Roland Chambers

Writer - Fiction

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Associate: Seren Adams


Roland Chambers studied film and literature in Poland and at New York University before returning to England in 1998.  He has worked as a private investigator specialising in Russian politics and business. He lives in London. THE LAST ENGLISHMAN: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF ARTHUR RANSOME was his first biography and was the winner of the Best First Biography at the Biographers' Club awards. He is also the author of the children's book NELLY AND THE QUEST FOR CAPTAIN PEABODY. He is currently working on his first novel.

Praise for THE LAST ENGLISHMAN (2009):

'Ransome's story is transfixing... Roland Chambers tells it with persuasive judgement and skill' Ian Jack

'Fascinating and thoroughly researched' The Times

'Roland Chambers has written an account of the many different Arthur Ransomes who seemed to coexist in the same body: writer, journalist, possible spy and all-round will interest anyone who loved or loves his children's books' Adèle Geras

'This fascinating book shows Ransome as a man without principles who more than anything wished to be seen to possess them' Independent


Publication DetailsNotes


This fascinating biography illumines the early life of Arthur Ransome, best known today as the author of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS but a source of intrigue in his early life as an unashamed Bolshevik sympathiser and apologist. His controversial career as a journalist reporting from Russia directed him towards relationships which were embarrassingly damaging for British security - not least his enthusiastic association with Karl Radek, the Bolshevik Chief of Propaganda, and his love affair with Trotsky's private secretary. In a masterly narrative, Roland Chambers interweaves Ransome's personal life and literary aspirations with an account of his chilling role as 'mouthpiece of the Bolsheviki'.

Winner of the Best First Biography prize at the Biographers' Club Awards.