The Child’s Book of the Seasons
The Childs Book of the Seasons
Published by Anthony Treherne & Co, London, November 1906.
Out of print.
In 1906 the publisher Anthony Treherne proposed a series of six short nature books for children, focussing on the seasons, the garden, ponds and streams, woods, fields and country lanes. In the event Treherne went bankrupt after publishing only three of the planned volumes, a “hard blow indeed” for Ransome, who only received a small advance for his work.
Ransome wrote the three completed books – The Child’s Book of the Seasons, Pond and Stream and The Things in our Garden – during the summer of 1906, whilst staying at Wall Nook Farm, near Cartmel in Cumbria. He later described them as “silly” and “unlucky”, although his mentor and friend, Mrs W G Collingwood, considered them “not bad for a little town boy.”
The Child’s Book of the Seasons contains four chapters: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Ransome approached his subject via three fictional characters, the “Imp” and the “Elf” (a young boy and girl) and the “Ogre” (a benevolent adult).