Poet’s Update on Arthur and Oscar


Photo of Poet by Ray Turner


I hope you enjoy browsing my updated site about the work of Arthur Ransome and Oscar Wilde!

Please browse around.  Comments are welcome.

This post is early or late depending on whether you have viewed this before.

Click the link to find Poet’s work!



Swallows and Amazons 1974 Film


It was wonderful to meet TARS members and some of the team who worked on the 1974 film of Swallows and Amazons on Saturday, 28th July at The Alhambra Cinema Keswick.

The Arthur Ransome Society President Sophie Neville gave a charming talk before the film, which added a little extra magic to the event.

She played the part of tomboy Titty Walker, displaying a lovely combination of vulnerability, exuberance and imagination that were entirely natural.

All the cast were magnificent.

It was especially lovely to see the amazing Zannah Hamilton when she was in the first blush of youth as a resilient and capable Susan Walker.

The late Claude Whatham who directed the movie showed exceptional mastery in the way he drew out comedy from this gentle period piece based on Arthur Ransome’s most famous novel.

His work was thoroughly complimented by orchestral music which matched the mood and followed every beat of a superb screenplay.

Afterwards the President of the Society signed her books for Arthur Ransome fans who attended the screening.  These included delighted children who had thoroughly enjoyed themselves on an uncompromisingly rainy afternoon!

One of her books is The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons.  The Kindle version is extremely engaging with its video trailer of this work containing behind the scenes footage that happened as the film was in production.

To join TARS see http://www.arthur-ransome.org.uk/.

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Poet is going to Keswick via Penrith where there will be a showing at the Alhambra Cinema of the 1974 film of Swallows and Amazons starring the President of the Arthur Ransome Society Sophie Neville.

She is the author of a charming book The Filming of Swallows and Amazons available on Amazon.

Until next week, enjoy the brilliant weather!






Swallows and Amazons in Yorkshire





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As Oscar Wilde has dominated recent posts it’s back to nature this week!

Sunday, 3rd June was the perfect day to catch up with The Arthur Ransome Experience!

Barbon Fell is a delightful place for this!   It offers a true taste of pastoral England untouched by time!

It awakened a nostalgia for childhood and memories of placing stones across the water to create a pathway over the stream!  I must have been about five years old at the time!

The Walkers and Blackett’s would love it!

Here are slides of a truly wonderful day and a magical landscape for you to enjoy!











The Genius and the Rebel

Here is the story lost to literature and modern society; the connection between Oscar Wilde and the world famous Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome.   It was made in co-operation with Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op in March 2015.



Thanks everyone!


More about Poet is on https://annewritesjustforyou.com/shop.



Wilde Reflections





Why not visit Garstang library on the evening of Thursday 11th January?

It is opposite Booth’s superstore at 45, Windsor Road, Preston PR3 1EX, UK.

From 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm there will be an evening of poetry and traditional music  that will celebrate the poetry of Oscar Wilde.

Tickets are £4 including refreshments.  Cakes, coffee and tea will be available.

Other poets at the event include The Quantum Poet Dean Fraser and Bryony Rogers, also a film maker.

Dean has his own radio show with over 300,000 potential listeners in the UK.

He is also the author of a book titled YOU, but Happier, Healthier and More Successful and has written for major magazines.

His articles have featured in Take a Break, New Age Journal, Living Now, Wisdom, and many more!

For Dean click the link.

His book Beyond Poetry has a focus on many themes which were dear to Arthur Ransome.

Bryony Rogers is a poet of thirty years’ experience.  You will find her work in Take Five Poets, a collection by ID Books, as well as South Magazine and Earth Pathways Diaries and Calendars.

Much of her work is inspired by her deep love of Nature and sense of the sacred she finds there.

Why not take a look at her website,www.songofawakening.org.uk?

See also www.movingessence.net ,www.facebook.com/natureasmedicine  and  www.facebook.com/songofawakeninguk.

At the end there will be an open mic for local poets to read their work.

See you there!











