Arthur Ransome Literary Estate
Arthur Ransome died on 3rd June, 1967. All his works are currently in copyright in the UK and other territories around the world. The only known exception to this are those works published prior to 1923 in the USA. Under US law, these are considered to be in the public domain, but only within the United States.
Under UK law, the bulk of Arthur Ransome’s works will remain in copyright until 31st December, 2037. Those works first published after his death will continue in copyright until 70 years after the year of first publication. The Blue Treacle, for example, was first published in 1993, so it will remain in copyright until 2063.
The Literary Estate
So long as Ransome’s works remain in copyright, they form his Literary Estate. The Estate is managed by Executors, in accordance with Ransome’s own instructions. The current Executors are Christina Hardyment, Geraint Lewis and Elizabeth Sewart.
The Estate and the Arthur Ransome Trust
To avoid any confusion, it should be noted that the Estate is not a part of the Arthur Ransome Trust, nor is the Trust a part of the Estate. The Trust and the Estate are completely separate legal entities.
That said, the Executors approve of the Trust’s charitable aims and the Trust is very grateful for their encouragement and support. In particular, the Trust is grateful for the Executors’ permission to use the Estate’s copyright material, including on this website. Details of the material used on the website can be found on our Copyright and Trademark notice.
Geraint Lewis is an Executor of the Arthur Ransome Literary Estate, and a Trustee of the Arthur Ransome Trust. Both the Estate and the Trust are satisfied that they have arrangements in place to manage any potential conflicts of interest.
It should be apparent from the above that the Trust does not own rights to Ransome’s works, nor is the Trust in a position to grant rights to individuals or other organisations to use copyright material belonging to the Estate. If anybody wishes to use such material, they need to seek permission from the Executors or, where applicable, from their publishers.
Random House hold exclusive licences in the UK and overseas (excepting USA and its dependent territories) to publish the Swallows and Amazons series through their Jonathan Cape (hardback), Red Fox (paperback) and Random House Childrens’ Books Digital imprints. They also hold licences to publish The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome and Rod and Line. Anybody wishing to use quotations, drawings or bookcovers from the series or these other titles should contact Random House in the first instance. Note that permission fees are usually charged.
David R Godine holds licences to publish the twelve Swallows and Amazons series novels in the USA and its dependent territories. Permissions to use material within those territories should therefore be addressed to David R Godine.
Enquiries in respect to unpublished material, copyright material currently out of print, or other Ransome works currently in print should be made directly to the Estate. Again fees may be charged.
There are substantial Ransome archives in the Brotherton Collection, within the Special Collections Department of Leeds University Library and at The Museum of Lakeland Life, at Abbot Hall in Kendal. Note that if you wish to use material from either location you will also need their respective permission to use it, and they may choose to levy their own charges independently of any required by the Estate.
The phrase “Swallows and Amazons” is a registered trademark of The Arthur Ransome Literary Estate (UK Trademark No 2219604). If you wish to exploit the trademark, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, permission must be sought from the Executors. Please note that permission will not be automatic and fees may be charged.
You may contact the Estate using this email: email@example.com. Please note that this email address is a complimentary service provided by All Things Ransome. Emails sent to this address are forwarded automatically to the three Executors and are not read by anybody at All Things Ransome.
For permissions enquiries relating to the Swallows and Amazons novels, please contact the Estate’s publishers as follows:
UK & World (excl USA): The Permissions and Contracts Co-ordinator, Random House Group Archive and Library, 1 Cole St., Crown Park, Rusheden, Northants, NN10 6RZ, United Kingdom. Tel:+44 (0)20 7840 8807.
USA: David R. Godine, Publisher, Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, Massachusetts 02108. Tel:617-451-9600