Arthur Ransome (1884-1967) achieved lasting fame as the author of the Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books. They came however relatively late in his life. Before that he was a miscellaneous writer – a biography of Oscar Wilde, Bohemia in London and A History of Story-Telling being examples – and a journalist. In the latter role, his two most famous books were Six Weeks in Russia and The Crisis in Russia, both reissued in Faber Finds. His second wife, Evgenia Shelepina, was Trotsky’s secretary.