Ransome, Writers and Romanies


Arthur Ransome Brotherton Collection T59 Reproduced with the permission of Special Collections, Leeds University

The topic for this week is gypsies, who have inspired a prodigious amount of fiction and non-fiction from writers.

Arthur Ransome, photographed above prepared for his travels to Russia, distinguished himself by making an effort to understand Romanies and show respect for their traditions.

An article  from a TARS (The Arthur Ransome Society) publication suggested to me that the writer’s first wife Ivy’s liking for faux gypsy fashion in hairstyle, jewellery and clothes would have been a factor which drew them together in their ill-suited and unhappy match.

Unquestionably attracted to the Romany community, Ransome sensed in Oscar Wilde’s poems the spirit of the gypsy intellectual.

There is the sense of this in Wilde’s poem Endymion subtitled “For Music” with its pastoral references.  The same is true for his song Chanson and Seranade.

My own research this week resulted in the discovery of a classically trained artist and pop band with Romany roots!

Below is a song of mine about a gypsy boy with a simple melody for beginner singers.

It was inspired by persecution of gypsies during the Second World War.


Hopefully there will be updates soon!



One thought on “Ransome, Writers and Romanies

  1. Pingback: Ransome, Writers and Romanies | PoetSpeak

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