The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome (Jonathan Cape £5.95) Most people seeing the title of this hook would imn:ediately think of the author of such children's hooks as "Swallows and Amazons", "Winter Holiday" and "Peter Duck". This account deals with the years before Ransome achieved recognition as a narrative writer, which was always his ambition.
His lifelong love for the Lake District started with his childhood holidays there, of which he gives a charming and heartwarming account, He lived the Bohemian life in l.ondon and Paris and mixed with and wrote about its varied characters, from Hugh Walpole to Oscar Wilde.
The major part of the hook is concerned with his days as a traveller and newspaper reporter, especially in Russia. His adventures there bordered on the hilarious, not least when he used an embossed letter from the London Library as a passport! On the more serious side, his account of the events and participants of the Revolution are riveting.
This is a compelling record of a many-sided character who successfully combined his love of adventure. of sailing, and above all. of writing, with a marvellous zest for life.