Arthur Michell Ransome (18 January 1884 – 3 June 1967) was an English author and journalist. He is best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. Many of the books involve sailing; fishing and camping are other common subjects. The books remain popular and "Swallows and Amazons" is the basis for a tourist industry around Windermere and Coniston Water, the two lakes Ransome adapted as his fictional North Country lake.
He also wrote about the literary life of London, and about Russia before, during, and after the revolutions of 1917.
Ransome was the son of Cyril Ransome (1851-1897) and his wife Edith. Arthur was born in Leeds; the house at 6 Ash Grove, in the Hyde Park area, has a blue plaque over the door commemorating the event. Ransome's father was professor of history at Yorkshire College, Leeds, (now the University of Leeds). The family regularly holidayed at Nibthwaite in the Lake District, and he was carried up to the top of Coniston Old Man as an infant. His father's premature death in 1897 had a lasting effect on Ransome.
Ransome received his formal education first in Windermere and then at Rugby School (where he lived in Lewis Carroll's study room) but did not entirely enjoy the experience, because of his poor eyesight, lack of athletic skill, and limited academic achievement. He attended Yorkshire College, his father's college, studying chemistry. After a year, he abandoned the college and went to London to become a writer. He took low-paying jobs as an office assistant in a publishing company and as editor of a failing magazine, Temple Bar Magazine, while writing and becoming a member of the literary scene of London...
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