Russia wakes from a long sleep and marches to St Petersburg to claim her birthright. Her awakening will mark the end for the Romanovs, and the dawn of a new era that changed the world. Arthur Ransome, a journalist and writer, was part of it all. He left his family in England and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman. This is his story.
Marcus Sedgwick was born and raised in Kent in South East England, but now lives in the French Alps. His books have won and been shortlisted for many awards; most notably, he has been shortlisted for Britain’s Carnegie Medal six times, has received two Printz Honors, for Revolver and Ghosts of Heaven, and in 2013 won the Printz Award forMidwinterblood.
The years slip away.
Outside, down at the lake, I can hear the water lapping and the geese calling. From the woods above the house comes the soft roar of a shotgun-someone hunting in the dusk.
In here, the fire flickers brightly, and my chair is old and comfortable. Surely this is home.
And yet, the years slip away.
Opposite me, the chair by the fire is empty.
Everyone should have someone to share their fireside, especially an old fool like me.
Time unwinds, and I am a young man in Russia once more: as if I were lifting the lid on a box of keepsakes, the memories return; many of happiness, some of sorrow. As if I threw wide a door that leads to a room long abandoned, but once familiar, I am back in another world, a world in which I was another man.
And those who think I am an old fool, and those who thought I was a silly young fool, may never know who I really was, and how I fought.
Let me tell you a fairy tale.
I used to tell stories like this all the time; it used to be so important. It even saved my life once. Now let me see, how do fairy tales begin?
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