ONE of the 20th century’s most popular and influential children’s authors who lived in the Lake District is being honoured with a blue plaque.

Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome was recognised with an English Heritage London Blue Plaque at 1 Gunter Grove, Chelsea, the London address that saw Ransome establish himself as an author in the early 1900s.

Ransome’s short but intense residence at 1 Gunter Grove saw him publish his first serious book, The Souls of the Streets, in August 1904 and also forge a close friendship with W.G. Collingwood and family. Ransome also briefly shared his lodgings with poet Edward Thomas, who would wake the landlord in the rooms below with his loud renditions of Welsh songs.

Ransome was the first winner of the Carnegie Prize for children’s literature and his work set the tone for subsequent children’s authors including Enid Blyton, C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

After working in Russia as a newspaper correspondent and MI6 informant, he returned to England and bought a cottage in the Lake District with his Russian wife, Evgenia.

His other children’s novels include Swallowdale, Peter Duck and Great Northern?

When not writing, he spent his time sailing and fly-fishing.

He died on June 3, 1967, at the age of 83, and is buried in the graveyard at Rusland in his beloved Lake District.