Arthur Ransome Literary Pages

Literary sources which provide insight into Ransome's depictions of characters, places and events in the Swallows and Amazons books. *=complete text
*Mehalah: a Story of the Salt Marshes S. Baring-Gould A novel that "has much of the cannibal atmosphere of Secret Water" (Hardyment).
* The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers A Ransome favourite in Captain Flint's houseboat library
*Thorstein of the Mere W.G. Collingwood With a magnificent introduction by AR himself
* The Swan and Her Crew Christopher Davies The adventures of the "Three young Naturalists and Sportsmen on the Broads and Rivers of Norfolk" are echoed by the Deaths and Glories in The Big Six.
* Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe Titty's favourite reading on Wild Cat Island
*Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse Joseph Jacobs The children's story which gave Mavis Altounyan her nickname
Bevis: the Story of a Boy Richard Jefferies Chapters 10-13 ('Savages') from a 19th century forerunner of Ransome
A General History of the Pyrates Captain Charles
The true stories of those naughty pirates Mary Read and Anne Bonny.
* The Cruise of the 'Falcon' E.F. Knight The genesis of Peter Duck; the account of Knight's voyage across the Atlantic to South America in a 30-ton yacht, and the discovery of the crab-infested island which became Crab Island.
*The Cruise of the 'Alerte' E.F. Knight The sequel to the Cruise of the 'Falcon': Knight returns to Trinidad in a search for pirate treasure, based on a treasure map on a piece of tarpaulin... Seems familiar?
*The 'Falcon' on the Baltic E.F. Knight Find out why this was Ransome's favourite among Knight's books ...
*Sailing E.F. Knight As used by John in WDMTGTS and by Dick in P&M.
*The Fairy Books Andrew Lang A childhood favourite of Ransome's', Lang's Fairy Books clearly influenced AR's Old Peter's Russian Tales
* The "Blue Bird" among the Norfolk Reeds Walter E.Ledger An inspiration to Ransome, both as a sailor and as a writer.
I Sailed with Chinese Pirates Aleko E. Lilius Was Lai Choi San a model for Missee Lee? Read Lilius and decide for yourself.
*Sea Songs John Masefield The 1906 article in Temple Bar from which AR learned his Sea Chanties.
Sir Walter Ralegh's Third Voyage Thomas Masham From Hakluyt's Voyages vol. 4 (See Peter Duck, chapter 36).
"Ralegh" we are told is how Sir Walter spelled his name, and it is spelled this way in Masham.
* Moby Dick Herman Melville "The greatest of all books ever written" (Arthur Ransome)
The First Crossing of Greenland Fridtjof Nansen Text and pictures showing how Nansen developed and trialled his sailing-sledges
Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen Pictures and text from the other book by Nansen that inspired Winter Holiday
The English Lakes W. T. Palmer "A very fine description of the frozen Windermere in 1895" (Roger Wardale)
The Great Frost Anonymous From the Kendal and County News, February 1895.
The Logs of Cochy and Fairway 1938-1939 George Russell &
Josephine Russell
The voyages of the Northern River Pirates, and of Coch-y-Bondhhu
*Sailing Alone Around the World Joshua Slocum "Boys who do not like this book ought to be drowned at once." (Arthur Ransome)
*Voyage of the 'Liberdade' Joshua Slocum "One of the best stories of a small-boat voyage that have ever been written." (AR)
*Annancy Stories Pamela Coleman Smith Pamela Coleman Smith (Pixie) told Arthur Ransome the Annancy (Anansi) stories in London, as recounted in Bohemia in London
The Anansi Stories Traditional Anansi the trickster is one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore. Arthur Ransome learned these stories in London from Pixie Colman Smith (see above), who learned them in Jamaica. Collected by Martha Warren Beckwith.
* Treasure Island Robert Louis
A major influence on Arthur Ransome, and on the Amazon pirates.
The Holm Bank Hunting Song Traditional As sung by old Mr. Swainson in Swallowdale

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