Arthur Ransome Wiki

Rupert Hart-Davis (1907 – 1999) was an English man of letters and publisher. He was the junior partner at Jonathan Cape and so had to handle their difficult authors, including Robert Graves and Wyndham Lewis. Also Arthur Ransome, although this was because of Genia, with her “distrustfulness, venom and guile”. He was a close friend of Arthur, sharing an enthusiasm for cricket and rugby (but not fishing).

He left Cape after a dispute over money. After Cape’s death he commented to George Lyttelton that Cape had been “one of the tightest-fisted old bastards I’ve ever encountered”. The second partner, Wren Howard was “even more cheese-paring” than Cape, and neither Cape or Howard liked fraternising with authors, which they left to Rupert.

He was Arthur’s literary executor (with John Bell), and, as he had promised, edited and oversaw the publication of The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome in 1976 after Arthur’s and Genia’s deaths.


Rupert Hart-Davis: Man of Letters by Philip Ziegler (2004, Chatto & Windus, London) ISBN 0 7011 7320 3