C.B.E. Litt. D. (
|Arthur Ransome discovered
Arthur thought the churchyard, green and isolated, was one of the most peaceful places on earth. He expressed the wish to the then vicar of the parish, the Rev'd J.S. Boulter, that he would like to be buried there, in an especially nice spot under the Corsican pine, with the sound of the wind in the pine needles. Stand by his grave and survey the surrounding countryside, you will see nearly everything Arthur Ransome held dear about this area.
small river, Ashes Beck, flows below the hill on which
Woodland and fellside are all around, the only thing missing in this beautiful valley is a lake. The two most important stretches of water in his life, Coniston Water and Windermere are only three miles away as the swallow flies. The wild life he loved is abundant. Buzzards can be seen soaring, their plaintive cries echoing round the valley: jays and spotted woodpeckers, and in the summer, redstarts, curlew and cuckoo abound. In the evening red and roe deer feed on the edge of the woodlands At night the valley is alive with the sound of owls Coincidentally, the origin of the name Rusland is Rolf's Lands or Runulf's Land, the origin of the name Ransome is Runulf's Son.
the fact that Arthur Ransome found this churchyard in such a
beautiful situation, it happens to stand almost in the centre of
the circle of his
A short distance to the north of The Heald is Lanehead which was the home of W.G. Collingwood and his family, and Arthur's second home and family in his early manhood. The Collingwoods had a profound influence on Arthur, encouraging his passion for writing and teaching him to sail. Arthur said that the whole of the rest of his life was happier because of them.
mainly remembered by generations of children for his Swallows
books Arthur Ransome led a fascinating and varied life. Besides
being an author he was an outstanding fisherman and sailor,
writing books on both subjects. He was also a leading
journalist. He spent the summer of 1913 in Russia learning
the language in order to collect folk-tales, went back in May
1914, and in 1915 he was appointed Russian Correspondent to the
Daily News. He lived in
It was during the Revolution that Arthur met such people as Lenin and Trotsky, actually playing chess with Lenin and defeating him. At this time he also fell in love with Trotsky's secretary Evgenia Shelepina, who eventually became his second wife, life-long support and the sternest critic of his work. Her ashes were placed with those of her beloved Arthur in the April of 1975.
occasion during the Revolution Arthur and Evgenia became
separated, she being stranded in
Evgenia moved to
One of Arthur's proudest moments came when he took delivery of his favourite boat Recundra, especially when he saw the ship's papers handed to him on departure by the Lettish Customs Office:
'Master and Owner of the RECUNDRA'
In his book 'Recundra's First Cruise' Arthur Ransome penned these words:
In moments of humiliation, those are the words I shall whisper to myself for comfort. I ask no others on my grave.
Although these words do not appear on his grave, it is fitting that they should be recorded here.
Ransomes were to move away from the
updated from history by