Oh, not that long! Swallows and Amazons was only 1930, 4 years before Trease's first book was published, and none of Ransome's handful of previous children's books were in the least bit unusual or different. In Tales Out of School, Trease himself said about Ransome "The outstanding literary landmark of this period is Arthur Ransome. His name will go on into the short list of writers like Talbot Baines Reed, who have deflected the stream of fiction into new channels. What Reed did for the school term, Mr Ransome did for the holidays." But, personally, I do think Ransome is much more a "safe" kind of writer, in that he only wrote one kind of book, whereas Trease was much more ambitious in trying his hand at a variety of types and settings, and also trying to introduce a world-view that was almost unrepresented in fiction for children at the time - Ransome didn't challenge any prevailing world-view, he just ignored it.
-- Barbara Dryden
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