Swallows, Amazons and Coots

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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 in publication 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. Like the Swallows and Amazons, Julian Lovelock spent his childhood summer holidays afl oat and has been messing about in boats ever since. He was until recently a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Buckingham, where he became Dean of Arts and Languages and Pro Vice-Chancellor. He is a member of the Arthur Ransome Society, and editor of its journal, ?Mixed Moss?. ?The delightful and unique Arthur Ransome stories from 'Swallows and Amazon'? to 'Great Northern?' have captivated us over the years. But now we learn, thanks to this fascinating book, that there are more aspects and depths to the stories than we ever imagined.? Virginia McKenna, O.B.E., portrayed Mrs Walker in ?Swallows & Amazons? (1974). ?Julian Lovelock clearly has a deep affection and admiration for Ransome's writing, and places the books in a rich and complex context. This is an elegant and leisurely guide through the books in the company of an amiable and well-informed companion.? Peter Hunt, Emeritus Professor of Children's Literature, Cardiff University. ?This is a splendid and timely book. Julian Lovelock restores Arthur Ransome to his rightful place on one of the peaks of children's fiction.? Fred Inglis, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sheffield. ?In this charming but exacting study, Lovelock brings vividly alive the world of 'Swallows andAmazons' and the intriguing character of its creator.? Stefan Hawlin, Professor in English Literature, University of Buckingham.


Publisher -

Author(s) - Julian Lovelock


Published Date -

ISBN - 9780718894368

Dimensions - 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.3 cm

Page Count - 242

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