Finally! Here is the twelfth, and final, book in Arthur Ransome's acclaimed Swallows and Amazons series. People familiar with his earlier work will recognize the pattern: children set out on an adventure (this one off the coast of Scotland) with a minimum of parental advice and interference. Here, the story centers on a desperate race to thwart the efforts of pernicious egg collectors threatening the survival of a pair of rare birds not previously known to nest in British waters (actually, the bird is the handsome North American "Great Northern Diver," more commonly called a loon). Note from the publisher. When we first considered reissuing this beloved series, we asked our friends, especially librarians, what they thought of the idea. No one encouraged us; the characters were foreign, the setting was English, the type was small and the books were too long. Worst of all, one of the Swallows was called "Titty." No one would read them. But we loved the books; they were rooted in reality and had the grit and voice of real experience. The kids were always on vacation. The parents disappeared. Practical information abounded - about sailing and navigating, tickling trout and tying knots. Problems set to children were solved. And "Titty" was for us (as she surely was for Ransome) a favorite; a child with trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy and who drew others into her world. Today, with all twelve titles in print, we're pleased to report that there are legions of Ransome fans, as well as bookstores who welcome each new addition with enthusiasm. The success of fine writing has little to do with type size or page count or characters' names. It has everything to do with good stories,palpable energy, engaging models, and credible adventures; and all these Arthur Ransome provides in spades.
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aboard anchor anyhow ashore asked bagpipes Bear's better bird-man birds Black-throated Black-throated Diver bunk cabin Captain Flint climbed coming Coot Club cove crew cross-trees Dactyl deck deer Dick Dick rowed Dick's dinghy dogmudgeon dogs egg-collector eggs enemy engine fo'c'sle foghorn folding boat Gaels ghillies glanced gone hand harbour head heard heather Heuch hide hill hurry island Jemmerling John and Nancy keep knapsack knew listening loch looking minute moving nest netting never Northern Diver once Peggy Peter Duck photographs Pict-house prisoners Pterodactyl pulled ready ridge rocks Roger round rowed sailing sailor Sea Bear seen ship Ship's Naturalist shore shouted side sight sleep splash stalked stalkers staysail stern stopped straight suddenly sure Susan Swallowdale Swallows and Amazons swimming telescope tell There's thought Titty and Dorothea turned valley waiting watching What's whispered whistle wind young McGinty
Page ii - ... (GN, 139). Even the shape of the plot has changed; the book has, very noticeably, an abstract beginning and end. It begins with a glimpse of an outside observer, the highland boy, whose attitude to what is to follow immediately reduces its stature: "On a hill above the cliff a boy in highland dress turned from watching the deer in the valley to look out over the sea. He saw a sail far away. It was no more than a white speck in the distance and presently he turned his back on it and settled down...