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Swallows and Amazons (1930)

by Arthur Ransome

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Swallows and Amazons {Arthur Ransome} (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,325783,253 (4.15)310
The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.… (more)
  1. 40
    Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome (rakerman)
    rakerman: If you enjoyed Swallows and Amazons, you should enjoy Swallowdale, as it is a direct sequel with the same characters, set one year later.
  2. 30
    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (rakerman)
    rakerman: Both Swallows and Amazons and The Wind in the Willows are classic stories for children that involve boating and adventures.
  3. 41
    The Far Distant Oxus by Katharine Hull (Aquila)
    Aquila: Written by two school girls, and recommended for publishing by Arthur Ransome, holidays with ponies and rafts, a lovely read.
  4. 20
    Cargo of Horses by Monica Edwards (Aquila)
  5. 21
    Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: Both books have a benign sense of human nature and a love of the outdoors. Both teach lots of interesting things about what the kids are doing as well as entertain. S&A teaches sailing craft, for the most part, and TLS teaches woodcraft. (Don't be put off by the "savages". The book is respectful; the language is dated.)… (more)
  6. 21
    The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton (LucyClements)
  7. 00
    The Wouldbegoods: Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit (HollyMS)
  8. 00
    The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit (HollyMS)

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» See also 310 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Recommended by Lori and Esme

See also: E. Nesbit, Edward Eager
  JennyArch | Jan 21, 2022 |
The adventure and jeopardy of the plot gives a rich oppurtunity for a well supplemented book, however I was thoroughly underwelmed. Scarce amounts story mixed in with a deluge of descriptive text left the book dry and almost unreadable. After, heaving myself to finish the small amounts of plot were somewhat enjoyable, thus the generous 2 and a half stars. ( )
  RIPpogle | Dec 7, 2021 |
A totally charming tale of children and boats and summer freedom.

The book makes me depressed though, as it stands as testament to how little competence we assign kids these days, keeping them sheltered and unable to acquire life skills like independent problem solving. ( )
  fionaanne | Nov 11, 2021 |
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 |
This is not my thing. Something in the telling annoyed me and siblings that get along frictionlesly are so beyond my ability to imagine that I was kept at a further emotional distance. Susan's assumed assumption of all cooking chores and the basic we're explorers, everyone else is natives speaks to a long history of colonialism. ( )
  quondame | Apr 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
It taught me all I know about survival.
added by Cynfelyn | editThe Guardian, Jon Snow (Nov 19, 1999)
It is easily imaginable that "Swallows and Amazons" attained its special quality of happiness in its author's mind when, as correspondent to the London Daily News and the Manchester Guardian, he was living through the tragedies of the Front or exploring the chaos of revolutionary Russia. For here is everything that the Front was not and that Russia is not - peace, innocence, family life at its loveliest, laughter and security.

The story is plotted so slightly that the American boy, weaned on "westerns," may turn up his nose at such a low-pitched tale. It will be his loss. Four children go camping on an island in one of the English lakes. Two rival campers - girls, at that - appear, and joyfully agree on war.

But Mr. Ransome has marshalled many aides. First, a reality of scene. As in Defoe, no detail is too insignificant to gloss over, yet the itemizing never grows wearisome, and a store of handy things to know about sailing is secreted in the pages. Second, a reality of characters. They are born alive and do not have to be described.

"Swallows and Amazons" will gain by being read aloud. The child who hears will live gaily, whether on Wild Cat Island or in Octopus Lagoon, while the parent who reads will remember idyllic hours. For this book is both silvery present and golden retrospect. ...

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ransome, Arthurprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armstrong, GarethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Štěpánek, B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Černý, JanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baloghy, MáriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blackett, NancyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burian, ZdeněkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, HeleneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gil, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guillemot, G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henke, Jancover bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lhoták, KamilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Li, Hsing ChinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathiesen, Axelcover bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omer, DevorahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palosuo, MainiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotgans, H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salač, Antonín LudvíkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sørensen, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spurrier, StephenMaps drawn bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ster, Jacobus van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webb, CilffordIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winther, Eugenie GeelmuydenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolfová, ZoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
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"Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes,
He stared at the Pacific -- and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise --
Silent, upon a peak in Darien."

Chapter I - The peak in Darien.
"What care I for a goose-feather bed,
With the sheet turned down so bravely, O?
For to-night I shall sleep in the cold open field
Along with the wraggle-taggle gipsies, O!"

Chapter II - Making ready.
"There were three sailors of Bristol City
Who took a boat and went to sea;
But first with beef and captain's biscuits
And pickled pork they loaded she"

Chapter III - The voyage to the island.
"Then, having washed the blood away, we'd little else to do
Than to dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to."

Chapter XXVII - The battle in Houseboat Bay.
For the six for whom it was written, in exchange for a pair of slippers.
First words
I have often been asked how I came to write Swallows and Amazons.

Author's note, 19 May 1958 (some post-1958 editions).
Roger, aged seven, and no longer the youngest of the family, ran in wide zigzags, to and fro, across the steep field that sloped up from the lake to Holly Howe, the farm where they were staying for part of the summer holidays.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This record is for the original work, Swallows and Amazons (Jonathan Cape, 1930), and still in print. Also translations and unabridged audiobooks. Please do not combine with extracts, or with The Swallows and the Amazons (Amazon Publications, 1997), a limited edition annotated transcript of an early draft of S&A.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.

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Average: (4.15)
1 6
2 19
2.5 7
3 76
3.5 21
4 167
4.5 28
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