Arthur Ransome at the Ruskin Museum, Coniston

Sailing Boat, Amazon.

The sailing boat “Amazon” (formerly “Mavis”) at the Ruskin Museum, Coniston. Arthur Ransome and his friend Ernest Altounyan bought two boats, “Swallow” and “Mavis” (another name for Song Thrush) in 1928.

The exhibition,  From Coniston to the Kremlin: Arthur Ransome’s Russian Adventures opened at the Ruskin Museum, Coniston, on June 3rd, exploring Arthur Ransome’s involvement as a political reporter in Russia as the country went through the bloody transition from Tsarist state to what later became the Soviet Union. Ransome spent a decade, between 1914 and 1924, studying and writing about Russia and its complex, and often dangerous politics. The exhibition contains a fascinating collection of artifacts, letters, notebooks, and photographs from Ransome’s time in Russia, and in the Lake District. I highly recommend a visit to the exhibition, and to the Ruskin Museum, if you’re in the area over the summer. There is more about the exhibition, and about Ransome, over at the Arthur Ransome Trust website.

The exhibition ends, of course, on Sunday, September 3rd, when we celebrate Ransome’s best-known novel, Swallows and Amazons, by reading it aloud on the lake shore at Coniston. There are still a few spaces for reading volunteers–get in touch using the contact form if you would like to be part of the marathon reading.


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