Arthur Ransome (1884-1967), noted author of children's books and originator of the modern holiday adventure story for youngsters, was born on January 18, 1884, in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. His father, Cyric, was as a history professor at Leeds University. During his childhood, Arthur Ransome spent vacations, sailing, camping, and exploring in England's Lake Country near Lake Coniston and Lake Windermere. From an early age, he was also an avid fisherman. Educated at Rugby, where he resided in Lewis Carroll's study room, Ransome initially embarked on a career in journalism. For a time, he worked for the London publishing firm of Grant Richards. Next, Ransome served as a foreign correspondent for the "Manchester Guardian." In 1913, he visited Russia and became sympathetic towards the cause of Trotsky and the Bolsheviks. While in Russia, Ransome reported on the Revolution of 1917 and compiled stories published as "Old Peter's Russian Tales," a collection of 21 folktales. Ransome was expelled from Russia by the Soviet regime, but he escaped safely, thanks to the assistance of Evgenia Shelepina, Trotsky's personal secretary. Shelepina fled with Ransome and eventually married him. Ransome's duty as a foreign correspondent also led him to China, where he wrote a series of articles in the 1920s. It was not until age 45 that Ransome began to write the series of books, "Swallows and Amazons," for which he is most remembered. Comprised of twelve books, the "Swallows and Amazons" series was a set of holiday adventure stories for young boys and girls. The series included the following books: "Swallows and Amazons" (1930), "Swallowdale" (1931), "Peter Duck" (1932), "Winter Holiday" (1933), "Coot Club" (1934), "Pigeon Post" (1936), "We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea" (1937), "Secret Water" (1939), "The Big Six" (1940), "Missee Lee" (1941), "The Picts and the Martyrs" (1943), and "Great Northern?" (1947). Ransome won the first Carnegie Medal, awarded to the best children's book of the year, in 1936 for "Pigeon Post." Ransome's earlier works included "Highways and Byways in Fairyland" (1905), "Bohemia in London" (1907), "A History of Storytelling" (1909), "Edgar Allen Poe: A Critical Study" (1910), "Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study" (1912), "Old Peter's Russian Tales" (1916), "Six Weeks in Russia" (1919), "The Soldier and Death" (1920), "The Crisis in Russia" (1921), and "The Chinese Puzzle" (1927). Arthur Ransome died on June 3, 1967, in Manchester, England, at the age of 83.