Arthur Ransome

Arthur Michell Ransome was an English author and journalist. He is best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. Many of the books involve sailing; fishing and camping are other common subjects. The books remain popular and "Swallows and Amazons" is the basis for a tourist industry around Windermere and Coniston Water, the two lakes Ransome adapted as his fictional North Country lake.
He also wrote about the literary life of London, and about Russia before, during, and after the revolutions of 1917.
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Finally! Here is the twelfth, and final, book in Arthur Ransome's acclaimed Swallows and Amazons series. People familiar with his earlier work will recognize the pattern: children set out on an adventure (this one off the coast of Scotland) with a minimum of parental advice and interference. Here, the story centers on a desperate race to thwart the efforts of pernicious egg collectors threatening the survival of a pair of rare birds not previously known to nest in British waters (actually, the bird is the handsome North American "Great Northern Diver," more commonly called a loon). Note from the publisher. When we first considered reissuing this beloved series, we asked our friends, especially librarians, what they thought of the idea. No one encouraged us; the characters were foreign, the setting was English, the type was small and the books were too long. Worst of all, one of the Swallows was called "Titty." No one would read them. But we loved the books; they were rooted in reality and had the grit and voice of real experience. The kids were always on vacation. The parents disappeared. Practical information abounded - about sailing and navigating, tickling trout and tying knots. Problems set to children were solved. And "Titty" was for us (as she surely was for Ransome) a favorite; a child with trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy and who drew others into her world. Today, with all twelve titles in print, we're pleased to report that there are legions of Ransome fans, as well as bookstores who welcome each new addition with enthusiasm. The success of fine writing has little to do with type size or page count or characters' names. It has everything to do with good stories,palpable energy, engaging models, and credible adventures; and all these Arthur Ransome provides in spades.
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