Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England on January 18, 1884. His father Cyric was a history professor and a great lover of nature. As a child, Arthur spent much of his vacation in sailing, camping and exploring the countryside in England's Lake Country. This beautiful countryside influenced many other famous English writers, such as William Wordsworth. Arthur and his father shared a great love of fishing. He later used these wonderful settings from nature in his children's books. Like many upper class English children, Arthur was educated at Rugby where he actually lived in Lewis Carroll's study room. His poor vision, lack of athletic skills and poor academic performance left him with some unhappy memories of his school experiences.
As a young man, Arthur Ransome began his career working at a newspaper and had a distinguished career as a journalist. In 1913 he visited Russia where he developed sympathy for the cause of Leon Trotsky and the Russian Revolution. Upon his return to England, he published Old Peter's Russian Tales, a collection of 21 folktales from Russia. He worked as a journalist and returned to Russia to cover stories for his newspaper. He also went as a reporter to other countries. At the age of 45 he wrote the Swallows and Amazons series which were based on holiday adventures for boys and girls. These books were among his best known and most popular books with young people.
His interest in nature can be seen in books such as The Coot Club, published by D. R. Godine in 1990. Here Dorothy and Dick have an adventure in the English countryside and attempt with their friends to protect nesting birds from boaters.
Probably his best known work in the United States is The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, a Russian folktale. Uri Shulevitz, illustrator of this book, received the Caldecott Award for his illustrations.
Arthur Ransome received many awards during his lifetime. He received the first Carnegie Medal in England in 1936 for his book, Pigeon Post, published by Lippincott. Artur Ransome died on 3th June 1967.