Swallows & Amazons is the first book in the Swallows & Amazons series of novels by English author Arthur Ransome.
It was first published in 1930, but was set in the summer of 1929 in the English Lake District. The book introduces the characters of John, Susan, Titty and Roger Walker (Swallows) and their mother and baby sister, as well as Nancy and Peggy Blackett (Amazons) and their uncle Jim (nicknamed Captain Flint).
Swallows & Amazons was inspired by Ransome spending a summer teaching the children of his friends, the Altounyans, to sail. Three of the Altounyan children’s names are adopted directly for the Walker family. Ransome and Ernest Altounyan bought two small dinghies called Swallow and Mavis. Ransome kept Swallow until he sold it a number of years later (it has since been lost), while Mavis remained in the Altounyan family and is now on permanent display in the Ruskin Museum.
Most of the boats in the series were based on those either owned or known by Ransome, and all the individual locations are real places. A few of the boats survive in private ownership, of which two are known to be accessible to the public: the original Nancy Blackett and the Swallow dinghy that was created for the 1974 Swallows & Amazons film.
The new Swallow and Amazon that were created for the 2016 Swallows & Amazons film may also have public appearances from time-to-time.
Swallows & Amazons and the other books in the series have been widely translated, with some also having been adapted for film, television, radio and the theatre.
Find out more
- The Boats, including
- The Books
- The new Swallows & Amazons film
- The locations seen in the new film
- Swallows & Amazons on film, TV, radio and in theatre
- The Arthur Ransome Society
- Swallows & Amazons pages on Wikipedia