The Keswick Reminder Review
with Joyce Wilson
A Lakeland Saga
The Story of the Collingwood and Altounyan Family in Coniston and Aleppo
by Jeremy Collingwood
Published by: Sigma Leisure
Price £9.99 (Paperback)
This is the story of the life of William Gersham Collingwood, his five children, Robin and Dora. Dora's husband, Ernest and their five children, Taqqui, Susie, Titty, Roger and Brogit. William brings into the story his relationship with John Ruskin, and his part in the relationship of the family with Arthur Ransome and his Swallows and Amazons books. The author explains in his own works how the publication came about:
"The genesis of this work goes back to the day when, shortly before she died in 1999 Brigid Sanders (Née Altounyan) deposited with me various papers and documents, which were the results of her research into the lives of the Collingwood and Altounyan families. Brigit was my third cousin descended from William Collingwood, the water colourist. I am descendant from John Christian Collingwood the younger brother of William…. I make no claims to originality in this work but I have found this family story one of great interest. If I can convey something of that fascination to others, then I will rest satisfied.”
This story of a gifted and fascinating family brings together and throws light on the two different worlds of the Lake District and the Middle East.
Jeremy Collingwood is a retired Anglican minister who formerly worked as a lawyer in Zambia and London. Brigit Sanders, the Youngest child in the Ransome Books, was a third cousin. Just prior to her death she deposited various family papers with the author.
As a distinguished and influential family with many connections to people of importance on the political and social stage during the twentieth century, this family biography is packed with fascinating anecdotes which will be of great interest to anyone who enjoys a good biography and for those who might be interested in or studying some of the great personalities and event of the last century.