Arthur Ransome Wiki

William Gershom Collingwood (1854 - 1932) was a writer, academic and artist. He was a pupil of John Ruskin, at Oxford, and moved to Lanehead, near Ruskin's home at Brantwood, and worked as his old master's secretary from 1881 until Ruskin's death in 1900. William and his wife Edith made a living selling their landscape paintings. (LAR p42)

He set up an exhibition, now known as the Ruskin Museum (which includes a number of Ransome-related exhibits) and wrote Thorstein of the Mere, a Viking saga which features Peel Island and Coniston Water, and was a book much loved by Arthur Ransome. His family nickname was The Skald.

The Collingwoods had a son and three daughters; Dora, Barbara, Robin (son) and Ursula

William became a “father substitute” to Arthur, and his wife Edith an “aunt”. Arthur was a friend of Robin and their daughters, two of whom (Barbara and Dora) Arthur proposed to.(LAR p42,44)