All the things that matter to the children (their play-acting, their need for food and sleep, their independence) are … Dick considers himself a scientist, while Dorothea sees herself as a writer. I think he'd like this tale of childhood adventure. For the second edition, Clifford Webb was commissioned to produce the illustrations, which met with grudging approval from Ransome.

Instead I devoured Enid Blyton. My husband read these books as a kid - I did not.

In 1984, the BBC adapted the two Norfolk-set stories, Coot Club and The Big Six, for television, titled Swallows and Amazons Forever! They call the main fell or mountain near the Lake Kanchenjunga (the Amazons' parents and uncle called it the Matterhorn); it is based on the "Old Man of Coniston" near Coniston Water. The Walkers camp on an island in the lake, while the Blacketts live in their house nearby. It was featured in the 1974 film. The film starred Virginia McKenna (Mrs. Walker) and Ronald Fraser (Uncle Jim), and Sophie Neville (Titty), Zanna Hamilton (Susan), Simon West (John) and Stephen Grendon (Roger) as the Swallows.

The sailing, the fantasy of being an explorer, making camps on islands or lake shores were appealing, but maybe too alien and unreal for an inner city child who occasionally got to go out on the row boats in London parks, or maybe it was simply the kind of childhood that I would have wanted as a child cooped up in a flat with no garden and cruelly forbidden from thundering down the stairs - like an elephant as my mother would have it, despite her lack of acquaintance with domesticated elephants, but didn't have - safer to leave the book on the shelf rather than feel disappointed. She sometimes acts as a surrogate mother. They meet two local sisters and play pirates with them.

A new film version of Swallows and Amazons by Harbour Pictures and BBC Films was released in the United Kingdom on 19 August 2016. Man how time flies. Instead of buying marketing gimmicks like The Dangerous Book for Boys, do your kids a favor and let them read this. The sailing, the fantasy of being an explorer, making camps on islands or lake shores were appealing, but maybe too alien and unreal for an inner city child who occasionally got to go out on the row boats in London parks, or maybe it was simply the kind of childhood that I would have wanted as a child cooped up in a flat with no garden and cruelly forbidden from thundering down the stairs - like an elephant as my mother would have it, despite her. Recently watched the 1974 British film adaption of the 1930 novel Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, which in turn, prompted me to read the book. We own all the paper books, but I am so glad we went with the audio books for this series. The book was inspired by a summer spent by Ransome teaching the children of his friends, the Altounyans, to sail. The twelve books are set in the Interwar period and involve adventures by groups of children, mostly during the school holidays and mostly in England. Young Titty was played by Phoebe Phillips, John by John Paul Ekins, Susan by Flora Harris, Roger by Joe Sowerbutts, mother by Penny Downie, Nancy by Catherine Poole, Peggy by Jackie Swainson and Uncle Jim by Nicholas Le Prevost. Still going strong and finding the books just as wonderful!

The whole novel is a mix of childhood delight in the power of imagination and the timeless appeal of the great outdoors.

I particularly liked how well the kids get along, something siblings hardly ever seem to do in contemporary stories for children. Hardback, no full illustrations, front and back plates plus chapter headings by Helene Carter. Daily Telegraph, December 8, 2010", "Swallows and Amazons review, Guardian, December 8, 2010", Swallows and Amazons information and news website, TarBoard, the Arthur Ransome and 'Swallows and Amazons' forum, The original boats now housed in the Cumbrian museum – BBC photo website, The 2014–15 theatrical production's pages at the Bristol Old Vic, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Swallows_and_Amazons&oldid=985336624, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 1st edition was not illustrated, later editions illustrated by Clifford Webb and later Arthur Ransome, 1930, UK, Jonathan Cape, Pub date 1 December 1930, hardback (First edition, unillustrated), 1931, UK, Jonathan Cape, Pub date 1931, hardback (First "Clifford Webb" illustrated edition). Next goal: To visit England so we can see the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads! In 1974, EMI produced a film version of the Swallows and Amazons, starring Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser.[9]. And prove that they are not duffers by not drowning! I would have loved it. Moreover, the book is entirely charming quite apart from its qualities as child literature. They can sail boats, pitch tents, cook meals over an open fire, and generally survive two weeks of living on their own. I remember the story was used a lot when I was in primary school.

A painfully shy geologist, Timothy Stedding, is also accepted by the children during Pigeon Post; he is included in their adventures, and also appears in The Picts and the Martyrs. My daughter Arwen always loved this book, and I found her a copy from 1939 this year for Christmas. This a wonderful book that is too often forgotten and overlooked these days.

The 2016 film was directed by Philippa Lowthorpe and written by Andrea Gibb. However, as the days pass and the characters' personalities became more developed, I found myself really liking them and enjoying their immersion in their imaginations. Coot Club and The Big Six are set in an accurate representation of the Norfolk Broads, particularly the small village of Horning and its surrounding rivers and broads. See also List of characters in Arthur Ransome books, According to Ransome, every place in his book can be found in the Lake District, but he took different locations and placed them in different ways: the lake is a fictionalised version of Windermere but the surrounding countryside more closely resembles that around Coniston. and loving the idea of sailing in a little boat, free and unrestricted around lakes and playing at pirates at sea. [6] Wild Cat Island, the location of the island camp, has elements from Peel Island in Coniston and Blake Holme (or Blakeholme) in Windermere.[7]. To determine who should be the overall leader in their campaign against Captain Flint, the Blacketts and the Walkers have a contest to see which can capture the others' boat. , I wrote a review of this and it disappeared.

This was one of those "feel good" books, perfect for a tumultuous time in my life. Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons stories begin with this first book, a delightful evocation of a wonderful summer of adventure, discovery and friendship. "The New Books for Boys and Girls", Ellen Buell Lewis, The Picts and the Martyrs: or Not Welcome At All, Swallows and Amazons information and news website, Glossary of nautical terms, Further reading, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Swallows_and_Amazons_series&oldid=986451938, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 October 2020, at 23:24. John, the oldest, is the captain and usually in charge. If I could choose any decade in which to live, the 20s would probably be first or second choice and Swallows & Amazons is testament to that. […] Captain John and Mate Susan, and Able-seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger are not at all like Christopher Robin. I feel like I heard about this book throughout my childhood [I believe that the author wrote the introduction to one of my favorite childhood books, The Far-Distant Oxus, which was heavily influenced by this book], but I never came across a copy.

And the story of their adventures on a little island in the middle of an English lake is thrilling just because it is not fabulous. Roger is the youngest, originally the ship's boy, but promoted to able seaman in later books. The stories revolve around outdoor activities, especially sailing. This composition was later referenced in Swallowdale, but not in Peter Duck itself.[4]. The Swallows and Amazons series is a series of twelve children's books by English author Arthur Ransome, named after the title of the first book in the series.The twelve books are set in the Interwar period and involve adventures by groups of children, mostly during the school holidays and mostly in England. Welcome back. Dick and Dorothea are the intellectuals of the group, Dick in matters of science, Dorothea in the arts. Nancy — who does not use her baptismal name of Ruth because her uncle has said that pirates are supposed to be ruthless — is a strong character who would probably be considered a tomboy. He's already been through the Enid Blyton stage. Remember the first time I read this book, it was in reading class when I was about 10 years old...40 years ago! These are kids that are Competent.

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? This was a book that I never took to as a child. When the child… It was fun to hear about the children's adventures, and how they captured the Amazons on the island.