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Author Topic: The Swallows and Amazon books.  (Read 3035 times)

Jerry C

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The Swallows and Amazon books.
« on: November 15, 2012, 11:47:08 PM »

I am interested to know how many Mayhemers and their offsprings lives were influenced by this series of books. My life certainly was. My parents introduced me to them as soon as I started to read and always tried to say yes to endeavours rather than the easier option of no. "Better drowned than duffers" etc. reading them inspired me to seek a carreer at sea. Any thoughts?
Jerry.

vnkiwi

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 03:55:56 AM »

Hi Jerry,
Yes, I read all these when I was around 7 - 8 years old, in the late 1950's, still some of my favourite reading.
Finally got to see the places in the books 7 years ago, recognizing all the places mentioned and remembered so well.
They fostered my love of boats, which is still strong today. My parents also fostered the "have a go" attitude with all us kids.
cheers
kiwi
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Peter Fitness

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 04:55:48 AM »

While the Swallows and Amazons books did not inspire me to a maritime career, I certainly enjoyed them, and read every one in our school library. They also contributed to my love of boats.


Peter.
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TailUK

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 09:13:06 AM »

I was a keen S & A fan.  I remember being suprised how much like the drawings the lake district actually is.  Ransom's sketchs remind me of Wainwright's.
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grendel

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 09:37:33 AM »

I was introduced to the books when small, a great read then and still a great read, I have all of the books in both paperback and hardback (up to 4 or 5 copies of some of the books) at work there were two of us who were avid ransome readers, on another forum I use there is an Arthur who knows everything about Arthur Ransome that it is possible to know (eg he can name every boat AR owned, and when- without checking it).
there is also 'The Arthur Ransome Society' - TARS as it is known on the internet.
Grendel
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Jerry C

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 10:00:12 AM »

I'm really looking forward to attending the Coniston Regatta 2013 end of May Begining of June. Am hoping to sail in the movie version of Swallow. Will be taking S. L. Wear with me.
Jerry.

dreadnought72

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 10:50:50 AM »

Hi Jerry!

42 years ago, like many, I stumbled into those green hardback books on the school library shelves, aged 7.

Always a keen reader, I read the lot. Eventually I bought my own copies in paperback, and re-read them often. I started dinghy sailing at ten, and have a deep passion for sailing small boats. My wife bought me the hardback set a couple of years ago as a present, and I've read them all again, several times since. (Much to her bemusement!)

I'd urge anyone who loved the books to try the Autobiography for an account of (the first two-thirds of) an amazing life. Brogan's Life of Arthur Ransome is better. Find Coots in the North for several chapters of the last, unfinished, S&A book, alongside other writing. The Last Englishman is an amazing glimpse at Ransome's time in Russia. And - of course! - Racundra's First Cruise and Second Cruise are full of bookmarks and rarely on my shelves.

I suspect this would be a Mastermind Specialist Subject for me.

TARS is an active society for all things Ransome - highly recommended - and TARBOARD is a genial online forum for Ransomeites.

Last year I stopped at Rusland Church in Cumbria. It was my second visit. A sunny, breezy, beautiful summer's day: perfect weather for sailing a small lugsail dinghy on nearby Coniston. Arthur and Evgenia's grave was clean and tidy. There was no-one else about. The church was unlocked, just as it ought be.

Inside, there's a book for visitors: I spent a good fifteen minutes reading comments from people who'd visited the church from all over the world during the past few months, and at least half of them had done what I'd done - turned up to say "thanks" - and added some of the funniest, most delightful comments I'd ever seen. I believe we all share a mindset: the books have, in part, made us the adults we've become.

As to Coniston next year? I need to camp. And bring Racundra.  O0

Andy
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Jerry C

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 11:54:08 AM »

Andy, that's what I wanted to say, but not one of my strong points. To people who have never read them please try. I know they are children's books but some of us are children at heart. So my wife keeps telling me anyway. There is a thread on here ref the regatta, it's posted by gondolier88. We will be caravaning at Park Coppice caravan site which is directly across from the venue, just a short drive away. If your talking tents then I can't help. Two trees, some rope for a ridge and stones in pockets. Now where did that come from? Somebody did do it as a specialist subject on mastermind. I've read them at least 20 times and I was rubbish on the answers, quit shocked actually.
Jerry.

Neil

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 12:05:24 PM »

I must be a heathen as I never read them......Enid Blighton Famous five and Secret Seven were my parents choice of books.................and then Dandy and Beano became my choice when I had one.....perhaps that's where I've gone wrong in life   %% %% {:-{ {:-{ {:-{ {:-{ {:-{
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Rottweiler

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 12:26:51 PM »

Neil
Wodney says your interest in boats came from Captain Pugwash, and you ought to build a model of the "Black Pig" whatever can he mean???? lol
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gondolier88

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 03:53:05 PM »

Hi Jerry,


Forgive the plug on your thread- the Coniston Regatta website here; www.coniston-regatta.co.uk . If you are on Facebook, comments, questions and ideas can be posted here; www.facebook.com/ConistonRegatta?ref=hl .


I haven't read all the books (yet!!), but S&A is sailing in the Lakes personified, it inspires, educates and encourages without being patronising- the description of the rigging in the dinghy in the first few pages would leave any 'normal' child with an x-box and no imagination non-plussed, the reader must go and find someone who knows about these things to understand the story- a powerful lesson to the normal 9/10 year old reading the book for the first time.


