Arthur Ransome

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Blue plaque erected in April 2021 by English Heritage at 1 Gunter Grove, Chelsea, London, SW10 0UJ, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Arthur Michell Ransome (January 18, 1884 – June 3, 1967) was a British children's author and journalist. Ransome is most famous for his Swallows and Amazons series of novels named after the first book in the series.


  • Houses, are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay transition. I admit, doubtfully, as exceptions, snail-shells and caravans. The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting-place.
  • They found, like many explorers before them, that somehow, in their absence, they had got into trouble at home.
  • When a thing's done, it's done, and if it's not done right, do it differently next time.
    • Swallowdale (Chapter 8), 1931
  • "Only, the beastly Arctic won't freeze,"
  • Softly, at first, as if it hardly meant it, the snow began to fall.
    • Winter Holiday (Chapter 5), 1933
  • A pigeon a day keeps the natives away
  • A lot of things were lucky," said Daddy, and suddenly, while they were walking along, brought his hand down on John's shoulder and gave it a bit of a squeeze. "You'll be a seaman yet, my son." And John, for one dreadful moment, felt that something was going wrong with his eyes. A sort of wetness, and hotness... Partly salt... Pleased though he was, he found himself biting his lower lip pretty hard, and looking the other way.
    • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (Chapter 23), 1937
  • She's got a rum job, but she knows how to do it, and to have a job and know how to do it is one of the best things in this life. And if only she stops hankering after Cambridge...
  • Dorothea blew out her candle and settled down in the middle of the big spare room bed. An owl called in the woods. 'Not a barn owl, but a tawny,' thought Dick, listening to the sharp 'Gewick! Gewick!' as he fell asleep. A smell of new-mown hay drifted from the meadows on the further side of the river. 'There isn't a lovelier place in all the world,' thought Dorothea. London last night, and now Beckfoot. The summer holidays had begun.
  • What's hit's history: what's missed's mystery.

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