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Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome
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Winter Holiday (1933)

by Arthur Ransome

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Swallows and Amazons (4)

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7461018,753 (4.24)23
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
It's always unnerving when new characters are introduced to a series; thankfully there is nothing to worry about here. This S&A take on arctic exploration is a joy from beginning to end; it is the equal of the first two books and perhaps slightly better than the third. ( )
  Lirmac | Feb 21, 2019 |
I was prompted to venture down memory lane following a conversation with one of my colleagues after he had taken his daughter to see the new ‘Swallows and Amazons’ film, and what a jot it proved. I loved the Swallows and Amazon books forty odd years ago and was a little worried that the intervening years might have eroded my capacity to enjoy the book with the same fervour as before. This has, after all, happened with several books that I have revisited after several years.

It was, however, a delightful experience. The book is beautifully written, and is a paean to imagination: not just the writer’s feat of imagination in conjuring up such a heartening story, but the joy of children’s imagination, with all the young characters delighting in creating alternative fantasy explanations for the world around them.

The Swallows fond themselves back in the Lake District where they have been despatched to stay with the Jackson family for the last few weeks before they return to school while their mother has taken their baby sister Bridget out to visit their father who, as a naval officer, is currently based in Malta. Reunited with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazons, who live among the Lakes, they plan an expedition to find the North Pole. Meanwhile they encounter Dorothea and Dick Callum, who have also been sent to spend a few weeks away from home while their scholarly parents fulfil some academic commitments. Ransome’s handling of the meeting is beautifully done, viewed from the Callums’ perspective and capturing the simultaneous yearning to belong and a desire to remain aloof.

Was Ransome harking back to a golden age of childhood largely of his own imagining? Possibly, though I remember my own school holidays being spent rambling miles away from home, climbing trees, playing in streams and clambering over farm equipment, though rather than exploring the seven seas our games tended to be re-enactments of the Second World War (with particular reference to the Lofoten Raid for reason I cannot now explain).

Beautifully written and illustrated, this book remains a treasure. I think I might try Pigeon Post soon, too. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Sep 3, 2016 |
Good fun, though I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous Swallows and Amazons books. Maybe this is the fuddy-duddy grown-up in me talking, but I didn't care for how self-involved the children were at times (which, no matter how caught up they were in Nancy's mission, still seemed a bit of a stretch). And the new characters Dick and Dorothea kept rubbing me the wrong way, especially with how oblivious and reckless they behaved near the end of the story. It was nice to see the crew in a winter setting, though, and I applaud the spirit of self-reliance and adventure that runs throughout this entire series. ( )
  bostonian71 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Excellent copy apart from book plate
  chilperic | Sep 1, 2014 |
I own a paperback and hardcover.

  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Ransomeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guillemot-Magitot, G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Röhn, MarthaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Il fait déjà nuit à l'heure du goûter, il faut dormir sous un toit, et il n'arrive jamais rien pendant les vacances d'hiver.

MARION BLACKETT.
Dedication
To The Clan McEoch of Francis Avenue, Cambridge Massachusetts
First words
Steps sounded on the wooden stairs, and counting, "Seven and eight and nine and ten and eleven and twelve and that's the dozen."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
'Well,' said Nancy, 'You know what it's like. Dark at teatime and sleeping indoors: nothing ever happens in the winter holidays.' Nothing - except a polar expedition, full of mountain rescues, blizzards, igloos, ice sailing and heroic work amidst the frozen wastes. For Dick and Dorothea, newcomers to the lake, meeting up with the Swallows and Amazons sweeps them into a wild adventure where they must prove their worth to the team.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0879236612, Paperback)

The fourth book in Arthur Ransome's classic series for children, Winter Holiday takes intrepid explorers John, Susan, Titty, and Roger Walker, and fearsome Amazon pirates Nancy and Peggy Blackett to the North Pole. Joined by budding novelist Dorethes Callum and her scientist brother Dick, the children plan an "Arctic" expedition. But unforseen events seperate the travelers and disaster nearly strikes in the exciting climax of their race to the Pole.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Follows the adventures of two groups of children who spend a winter holiday by a great lake next to the mountains.

» see all 4 descriptions

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