Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Secret Water

If, as I did, you grew up familiar with the Arthur Ransome chidren's stories, written in the 1930's and 40's - satisfyingly detailed narratives in which groups of children enjoyed independent nautical & camping adventures - you might be interested in an upcoming biography of Ransome, due out this month. Ransome is yet another of those nineteenth and early twentieth century writers whose writing for children was only one aspect of a complicated & unconventional life, a life which gave that writing its own vivid & unique signature. The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome, by Roland Chambers, explores the complexity of Ransome's life as writer, traveller, journalist, Bolshevik sympathizer & double agent.