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Larks
08-14-2014, 08:02 AM
'Just finished reading "Swallows and Amazons" last night.

I thoroughly recommend it to any and every adult. I can attest to what an amazingly pleasant thing it is to read such a beautifully written and wonderfully charming story and to remember what an incredible gift it is to have an imagination!!

How lucky we are, being wooden boat enthusiasts: I expect we exercise our imaginations much more often, more effectively and with a greater sense of romance and ideal and wonder than most other (sane?) people might get the opportunity to.

skuthorp
08-14-2014, 08:24 AM
I'm reading 'The Wanderer of Liverpool" by John Masefield. (yes, that one)
Illustrations and paintings by J. Spurling, J Witham, a Captain Deane and an unnamed 'Chinaman'. Many photographs, part history, part prose, part verse.
Laid down in 1890, she was designed as a big cargo carrier, 309 ft long.
Book includes plans, rig layout, internal layout and builders notes on fold out sections.
Rick brought it down for me when he picked up his Mirror and it is truly a delight. It's a second edition from 1930 and in a plain green cloth binding, but even then a limited edition. I am considering giving it the full leather binding treatment with inlays and a representation of the figurehead on the cover, the wife of the builder evidently, and quite 'comely'.

Keith Wilson
08-14-2014, 08:34 AM
I also read Ransome as an adult. I enjoyed them greatly - although to a late-20th-century American, prewar upper-middle-class England seems about as strange and remote as Middle Earth. I suggest you keep going; they get better as the series progresses. The books have since been reprinted in the US, but at that point (pre-internet) some of them were almost impossible to find. One I had to get from the rare book collection of the Minneapolis library. We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea may be the best of the lot; a real adventure, not just kids playing.

Phil Y
08-14-2014, 10:05 AM
I find his language very difficult. The stories are good, but I don't enjoy reading them.

WX
08-14-2014, 04:52 PM
I've read them all. The movie is not bad either.

John B
08-14-2014, 05:00 PM
I forget when I read em last , possibly when I was trying to get a kid to read them so it was as an adult. My kids didn't want to read them because they were doing it anyway I guess, and the style / language or period didn't gel with them.
There was a question above decks recently about what books to read to learn how to sail ,which triggered a memory . I already knew how to sail before I ever actually got in a boat circa 10 years old,because I'd read all those.
Funny , a couple of years ago we made a reef passage at night to clear into Levuka in Fiji on my friends boat. We had good leading lights for the gap in the reef and I thought then about S and A and the night landing into the cove on Wildcat island.

changeng
08-14-2014, 05:29 PM
I've read a few of them in the last year or two. Nothing better on a cold winter night than children's classics...no violence, no porn.. just good writing and simple escapism. The Coot club was good.

jsjpd1
08-14-2014, 05:30 PM
I've been reading them to the girls for a couple years, we finished 'We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea' last month and are working our way through 'Secret Water' at the moment. Great books.

Wooden Boat Fittings
08-14-2014, 08:54 PM
Oh goodness, I read the whole series every couple of years -- have done since I was in my teens. Ransome taught me to sail before I ever got in a boat, and my dinghy Aileen Louisa (http://www.woodenboatfittings.com.au/boats/aileenlouisa.htm) is just an overgrown Amazon with a sprit sloop rig instead of a standing lug.

There have been a few attempts at filming Ransome's stories. The 1963 BBC TV version of 'Swallows and Amazons' was terrible, but 'Swallows and Amazons For Ever (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301909/)', which is an amalgam of 'Coot Club' and 'The Big Six' for TV was very well done. Even better was the 1974 Claude Whatham film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072233/) of 'Swallows and Amazons' itself. I understand that a new film of the same book is to be remade soon. In addition, there have been recent stage productions of 'Swallows and Amazons (http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-swallows-and-amazons/)' and 'We Didn't Mean to go to Sea (http://www.nancyblackett.org/old2/2008/07/ransome-sails-onto-stage.html)', both being apparently quite well done.

Swallow from the 1974 film (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/05/16/article-0-0049ACD700000258-840_468x346.jpg) has recently been restored by members of The Arthur Ransome Society (http://www.arthur-ransome.org.uk/) and others, and is in more-or-less constant use taking fans sailing in the Lakes and elsewhere. (This boat was built for the film -- the original Swallow is unfortunately no more.) I believe also that the original Amazon is still extant, in a museum somewhere in the UK.

Nancy Blackett (http://nancyblackett.org/), originally a Ransome-owned cruiser and the prototype for Goblin in 'We Didn't etc' and 'Secret Water' has also been restored and takes fans sailing regularly..

I made some maps a few years ago which are available for free download here (http://www.allthingsransome.net/armaps/osmaps.html) if anyone is interested -- The Lake, Wild Cat Island, and Secret Water. I started with The Lake map because, while each of the books has its own map showing the geography covered in that book, nowhere was there one map covering all the locations of the children's activities in all five Lake books. I added the other maps because it was fun, and I've been working on some Ransome-oriented Broads maps for a while too.

Oh yes, wonderful books.

Mike

htom
08-14-2014, 10:02 PM
Indeed, wonder-filled books.

Another I came to as an adult was Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Skip the modern sequels.

