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on 7 April 2015
An excellent, vivid account both of the early life of Arthur Ransome, and of the extraordinary context of the Russian revolution.
Ransome emerges as an extraordinary, rather naive romantic who somehow lived through very dangerous adventures. The idea, expressed later by people who knew him as a children's writer in the Lake District, that he was a very tense man, harried by demons, for whom writing his children's books was an escape, a vital calming process, is clearly foreshadowed in this account.
When arrested on his return from Russia after the first world war, and questioned by the head of Special Branch, he relates that he was asked about his politics and his reply was "fishing". But the real reason that this flippant reply was sufficient was clearly that he was a unique source of information to the British about soviet Russia, and similarly to the Russians about British intentions. He was the great go-between.
This book tells the story extremely well.
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on 23 September 2016
A brilliant book. I had loved Arthur Ransome's children's books as a child and then as an adult became fascinated by the author and his life especially as he was so like my grandfather; both had similar lives as journalists and travellers. I read his autobiography and other books about him, but this one tops them all. A great read.
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on 15 April 2015
This is the story of Arthur Ransome, the writer of Swallows and Amazons and Russian war corespondent. I felt it got far too bogged down in the details and minutia of Ransome's time in St Petersberg, i would have preferred more about the man, his life and loves. This was by no means a casual read, it was hard going
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on 30 June 2017
Excellent read. Full of fascinating stuff that I never had any idea about. Quite a life.
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on 16 July 2016
Not quite what I expected but a very interesting story. If you are a fan of Arthur Ransome this gives a new perspective to his life.
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on 12 November 2015
Fantastic. For anyone who loved Swallows and Amazons this is really interesting. AR was a complicated man.
One person found this helpful
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on 28 March 2014
Ransome is a constant favourite as the author of the children's books, but this looks at a lesser known part of his life
2 people found this helpful
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on 5 August 2015
Excellent
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on 19 May 2015
Most interesting. I had not realized that Ransome was such an unpleasant character.
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on 8 May 2014
I bought this book out of curiosity about the Author of my favorite childhood books. A very interesting and unexpected read!
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