A Review of Swallows, Amazons and Coots by Julian Lovelock


For your Christmas stocking!

A work of distinction

In this analysis of Arthur Ransome’s novels, Julian Lovelock establishes them as belonging to a tradition of island literature from Shakespeare to Stevenson, while cementing Ransome’s significance in the history of literature as the man who changed the direction of children’s books by introducing the adventure novel.

Readers learn how Ransome’s novels relate to his own life while also reflecting the trends in thirties literature like the detective novel and the thriller.

Mr Lovelock challenges common perceptions that Ransome’s works uphold outdated, colonial ideology.  His work makes it clear that the Bolshevik sympathising Ransome was no imperialist and that the empirical games the Walker children play in his books reflected a time when schools celebrated Empire Day and allowed children to dress up as island ‘savages’ with black faces.  (We can be glad that age is past!)

We learn how Ransome uses satire and parody to express his own distance from the old world (eg when writing about the Lady Bracknell-like Great Aunt Maria) while his characters Nancy, Titty and Missee Lee smash female stereotyping.

The work instead gives testament to how Ransome was in touch with his country’s past and his own times.  It highlights the recurring themes of continuity and renewal which reflect Ransome’s own views set against the threat of invasion by an insensitive, urban community and tourist industry of which these latter serve as a metaphor for the darkening prospect of approaching war and loss of childhood innocence.

This book also offers a fascinating insight into Ransome the writer.

Most important however, is the recognition that comedy and optimism are central to Ransome’s work, tempered with the triumph of humanity.

Even Great Aunt Maria holds onto her sense of dignity.

Today’s Internet-savvy reader is left in no doubt that Ransome is a shining light for our time.

To read an interview with the author just click here!

Music, Drawing and Music with the Wilde and Ransome Touch.

Ransome and Wilde offered a bridge to other forms of art in their writing.  Both were fine artists in the sense of an ability to draw.

In fact Wilde thought of being an artist before deciding to be a writer.

His drawing of his youthful first love Florence Balcombe is beautiful.

Ransome also contributed illustrations for his books.

Yet music is an important part of their work.  The old folk favourite such as the well-known Blow the Man Down finds its way into Swallows and Amazons.  This piece is sure to be found in a book of folk songs with simple arrangements and is excellent for beginner accompanists.  The family can help young or amateur pianists by singing after practise!

Signals,  TARS magazine reports that Arthur Ransome Society events are rich with song at family friendly gatherings, a great way to improve community spirit and bring everyone together!

Chopin was the musician of significance who made his way into Wilde’s work.  He is mentioned  in Intentions, (also the title of the Oscar Wilde Society publication for memebers!) where the character Gilbert passes comment on this piano mastro’s majestic works.  Chopin also makes an impression on the character Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Did you know Wilde’s brother was a very good amateur pianist with a particular love of Chopin?

I could add a page about music and include reviews about music or musicians relating to both artists.

Would readers like this?

I shall be reviewing Julian Lovelock’s Swallows, Amazons and Coots for my next post.  His introduction is intriguing.

Look forward to your comments!




On the Slow Boat to China




Arthur Ransome and Oscar Wilde understood how important it is to build bridges between countries and cultures.

China is a country that was significant to their work.

Wilde  talked of the beautiful cups the people of China use with  which to drink tea in one of his American lectures The Decorative Arts which highlighted the importance of art in everyday life.  This lecture is in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Harper Collins.

Arthur Ransome travelled to China as special correspondent to The Manchester Guardian in 1927 and like his amazing auntie made it to Peking!

Ransome in China 1927 by TARS’ publication Amazon gives a detailed account of his experience of the orient.

This episode of his life inspired Ransome’s 1941 novel Missee Lee.

More about his aunt is in a local publication  The Thorns, produced by the Slyne-with-Hest Historical Society located near Morecambe Bay.

For an example of Chinese culture appreciation in the Western world today click the link below to see the work of the local music centre More Music in Morecambe.

The Long Walk Chinese Orchestra