Wednesday, the 12th of August, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!
Today my pick is the first of a very well-known series of adventure books, but one which I haven’t yet read. Swallows and Amazons, first published in 1930, is the first of a series of the name name by English author and journalist Arthur Ransome. Early in his writing career, he wrote the Nature Books for Children, and in 1907 Bohemia in London, introducing the Bohemian literary and artistic communities. During the First World War, Ransome served as war correspondent. He also went on a yachting adventure which he also wrote about. In 1920, he settled in the Lake District, and in 1929, wrote Swallows and Amazons, which is set there.
The book tells the story of two families of children who have adventures sailing, camping, fishing, and exploring. The Walker children (John, Susan, Titty and Roger) who live on a farm in the Lake District during their school holidays, hire a dinghy named Swallow. They meet the Blackett children (Nancy and Peggy) who sail the Amazon. The two groups of children join forces against Jim Turner, the Blacketts’ uncle who (usually a friend and ally of the two girls) has withdrawn from company to write his memoirs. There are mock battles, attempts to seize the others’ boat and such. The series has 12 books, relating further adventures of the two sets of children, who are later joined by other characters as well.
I do confess I am not a great reader of sea-faring adventures. I have read Treasure Island which I enjoyed very much but wasn’t all that thrilled with either The Sea Wolf or Captain’s Courageous. This isn’t quite the same, but is one where the children try to recreate these adventures. Still since this is a series I’ve heard so much about, and from so long, I do want to give it a try–it might well turn out to be one I end up enjoying! This is also by the way, the basis for a 2016 film of the same name (which makes some plot changes), which I only discovered existed when writing this.
Have you read this one and others in the series? Which one/s and how did you like it/them? Was it something you read as a child or only as an adult? Have you seen the film? Did you like it? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!