Posted by Peter Hyland on May 07, 2019 at 09:20:25 user Peter_H.
In Reply to: Something new? posted by Adam Quinan on May 06, 2019 at 06:42:29:
I'll have a shot at responding to Adam's posting referring to the Philippa Ryan interview. However, I don't know whether Mrs Ryan is still alive. I suspect she isn't, but if she is, a fierce refutation of her opinions on AR and the Collingwoods and the Altounyans might land TarBoard in a libel suit, so I'll be careful. In any case, much of what she told Roger Wardale comes as no surprise.
Ransome's occasional bad temper is well known and has been mentioned often. 'Lacking direction'? Well he chopped and changed a lot during his life, but once he found Evgenia and his ability to write successful books, he stayed with both. 'Forever running away'? I can't see it like that. He didn't run away from Russia, until he had to.
'Felt guilty about his treatment of Ivy' - again, this is more or less accepted.
'Mavis won and Ransome was furious'. Furious probably with himself, as Mavis was unwieldy and should not have won. Roger Wardale has written that 'the dinghy became unstable in anything of a blow'.
The rest of the interview is mainly about petty family liaisons and resentments. Many large families, thrown together by marriage, have these. I have always believed that we should not try to make either saints or villains out of the Altounyans - they were just there at the time, and certainly partly the inspiration for the Swallows. It has been said that the Swallows are a bit too perfect for children. The Altounyans were not perfect, but did much good in the world - particularly Roger. I'm glad that Mrs Ryan found him 'good fun'.
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