Andrew Wilson, of Troutbeck Bridge, explores connections between Leon Trotsky and the Lake District

News in the international press that Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is to be the subject of a television series to coincide with the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution should be of particular interest in the Lakes, which has an interesting, but little-known, connection to Trotsky.

Lake District writer Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons (1930), married Trotsky's personal secretary Evgenia Petrova Shelepina in December 1917 while covering the revolution for the Daily News.

Arthur had been married before but that marriage had ended in divorce. He was ready to fall in love again, and was bowled over by Evgenia, a committed Bolshevik, who was equally attracted to him.

He became Russian correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in 1919 but in that year the Ransomes left Russia for Estonia, where they lived for five years, eventually marrying at the the British Consulate in Reval in May 1924.

A year later they moved to the English Lake District, where Arthur had always wanted a home, and they bought Low Ludderburn, a cottage overlooking the Winster Valley.

Evgenia told her mother it was "the loveliest spot in the whole of the Lake District". The Ransomes were both very happy there until they sold it in 1935 when they moved to the East Coast at Pin Mill, near Norwich, from where they could do more sailing on the sea and the Broads.

But they both yearned for the Lake District and move back here after buying The Heald, on the east side of Coniston, in 1940.

For the next few years they moved more than once between the Lakes and London, including living for a period at Lowick Hall, Rusland, and they felt at their happiest in the Lakes.

Arthur died in June 1967. Evgenia lived until 1975, and presented some of his books, a good many of his mementoes,various papers and drafts to the Museum of Lakeland Life at Abbot Hall, Kendal, which established an Arthur Ransome gallery.

Items on display there include his desk, his library, a typewriter. his chess set, his Carnegie Prize and his 1916 passport. Evgenia's Russian passport is also included in the fascinating display.

Museum curator Rachel Roberts has said they would love to have people come to the gallery and I certainly recommend a visit.

Trotsky was a supporter and friend of Lenin but was opposed to Stalin, who exiled him to central Asia. He continued to agitate in several countries, and was sentenced to death in his absence.

He found asylum in Mexico, where he was assassinated with an ice pick.

He was a colourful and energetic character, a superb orator and messianic visionary. He was a non-person in Russia until 1987 when he was rehabilitated by Gorbachev.

His contributions to Soviet Communism are now being considered again, and TV producers hope to continue his rehabilitation with a glossy serialisation in which he plays the star role.