In Arthur Ransome on the Broads Roger Wardale tells the inside story of the two classic children's novels, Coot Club and The Big Six, that stemmed from the eight holidays that Ransome and his wife spent cruising in hired craft on the Norfolk Broads in the 1930s. Drawing freely upon Ransome's sailing log, his diaries and those of his wife, an intimate portrait emerges of the iconic children's author on holiday, as well as a unique picture of the Norfolk Broads at a crucial point in their transition from the wilderness that he loved to a watery playground. Using Ransome's working notes and letters it has been possible to trace the trials and tribulations of the development of the plot of Coot Club - a book that his publisher had to drag from him in order to catch the Christmas market. By way of contrast, Ransome's masterly tale of detection, The Big Six, gave him lots of fun in the creation - once he had settled on the crime. This beautifully illustrated book should appeal to all Ransome enthusiasts, those who have sailed on the Broads at some time or other and local historians.
Roger Wardale co-founded the Arthur Ransome Society, serving on the main committee and as chairman. For five years he ran the subscriber-based publishing group that put out an annual book about Ransome for members. He published several books on Arthur Ransome and had a keen interest in photography and traditional boats.