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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Arthur Ransome
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.
Arthur Ransome
The original cast of the famed Swallows and Amazons series is sailing under the stars and the command of Captain Flint in the South China Sea when Gibbet, their pet monkey, grabs the captain¿s cigar and drops it in the fuel tank. In minutes, the ship is ablaze (and doomed), and our seven luckless protagonists are adrift in two small boats. They make their way to land, only to find themselves the captives of one of the last remaining pirates operating off the China Coast. But Missee Lee, as it turns out, is no ordinary pirate; her father had sent her off to Cambridge University to prepare her for a life as a teacher. But when her father takes ill and dies, she finds herself struggling to hold together the Three Island Confederation (Tiger, Turtle, and Dragon) he had created, and to be recognized as his legitimate heir and ruler of the Island Kingdom. Ransome is, as always, the consummate storyteller. Here he takes the reader not only on the usual sailing adventures and cliff-hanging escapades, but also into Chinese culture. (It¿s no accident that, like so many of Ransome¿s protagonists, Missee Lee is a woman, or that her Latin is almost as refined as her sailing skills.) It is also no wonder that The Observer called this, the tenth book in the series, ¿his best yet . . . a book to buy, to read, and to read again, not once but many times.¿ The Guardian put it ¿in a class by itself.¿ For Ransome, unlike so many writers of his and our generation, was particular in writing about things he knew and had studied first-hand, whether it was a foreign culture, a classical language, a cryptographic code, or the finer points of seamanship.
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