Good Little Ship


Arthur Ransome, Nancy Blackett and the Goblin

Peter Willis

With a Foreword by Libby Purves

Press Kit

There’s more than a touch of irony about the title of Arthur Ransome’s We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea. The book came about pre­cisely because that’s just what he had inten­ded to do,’

Gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren and their par­ents have delighted in Arthur Ransome’s series of twelve ‘Swal­lows and Amazons’ books, but one of them stands out from the rest as being of a dif­fer­ent order alto­geth­er. We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea is both lar­ger of theme and tight­er of plot; it is a rite-of-pas­sage tale quite unlike the oth­ers, and in describ­ing the exper­i­ences of its prot­ag­on­ist John it illu­min­ates much of Ransome’s own psy­cho­logy.

Good Little Ship is a blend of lit­er­ary cri­ti­cism, mari­time his­tory and sheer cel­eb­ra­tion. Peter Wil­lis com­bines an ana­lys­is of a clas­sic of mari­time lit­er­at­ure (“a book of which Con­rad would have been proud” – Hugh Brogan) with the story of the Nancy Black­ett, Ransome’s own boat which appears as the Gob­lin in his story. He describes her life, near-death and res­tor­a­tion, and her renais­sance as an ambas­sad­or for Ran­some and his tales.

ISBN 978–1-907206–42-9; 216 x 156mm, 218pp + 8pp col­our pho­to­graphs; mono pho­tos, map, draw­ings. Soft­cov­er with sewn bind­ing, cover flaps and matt lam­in­a­tion.

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