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Great Northern? (1947)

by Arthur Ransome

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Swallows and Amazons (chronological order) (12)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
716832,508 (4.05)17
Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves...… (more)
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Growing up the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome was one of my favorite series. When I decided to re-read it as an adult I was worried that it would not stand the test of time. I was delighted to find that in general found it just as enjoyable now as I did as a child. The characters, writing style and adventures are great and I truly enjoyed the series. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
Just like the adventure, the story was slow starting but worth persevering with. Its good to have all the central characters in the final book.
  Kafahy | Mar 29, 2012 |
A reread. The plot of this had completely left my memory, but then it's probably ten to fifteen years since I last read it. Nancy is still my favourite, but Dick is definitely the hero of GN (which gets quite intense at the end!). ( )
  tronella | Jan 3, 2011 |
Great Northern, great story! The Swallows, Amazons and D's have almost reached the end of a Hebridean sailing cruise with the Amazon's Uncle, Captain Flint when Dick, "ships naturalist", spots a breeding pair of Great Northern Divers - and Great Northerns "nest abroad". Puzzled he visits the motor yacht of a fellow birdman only to discover the man's an egg collector. Now he has to persuade Captain Flint to take the Sea Bear and her crew back to the nest site so Dick can take photographs to prove the birds are nesting, without giving away the location to the egg collector and without alerting the local Gaels. Some regard this one as metafiction within the S&A canon, but it again is packed with realism and a strong theme of conservation! ( )
  Figgles | Apr 12, 2010 |
This was the last book in his Swallows and Amazons series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. John, Susan, Titty, Roger, Nancy, Peggy, Dick, and Dorothea are on a voyage in the Shetlands when they find both the nests of a rare bird and an egg hunter who wants to kill the birds for the eggs... and you'll need to read it to see how the children's conservationism plays out. ( )
  jkepler | Nov 28, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Ransomeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Great Northern Diver
"nests abroad . . . usually seen solitary" SANDARS.

"nests in eastern North America, Greenland and Iceland"
"may nest in the Shetlands, as it is often round these islands all summer, but this has never been proved" COWARD.
Dedication
To Myles North who, knowing a good deal of what happened, asked me to write the full story
First words
On a hill above the cliff a boy in Highland dress turned from watching the deer in the valley to look out over the sea. He saw a sail far away. It was no more than a white speck in the ditance and presently he turned his back on it and settled down again to watch the deer.
Quotations
What's hit's history; what's missed's mystery.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves...

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Book description
Dick's birdwatching discovery turns the cruise of the Sea Bear into a desperate chase. The Swallows and Amazons have to prove the facts of the case, and evade the natives and an egg-collector, determined to kill a pair of rare birds and steal the credit.
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