A NEW book offers a critical overview of a famous series of stories set in the Lake District. Julian Lovelock, a former lecturer of English literature at Buckinghamshire University, has produced an in-depth sturdy of Arthur Ransome’s 12 Swallows and … Continue reading New book offers insights into Swallows and Amazons stories
If there is one thing I really really don’t like, it is being Falsely Accused. Especially the kind where you can’t say anything in your defence and nobody will listen and they will never know that you are nice really because they won’t let you tell them and there’s nothing you can do and it’s all so unfair… Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter XV: Captain Flint again
This is my favourite chapter. (Have I said that before? It’s possible I might have more than one.) It begins with a casual reference to mature, dignified Captain John turning upside down to look between his knees and the reflection in the lake. Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter XIV: Galumphing
The world of the Swallows and Amazons, so permanently close to the hearts and the cartography of those in the Lake District, is likely to come under further scrutiny this year, the 50th anniversary of the death of Arthur Ransome, master storyteller. Continue reading Swallows, Amazons and the need for escapism
This is my favourite chapter. (Have I said that before? It’s possible I might have more than one.) It begins with a casual reference to mature, dignified Captain John turning upside down to look between his knees and the reflection in the lake. Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter XIII: The slower the fire the better the charcoal.
The lengthy conversation about the relative heights of the younger crew members turns out to be more important than it first appears. Yes, it reinforces messages we have already had about Roger’s status in the family, Susan’s sense of responsibility, John’s need to plan for all of them. But it also sets the context for the declaration that Roger won’t need to reach the lantern… Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter XII: He was glad he had brought the compass
In which we learn about centre boards, pilot books (I had to look them up), and the proper way to carry a heavy barrel. Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter XI: They seemed to know everything
This chapter is about making friends, and specifically, how to make friends when what you really want to do with your new friends is pretend to be enemies. It manages to illustrate this on several levels within not many pages, and it’s really quite clever. Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter X: A treaty of offence and defence
No cryptically whimisical title for this chapter. This is Serious Bizniss.
Poor John wakes up all of a muddle. I can’t quite tell whether he’s wishing that his story had stayed pottersome or hoping that it will turn into a thriller, and I’m not sure that he knows, either. Continue reading Swallows and Amazons Chapter IX: ‘Swallow has gone’