue the outdoor life of fishing, sailing and camping, which he was to do into his seventies. His short time working for a publisher in London at the turn of the century and his Bohemian life as a writer in Chelsea before the First World War close with the agony of his prosecution for libel by Lord Alfred Douglas. Ransome's stormy life with his wife Ivy is revealed in all its comic and heart-rending burlesque. His escape from her to Russia led to wartime adventures as correspondent for the Daily News and eye-witness accounts of the progress of the Revolution in Russia of far greater historical significance can then be gleaned from his Autobiography. Another escape - though his second (Russian-born) wife, who had been Trotsky's secretary, would never allow it to be so called - got him out of Russia in 1919 to an idyllic life in the Baltic state of Estonia, and eventually to what he had always wanted, a home in the Lake District. There followed travels in the Middle East and China as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, and his recommendation for a job on the paper of a young man by the name of Malcolm Muggeridge. But probably the most immediately appealing and compelling part of the book reveals the truth behind the writing of his Swallows and Amazons stories, all of which turn out to be thinly-disguised non-fiction. Arthur's life and adventures with the various children who were to find themselves implanted in his bestselling books are told in loving detail and with immense charm. From a profusion of letters, diaries and first-hand recollections by those still alive who knew Arthur well as the overgrown schoolboy he was in middle age, Hugh Brogan delights us with what Arthur Ransome himself, if not actually suppressed, at least thought sufficiently private to keep from us all these years.
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Hugh Brogan was for ten years a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. He is now a lecturer in American History at the University of Essex, and has just completed A History of the United States.Review:
"Arthur Ransome was among the most attractive and gifted literary figures of his time. Hugh Brogan has written a delightful book about him which brings him dramatically back to life." -- A.J.P. Taylor Observer "Brogan's life of the man and his study of the works serve as a powerful, excellently supported and splendidly-written piece of English cultural history." -- Norman Stone Times Literary Supplement
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Book Description Jonathan Cape, 1984. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110224020102
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 1984. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0224020102
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0224020102
Book Description Jonathan Cape, 1984. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0224020102