Great Scot!





Among the photos above,  the first and third are of the beautiful natural world around Edinburgh.

Some TARS (The Arthur Ransome Society) members chose to explore the area outside the great city on their free afternoon during our recent A R weekend.  The second photo is of the ancient Duddenston Kirk church and the last is a film still from the short Wilde-Douglas.

Here is the promised second film that was shown at the TARS Conference in Edinburgh at the beginning of September.   (See TARS Treats).   Just click on the link below to view.

Lord Alfred Douglas

The young Scots Lord from Dumfriesshire meets Oscar Wilde in Rouen, France and invites him to Naples.

The year is 1897.

Douglas was a good poet.  Among his works are a collection of children’s poems, of which The Cod has won praise in literary circles.  Wilde said he was best at the ballad.

The scene  was filmed at The Robert Gillow Pub in Lancaster.

Lancaster Royal Grammar Students take the roles of Douglas and Oscar Wilde.






TARS Treats!

Saturday in Edinburgh

Members of TARS at Duddingston Kirk Church

The Arthur Ransome Society Conference was from Friday 1st September to Sunday 3rd September 2017 at Edinburgh University.  Here is an update with a member photo.

After registration the President of TARS Sophie Neville welcomed everyone.

The talks were as follows:

  1. Wilde Ransomed by myself
  2. Arthur Ransome and the Dymock Poets by Jeff Cooper,  who is Lascelles Abercrombie’s grandson
  3. Nancy Blackett in Life, Literature and Life by Peter Willis
  4. Better than Gold:  Arthur Ransome and the Carnegie Medal by Dr Lucy Pearson
  5.  Call the Agent or How Children’s Books Can Save the World by agent Lindsey Fraser
  6. Faery Stories Which in the Time of Armaggedon Nobody Will Read by Mary Pritchard
  7. Arthur Ransome’s Rewriting of the Russian Folk Tale by Tatiana Bogdranova
  8. Caught in the Russian Revolution: The British Community in Petrograd 1917-1918 by Richard Davies

It was a privilege to be invited to speak and I had a most fulfilling and enjoyable weekend with interesting, friendly people of diverse interests.

On Saturday afternoon we were left to enjoy the delights of Edinburgh and along with Sophie I joined TARS member Malcolm on a walk to a nature reserve where we saw some deer and stopped off at an old church.

On Saturday night there was a splendid gala dinner with a dessert to die for!

The  TARS bookshop and library were open throughout the weekend and I bagged the most beautiful hardback book for only £7.50 about Arthur Ransome in China.

I find  the amount of places associated with this writer amazing.  They include  Chelsea, Camden, Russia, China, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Norfolk, Cumbria and Lancashire.  There is also a French connection which you can read in a previous post.

I promised you films.  Here is the first film shown at the TARS Conference.

It was made in co-operation with Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op.  Both films were highly praised.

The film shows the relevance of Ransome to older school students.

TARS, however, does have a junior magazine for children – Outlaws!

For more about joining TARS go to















Edinburgh Excursion

Well, the Arthur Ransome Society Conference is in Edinburgh this year; a great literary event for his fiftieth anniversary. (For film stills and pic see below).

I am the first speaker tomorrow night!

My talk will be about how A R was the man who made Oscar Wilde in the twentieth century through his book he wrote about Wilde Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study which ended in a law suit in 1913 when Alfred Douglas sued him for libel.

The case set New Georgian England alight and had repercussions to the present day. Continue reading