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Book Title: Swallowdale: A Swallows and Amazons Adventure|
The author of the book: Arthur Ransome
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Loaded: 2130 times
Reader ratings: 4.3
Edition: JONATHAN CAPE
Date of issue: January 1st 1943
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 678 KB
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Update of May 2013:
Three years (give or take a couple months) is not really enough of a gap in between rereadings of a series I know as well as this one. Swallowdale in particular seems like it could benefit from lying fallow for a decade or so. But I suppose that in 2010 I just didn't dare to allow myself to foresee that my son would eventually appreciate having these read aloud to him, lest I jinx the chances of his liking these books which mean so much to me.
As was also the case in my recent reading aloud of Swallows and Amazons, I suspect Ransome of deliberately making the chapters before the appearance of the Amazons boring just to contrast how much livelier things are when they do show up. Three times during the Swallows' first day and evening on Wild Cat Island, we have scenes in which various Walkers are observing Swallow lying snug in a harbor whose perfections are also detailed each time. The system of the harbor markings is explained at least twice. One notices these things more, reading aloud. Of course in my loyalty, I want to say that Ransome is doing this by design, side-stepping the fact that he's not always the most sparkling of writers...
Review of July 9, 2010:
On rereading this book for the umpteenth time (although for the first time in many years) I just settled down with a happy sigh. How I love these books. This one is even better than Swallows and Amazons: longer, more eventful, and a shade more emotionally complex, but still with the same unrushed holiday pace in the leisurely unfolding of the story. I liked it better than ever.
Taking place in the summer immediately following the first book, it deals with two calamities that strike separate blows to the holiday adventure plans of the Swallows and their allies the Amazons. One I won't mention on account of not wanting to spoil the book -- but trust me, it's very exciting. The other is the arrival of the Amazons' Great Aunt Maria (the G.A.), a gorgon of an aunt who arrives at Beckfoot instituting a reign of terror involving best frocks, decorous behavior and punctual attendance at meals. Poor Captain Nancy! I relished this part of the book more than ever, and had the realization that as satisfactory as the ending of this book is, the real conclusion to the story of the Blacketts and their aunt doesn't come until the end of a much later book in the series The Picts and the Martyrs or Not Welcome at All.
Whereas the first book took place almost entirely on the lake, this one involves more of the country and people around it. The Swallows know the place better and are in turn known and liked, and consequently are more involved in the texture of the lives of the people around them, even as they continue with their independent adventuring, and are always "lurking" and hiding from the natives. I loved how virtually everybody the kids meet knows all about Aunt Maria Turner and how the cook at Beckfoot is on the verge of giving notice because of her.
Can't wait to continue my reread of the series, but will probably take a pause between books -- they're too good to be gulped down all at once.
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Read information about the authorArthur Michell Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and educated in Windermere and Rugby. His family spent their summers at Nibthwaite, to the south of Coniston Water.
In 1902, Ransome abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher's office boy in London. He used this precarious existence to practise writing, producing several minor works before Bohemia in London (1907), a study of London's artistic scene and his first significant book.
An interest in folklore, together with a desire to escape an unhappy first marriage, led Ransome to St Petersburg, where he was ideally placed to observe and report on the Russian Revolution. He knew many of the leading Bolsheviks, including Lenin, Radek, Trotsky and the latter's secretary, Evgenia Shvelpina. These contacts led to persistent but unproven accusations that he "spied" for both the Bolsheviks and Britain.
Ransome married Evgenia and returned to England in 1924. Settling in the Lake District, he spent the late 1920s as a foreign correspondent and highly-respected angling columnist for the Manchester Guardian, before settling down to write Swallows and Amazons and its successors.
Today Ransome is best known for his Swallows and Amazons series of novels, (1931 - 1947). All remain in print and have been widely translated.
Arthur Ransome died in June 1967 and is buried at Rusland in the Lake District.
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