Wooden Boat Fittings
08-14-2014, 11:12 PM
Actually, I didn't think Horwood's sequels were too bad, Tom. I did indeed read them out of order and they would have been better read sequentially (which, as I discovered, is not River-Bank chronologically).

And speaking of sequels, another modern sequel is one to to the Winnie-ther-Pooh books, 'Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_the_Hundred_Acre_Wood)', by David Benedictus, with illustrations by Mark Burgess. The style of writing is very true to Milne's, and the drawings could easily have been done by Shepard himself. Here's a sample, for instance, together with a map drawn from the other direction to Shepard's --


http://www.e-reading.ws/illustrations/1007/1007154-_6.jpg http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518g5ytcioL.jpg
Mike

Larks
08-15-2014, 07:00 AM
Oh goodness, I read the whole series every couple of years -- have done since I was in my teens. Ransome taught me to sail before I ever got in a boat, and my dinghy Aileen Louisa (http://www.woodenboatfittings.com.au/boats/aileenlouisa.htm) is just an overgrown Amazon with a sprit sloop rig instead of a standing lug.

There have been a few attempts at filming Ransome's stories. The 1963 BBC TV version of 'Swallows and Amazons' was terrible, but 'Swallows and Amazons For Ever (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301909/)', which is an amalgam of 'Coot Club' and 'The Big Six' for TV was very well done. Even better was the 1974 Claude Whatham film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072233/) of 'Swallows and Amazons' itself. I understand that a new film of the same book is to be remade soon. In addition, there have been recent stage productions of 'Swallows and Amazons (http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-swallows-and-amazons/)' and 'We Didn't Mean to go to Sea (http://www.nancyblackett.org/old2/2008/07/ransome-sails-onto-stage.html)', both being apparently quite well done.

Swallow from the 1974 film (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/05/16/article-0-0049ACD700000258-840_468x346.jpg) has recently been restored by members of The Arthur Ransome Society (http://www.arthur-ransome.org.uk/) and others, and is in more-or-less constant use taking fans sailing in the Lakes and elsewhere. (This boat was built for the film -- the original Swallow is unfortunately no more.) I believe also that the original Amazon is still extant, in a museum somewhere in the UK.

Nancy Blackett (http://nancyblackett.org/), originally a Ransome-owned cruiser and the prototype for Goblin in 'We Didn't etc' and 'Secret Water' has also been restored and takes fans sailing regularly..

I made some maps a few years ago which are available for free download here (http://www.allthingsransome.net/armaps/osmaps.html) if anyone is interested -- The Lake, Wild Cat Island, and Secret Water. I started with The Lake map because, while each of the books has its own map showing the geography covered in that book, nowhere was there one map covering all the locations of the children's activities in all five Lake books. I added the other maps because it was fun, and I've been working on some Ransome-oriented Broads maps for a while too.

Oh yes, wonderful books.

Mike


Wonderful maps Mike, thank you for sharing them mate.

shamus
08-15-2014, 05:28 PM
Been reading them to my granddaughter, just finishing Winter Holiday. Bought the whole set except Missee Lee which I hated, in hardback, through Fishpond for about 2o dollars each.

Keith Wilson
08-15-2014, 06:40 PM
Missee Lee is a period piece, and pretty embarrassing in the early 21st century, kind of like watching a Stepin Fetchit movie.

WX
08-15-2014, 07:06 PM
Have a look at the Strong Winds trilogy by Julia Jones.

Wooden Boat Fittings
08-15-2014, 08:32 PM
They're good prices, Shaun. It's interesting the disparity though -- $10.68 for 'Missee Lee' to $31.97 for 'Coot Club'. Maybe that reflects your dislike of 'Missee Lee' (which I share -- and I'm not so keen on the other meta-novel 'Peter Duck' either).

Not knowing about Fishpond, I recently bought two hard-covers direct from the UK at around $30 each, plus shipping, from Nauticalia (http://www.nauticalia.com/uk-info/books_videos_dvds_and_games/books/swallows_/94240.html). They also have a complete boxed set for a little over $300. But the Fishpond deal is clearly a better one, and when I need more that's where I'll go for them. (Thanks for the tip.)


Greg -- check your PMs again, buddy.

Mike

skuthorp
08-16-2014, 05:21 AM
I was at a local committee meeting today and after over a cuppa the talk turned to Swallows and Amazons. Many remembered their child hood and talked of their grandkids having the same experiences. Big areas of the bay are perfect for children and small boats at low tide you can be half a mile off shore in water hardly deep enough to float a canoe.

bamamick
08-16-2014, 07:10 AM
Never read one of them, but I am tempted.

Mickey Lake

skuthorp
08-16-2014, 07:22 AM
It's hard to know how an adult would take them unless he'd experienced the magic of imagination and play that connected you as a child Mickey.

changeng
08-16-2014, 07:32 AM
I first read Swallows and Amazons sitting on a jetty on Conistan Water..I was 28.
Read the others in the last 3 years.

I think I avoided English childrens Lit of that period for years having a horror of Enid Blyton. :arg

Swallows inspired me to get my first Dinghy :)

bamamick
08-16-2014, 01:42 PM
No harm in trying, Sku. :)

Mickey Lake

jsjpd1
08-16-2014, 02:22 PM
Peter Duck did seem to be a bit out of place compared to the others. A little too much real violence and bad actors. I found myself skipping or changing bits, when reading to the kids.