Nature Books for Children
In 1906 Arthur Ransome was commissioned by a small publisher, Anthony Treherne
& Company, to write a series of short books on "the seasons, the garden,
ponds and streams, woods, fields, and country lanes." Only three of the planned
six books were published before the publisher went bankrupt. According to
Wayne Hammond in his Bibliography, Ransome called them 'three silly
little nature books for children' and 'unlucky books'. They were certainly
unlucky for Ransome, as he was paid nothing but a small advance.
The three books which were published, The Child's Book of the Seasons,
Pond and Stream, and Things In Our Garden, appear as entries
A4-A6 in Hammond's Bibliography.
Mr. Clint Heitman of Boston, Massachusetts, became the owner of a set of
the books, rapidly became entranced by them, and set about replicating them
as a labor of love. In the process he created digital images of every page
and illustration in the books, and in addition to his paper reproduction,
decided to create a boxed CD set for his own enjoyment. Mr. Hietman has
provided a short narrative about how he came by the books, and what was involved
in replicating them, at A Tale of Three Books.
The illustration at the right shows the original books, his replicas, and
two versions of his CD set. A larger image is available by clicking on
the illustration. Please Note: the CDs and CD sets are only shown for illustration
and are not available.
Clint has graciously made PDFs of his three books in somewhat lower resolution
so that they would be of manageable size, and has made those PDFs available
to All Things Ransome at the links below. Be warned that these PDFs
are around 26MB each.
These PDFs are made available on All Things Ransome by permission of the Arthur Ransome Literary
Estate. Our heartiest thanks to Clint and to the Literary Executors for
making it possible for many more Ransome fans to see the books in a
beautifully restored state.
The titles of the three books appear to have mutated during their writing and
production as can be seen by the frontispiece of each book and as follows. The titles
we have used for the links are those recorded in Wayne Hammond's Bibliography. However, the
titles shown on the picture at the top, and on the first page of the PDFs, are those
printed on the actual book covers of the books themselves.
The Nature Books for Children are ©1906 by Arthur Ransome. Copyright is held
by The Literary Estate of Arthur Ransome, who have graciously given their permission for
these PDFs to be made available upon this website.
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