Arthur Ransome Wiki
"We got money," said Bill.
Mrs Dudgeon looked at him for a moment and then laughed.
"I'm glad to hear that," she said. "But I've got plenty too." (BS22)

Socioeconomic class is an aspect of classic literature that can sometimes create clashes with modern tastes, including the quest for political correctness and concerns regarding classism.

This article attempts to list instances where socioeconomic class is mentioned in Arthur Ransome's works so that scholars, critics and fans may then draw their own conclusions.

Note to contributors: let's give references here as much as possible

Gee whizz[]

A case study in classism[]

The cook at Beckfoot, Mrs Braithwaite is sometimes addressed as Cook with an upper-case 'C' (eg PM1) and sometimes as cook with a lower-case 'c' (eg PP6). When she leaves a basket of goodies for the expedition to Kanchenjunga she left a note Love from Cook (giving herself a capital 'C').

Other domestic staff in the Swallows and Amazons series get the lower case treatment, even in speech. For example Vicky's nurse (at Holly Howe) in (SA). Compare this with the decidedly Upper Case Cook in Racundra's First Cruise.


Arthur Ransome on class[]

After a reviewer in the Spectator (9 July 1943) reviewing The Picts and the Martyrs asked "I wonder whether Mr Ransome's stories appeal to children who live entirely outside the world of nannies, cooks and private boat-houses?" Ransome's reply to a supporter stated:

...I would like to point out...that it is cheaper to take lodgings in a farmhouse than [at] Blackpool, that boats are much cheaper than...motor cycles, that books cost less than legs of mutton and last much longer, and that the children of my books are the children of naval officers, boatbuilder's workmen, doctors, farmers, teachers etc. might ask if the reviewer really thinks that none but birds can read Hans Anderson's Ugly Duckling and that it is necessary to be of the blood royal to enjoy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. (SFM, July 1943)

See also[]