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Using diaries of Ransome and his wife, journals of his friends and Ransome's own notes, Roger Wardale has pieced together the story of how Swallows and Amazons and its Lake District successors came to be written.
In 1973 Sophie Neville was cast as Titty alongside Virginia McKenna, Ronald Fraser and Suzanna Hamilton in the film Swallows & Amazons. Made before the advent of digital technology, the child stars lived out Arthur Ransome's epic adventure in the great outdoors without ever seeing a script. Encouraged by her mother, Sophie Neville kept a diary about her time filming on location in the lakes and mountains of Cumbria. Bouncy and effervescent, extracts from her childhood diary are interspersed among her memories of the cast and crew as well as photographs, maps and newspaper articles, offering a child's eye view of the making of the film from development to premiere - and the aftermath.
In 1929, Arthur Ransome (1884-1967), a journalist and war correspondent who was on the books of MI6, turned his hand to writing adventure stories for children. The result was Swallows and Amazons and eleven more wonderful books followed, spanning inpublication the turbulent years from 1930 to 1947. They changed the course of children's literature and have never been out of print since. In them, Ransome creates a world of escape so close to reality that it is utterly believable, a world in which things always turn out right in the end. Yet Swallows, Amazons and Coots shows that, to be properly appreciated today, the novels must be read as products of their era, inextricably bound up with Ransome's life and times as he bore witness to the end of Empire and the dark days of the Second World War. In the first critical book devoted wholly to the series, Julian Lovelock explores each novel in turn, offering an erudite assessment of Ransome's creative process and narrative technique, and highlighting his contradictory politics, his defence of rural England, and his reflections on colonialism and the place of women in society. Thus Lovelock demonstrates convincingly that, despite first appearances, the novels challenge as much as reinforce the pervading attitudes of their time.Written with a lightness of touch and enlivened by Ransome's own illustrations, Swallows, Amazons and Coots is both fresh and nostalgic. It will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed the world of Swallows and Amazons, and there is plenty here to challenge both the student and the Ransome enthusiast.
For many in Britain, the interwar period was a time of significant social, political and cultural anxiety. In the aftermath of the First World War, with British imperial power apparently waning, and with the politics of class becoming increasingly pressing, many came to perceive that traditional notions of British, and particularly English, identity were under challenge. The interwar years saw many cultural responses to the concerns these perceived challenges raised, as seen in H. V. Morton's In Search of England (1927) and J. B. Priestley's English Journey (1934). The sense of socio-cultural crisis was also registered in children's literature. This thesis will examine one significant and under-researched aspect of the responses to the cultural anxieties of the inter-war years: the 'camping and tramping' novel. The term 'camping and tramping' refers to a sub-genre of children's adventure stories that emerged in the 1930s. These novels focused on the holiday leisure activities - generally sailing, camping and hiking - of largely middle-class children in the British (and most often English) countryside. Little known beyond Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows and Amazons' novels (1930-1947), this thesis undertakes a full survey of camping and tramping fiction, developing for the first time a taxonomy of this sub-genre (chapter one). It also investigates the cultural meanings of the principal activities that quickly became characteristic of camping and tramping novels (chapter two). Besides this survey and accompanying analysis, this thesis also undertakes a thorough examination of the contexts of camping and tramping fiction. It firmly situates camping and tramping novels within the socio-cultural debates and anxieties from which they emerged and with which they continually engaged. Chapter three concentrates on how camping and tramping fiction responded to the challenges posed by the democratisation of leisure and particularly demands for more open access to the countryside. Chapter four is also focused on exploration of the land, but examines the novels through the lens of contemporary colonial and cartographic discourses. Chapter five turns to consider more specifically the maritime traditions with which camping and tramping fiction engaged, in particular Ransome's 'Swallows and Amazons' series. It is argued throughout this thesis that camping and tramping fiction responded to perceived challenges to Britishness by creating a powerful myth of nationhood as rooted in rural and, maritime traditions. This reformulation sought to manage changes to national identity by endorsing largely middle-class social and cultural agendas and validating middle-class values. This thesis argues for the cultural significance of camping and tramping fiction, something previously largely unnoticed. These novels were fully engaged in the social, cultural and political debates of the time and, as such, can be viewed as both reflecting contemporary cultural anxieties and as helping to construct new narratives of national identity.
A prolific 20th-century author, editor, critic, reviewer and foreign correspondent, Arthur Ransome is historically considered one of the most important English children's writers between the wars. This first comprehensive bibliography describes in detail the various editions of the books he wrote and to which he contributed. Included in this work are more than 1,500 contributions by Ransome to newspapers and magazines, with extensive notes on their publication history. Among these contributions are controversial reports from Russia during World War I and the rise of the Bolsheviks.
Edward Frederick Knight (1852-1925) was an English barrister and writer about sailing. In 1889 he sailed to the island of Trindade off the coast of Brazil in a 64 foot cutter named the Alerte. He was in search of treasure. He wrote the book The Cruise of the Alerte about his journey with detailed descriptions of Trindade. His other books include: Where Three Empires Meet, Sailing and Falcon in the Baltic. He was an influence on Arthur Ransome who used his book Sailing to teach himself how to sail and in the Swallows and Amazons series as a resource for his fictional characters. Ransome also used the descriptions of Trindade as a model for his fictional Crab Island in the book Peter Duck.
Visiting England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales? Don't miss Narnia, Wonderland, Hogwarts and Middle-Earth! If you're planning a trip abroad--or just a flight of fancy into literature's best-loved magical lands--Melanie Wentz's Once Upon a Time in Great Britain is a wonderful chance to read all about the creation of your favorite children's books. This book is both a practical travel guide for your family vacation to the UK, and a terrific source of armchair-travel fascination. Each chapter covers classics such as Peter Rabbit and Paddington Bear for the youngest tourists, Alice in Wonderland, Kidnapped and The Secret Garden for the older kids, and C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books for everyone. Read about the real chocolate factory that made such an impression on the young Roald Dahl, or the cozy pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien introduced their friends to Narnia and hobbits. Treat your kids to a visit to the real "100 Aker Wood" that helped A.A. Milne create Winnie the Pooh, or the station where Thomas the Tank Engine lives. And enjoy the many original illustrations that made the books so distinctive on their first publications. From parents who grew up on Wind in the Willows, Mary Poppins and Peter Pan to kids who thrill to Harry Potter, Once Upon a Time in Great Britain is a must-have addition to the libraries of children--and adults--everywhere.

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