Anyone who may be interested in the S&A link with Coniston and/or the regatta in May 2013, contact me via FB, or PM me on here.


Oh, and here's Swallow for you all, on the lake looking up to 'Holly Howe', in her boathouse at 'Holly Howe', and sailing on the deep;



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furball

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 04:34:37 PM »

Nice bit of varnish on there.




LAnce
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Neil

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 05:33:05 PM »

Neil
Wodney says your interest in boats came from Captain Pugwash, and you ought to build a model of the "Black Pig" whatever can he mean???? lol
I've got a vhs video of captain pugwash I'll have you know..........friends bought it me for my 40th birthday, lol
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kenlee

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 09:01:34 PM »

Great to see a thread like this on Mayhem, the first A.R. book I read a few years ago was Coot Club and as I know the Broards quite well It made the story more vivid for me.
 After an e.mail conversation with Andy about a T.S.B. I bought and read the Big Six, Secret Water and await another, I cannot say how much I have enjoyed them and look forward to discovering more.
 I agree they are books that can be read and reread with something extra found in them each time.
Love the books but not a fan of the film.
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Grumpy Dave

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2012, 10:11:50 PM »

There was also 'Captain Flint's Chest' a superb book on the S&A history and locations. Also 'Walking in theS&A footsteps' . I may not be a bit vague with the titlesas my son now has the books, but it may jog a memory somewhere. P.S. Why when I press spell check am I told there is a pop up which when activated wipes my reply?
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dreadnought72

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2012, 11:40:56 PM »

Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk by Christina Hardyment - it's a great book.

Here, by the way, is Ransome's grave, taken during the summer.

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Rottweiler

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2012, 11:52:06 PM »

a nice resting place,shame there was no water in sight for him,which would have made it very apt.
Mick F
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gondolier88

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2012, 03:40:13 PM »

Mick,


Not really, the Rusland Valley was his home, and a fitting resting place for him and Evgenia. He used to live right on Coniston Water, at The Heald, East of Lake, Coniston, but it was never a favourite home for him, eventually settling in the Rusland Valley- one of the few 'dry' valleys in the Lakes- and one of the most picturesque too.



Greg


ps.- the hill in the background of the photo, our little place is the other side of it, in the neighbouring Crake Valley (definitely NOT a 'dry' valley!)
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Romany

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2012, 11:28:25 PM »

Yep, I'd have to say the books were a strong influence on my attitudes to small boats. I'm grateful for reading them at an early age.
My family were all well aware of the "If not duffers won't drown" quote.
I was interested to read one of the recent books which clarified where the stories were set -Not all on Windermere it seems.
I'll stick to models I think. Fun derived is inversely proportional to the waterline length!
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Norseman

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 12:25:55 AM »

I never read it until a few years ago. I decided to finish my Open Uni English Literature degree with a year long Children's Literature module. To be honest I thought I was taking the easy option - boy was I wrong. Anyway there's a lot to be said for reading Children's books with an adult eye so dust them all off and enjoy them all again.

Dave
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Romany

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 12:40:05 AM »

Just to change tacks briefly from Windermere to the Thames, I was watching Gryf Rhys-Jones' expose of The Wind in The Willows" last night. You probably saw it long ago -We're a bit behind in NZ with TV programmes -usually thankfully. He explored the educational and learning-of-life -skills aspects of the book. It's not all about boats, but still, it's a ripping yarn.


Anyway, if you want an excellent one liner, Ratty's quote on the desirability of messing around in boats is a good one!

We've got young grandchildren coming up through the ranks and rest assured they will get a solid diet of this and Arthur Ransome. Book and DVD.

Meantime I'll get back to my little steam tug "Bulli". Shadows mounted on the building board and bow and stern posts formed. Scratching my head and nether reaches to figure out the runs of the planks.
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mikgo

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 08:05:10 AM »

Hi All
The book that is a favorite of mine is another of Arthur Ransoms called "We didn't mean to go to sea". Set in Harwich & the North Sea.
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Jerry C

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2012, 09:46:12 AM »

The whole series in hardback is available second hand on the web but not cheap. Also available on Kindle after a long wait. I found it almost impossible to get my kids to read them but my eldest bought me one every year for Xmas as she knew I would love a hardback set. Being a tightarse she read them before posting and is now hooked and has just bought a 5O5 racing dinghy. Boy is she in for a shock! She can sail but it's all new to her husband. Be a bit like going from a Mini to a Formula 3! Teehee. My personal favourite is "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea". I believe they made another book (Coot Club?) into a film but have never found it. Anybody got a link?
Jerry.

grendel

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 10:09:21 AM »

coot club and the big 6 were made as a tv series and are available on dvd http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swallows-And-Amazons-Forever-DVD/dp/B000087I2B
Grendel
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grendel

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Re: The Swallows and Amazon books.
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 10:18:15 AM »

coot club and the big six are set on the broads, we didnt mean to go to sea sets off from harwich, secret water is set just down the coast from harwich.
great northern is set up in the scottish isles off the west coast, peter duck is set on the high seas and missie lee in the china seas.
swallows and amazons, swallowdale, winter holiday, pidgeon post and the picts and the martyrs are all set on the lakes.
the one unfinished book - coots in the north started in the broads but travels up to the lake district.
I think tats the lot though I am going from memory
Grendel
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