Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884. He had an adventurous life – as a baby in he was carried by his father to the top of the Old Man of Coniston, a peak that is 2,276ft high!
He went to Russia in 1913 to study folklore and in 1914, at the start of World War I he became a foreign correspondent for the Daily News. In 1917 when the Russian Revolution began he became a journalist and was a special correspondent of the Guardian newspaper. He knew many of the leading Bolshevik figures, including Lenin, Trotsky and the latter’s secretary, Evgenia Shvelpina. These contacts led to persistent but unproven accusations that he ‘spied’ for both the Bolsheviks and Britain.
Ransome married Evgenia and returned to England in 1924. He bought a cottage near Windermere in the Lake District in the late 1920s and worked as a foreign correspondent and highly-respected angling columnist for the Manchester Guardian.
He wrote Swallows and Amazons in 1930. And that was just the beginning of a series of twelve books which feature the same beloved characters and adventures with boats. Arthur Ransome died in 1967 and is buried at Rusland in the Lake District.