The Stone Lady
The Stone Lady
Published by S C Brown, Langham & Co, London, April 1905.
Out of print.
This is a second volume of short essays, following The Souls of the Streets. At the time Ransome was understandably proud to be a published author; much later he reflected in his Autobiography that: “The only excuse for those early books is that they were written (and unfortunately published) at a time when I should have been a university student and saved from myself by the laughter of my fellows. Instead I was keeping myself alive by selling what should have been mere exercises. It surprises me that I was able to sell them. I wanted to write essays or stories, but it never occured to me to write such essays and such stories as were published in the popular magazines.”
He goes on, however, to recall the patient encouragement he received from some of his elders, “who never wavered in their belief that all this ceaseless scribbling would some day be justified“.
The Stone Lady, Ten Little Papers and Two Mad Stories contains ten short essays: The Stone Lady; The Glory of the Golden Wood; My Lady Comes to Town; A Vision of Spring in Autumn; The Great Down-trodden; At the Play; A Study of a Small Boy; Lilian, Who Loved the World; A Walk in February; The Compulsion of Spring, plus two stories, Meddling with the Fairies and The Incense Burners.
It is a daring thing to write at all and confidence is something easily lost. I know now how careful Mr Collingwood was lest he should shake mine…