Arthur Ransome is probably best remembered as the author of the children's adventure series Swallows and Amazons. But the innocent world of those wholesome tales set in Britain's Lake District are in stark contrast to Arthur Ransome's earlier incarnation as a British spy and apologist for the Bolsheviks.

Between 1913 and 1924, Arthur Ransome lived in Russia and the Baltic states, reporting on the seismic events of the revolutionary period.

In 2005, some 40 years after his death, M15 released its files on the English author, confirming that Arthur Ransome was indeed a spy for both the Russians and the British.

English author Roland Chambers has spent years trawling through those recently released classified documents to write Arthur Ransome's life story.

Roland Chambers was recently a guest at the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival where he spoke about uncovering the real Athur Ransome.

Roland's talk is available as a podcast on ABC's Radio National website. Visit www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2009/2761660.htm