Russia is the world's largest country, reaching from eastern Europe to the far east of Asia a,d from the Arctic to the central Asian desert lands. Russia was in some ways Arthur Ransome's second home country. He spent many years there and in his writings expressed enthusiasmref req for both the tsarist traditional social order and the Bolshevik revolution. Ransome was infused with Russian culture, for example he mentioned offering prayers to St Nicholasref req. Ransome's second wife Evgenia came from Russia.
Ted Walker returns from China to England overland by train, presumably via the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia (WD1). John imagines him Lying in a train .... What if he had managed to get across Asia and Europe quicker than he had expected (WD16). After the train got in he went for a walk after sitting still for twelve days .... and nights (WD23).
The Ransomes in Estonia and Latvia
Ransome was made the Russian correspondent of the Manchester Guardian in 1919 after the editor C. P. Scott read Six Weeks in Russia in 1919 and liked it. He was based in the Baltic states previously part of Russia; first in Reval, Estonia (Reval was renamed Tallinn) and then Riga, Latvia in 1923. He wrote intermittent lengthly articles rather than the frequent telegrams he had sent during the war, writing them outside Russia to avoid the Soviet censor. In 1924 he returned to England with Evgenia, and he wrote on Russia for the paper until 1928. LAR pp 244,259
Ransome's Russian writings
Russia provided material for several of Ransome's written works:
- Old Peter's Russian Tales
- The War of the Birds and the Beasts
- Six Weeks in Russia (1919)
- The Crisis in Russia (1921)
- Two short stories published in Coots in the North and other stories included:
Racundra's First Cruise describes some former Russian imperial territories, by then independent, including Estonia and Latvia.
Ransome in Russia – Arthur's Adventures in Eastern Europe by Ted Alexander & Tatiana Verizhnikova (2003, Portchester, Fareham, Hampshire)