There are number of well-known quotes from Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” series of novels. Read our selection below and see how many you remember.

BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN. – “Swallows and Amazons” (Chapter 1), 1930

They found, like many explorers before them, that somehow, in their absence, they had got into trouble at home. – “Swallowdale” (Chapter 4), 1931

When a thing’s done, it’s done, and if it’s not done right, do it differently next time.  – “Swallowdale” (Chapter 8), 1931

“Only, the beastly Arctic won’t freeze,” – “Winter Holiday” (Chapter 3), 1933

Softly, at first, as if it hardly meant it, the snow began to fall. – “Winter Holiday” (Chapter 5), 1933

A pigeon a day keeps the natives away – “Pigeon Post” (Title page and Chapter 4), 1936

Grab a chance and you won’t be sorry for a might-have-been. – “We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea” (Title page and Chapter 2), 1937

A lot of things were lucky,” said Daddy, and suddenly, while they were walking along, brought his hand down on John’s shoulder and gave it a bit of a squeeze. “You’ll be a seaman yet, my son.” And John, for one dreadful moment, felt that something was going wrong with his eyes. A sort of wetness, and hotness… Partly salt… Pleased though he was, he found himself biting his lower lip pretty hard, and looking the other way. – “We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea” (Chapter 23), 1937

She’s got a rum job, but she knows how to do it, and to have a job and know how to do it is one of the best things in this life. And if only she stops hankering after Cambridge… – “Missee Lee” (Chapter 26), 1941

Dorothea blew out her candle and settled down in the middle of the big spare room bed. An owl called in the woods. ‘Not a barn owl, but a tawny,’ thought Dick, listening to the sharp ‘Gewick! Gewick!’ as he fell asleep. A smell of new-mown hay drifted from the meadows on the further side of the river. ‘There isn’t a lovelier place in all the world,’ thought Dorothea. London last night, and now Beckfoot. The summer holidays had begun. – “The Picts and the Martyrs” (Chapter 2), 1943

What’s hit’s history: what’s missed’s mystery. – “Great Northern?” (Chapter 9), 1947

For these and more quotes from Arthur Ransome, see WikiQuotes.