‘I’ve just read this delightful ebook – thank you so much for writing it! …I hope you will deservedly enjoy hearing that I absolutely adored the film of Swallows & Amazons and learned your name, along with all of the other actors and actresses off by heart from the LP record, which I played and played.
‘I also had the jigsaw of the campsite scene, which I thought was an incredible piece of merchandising (and it was, for its day).
‘I read my first Swallows & Amazons book (Swallowdale, but never mind) in the summer holidays when I was 7, and rapidly recruited my best friend Linda to being a fan. One of our mums spotted that the film was on at our local cinema in Dundee that Christmas, but the next day was the last date it was showing – so we were collected early from our school Christmas party, so that we could make it in time. We were in heaven. The next Easter, our families took us to the Lake District (staying in Coniston) for the first of many holidays there. We remember “finding” Gondola submerged in the reeds, and sailing with our dads over to Bank Ground and seeing the two dinghies named Swallow and Amazon. We soon found a favourite picnic on the shore close to Peel Island, and in later years, my dad and I rowed over to the Island in a rubber dinghy, which was tremendously exciting. Fascinating to hear about the artificial shingle beach!
I was interested to read that one of your qualifications for getting the job was that you could row, and that you’d practised at home in a Thames Skiff. Many thanks again for giving me such a delightful film to immerse myself in as a child. ‘Helena Smalman-Smith
‘We love your book and tales of filming.’ Love Ambleside – on Twitter
‘…the girls adore your film of Swallows and Amazons. In fact, I fear it is thanks to your film rather than the book that my Swallows and Amazons camping weekend was full to bursting. I also have friends in Suffolk who would happily hot foot it across the country with their three children to hear you!’ Grainne Dennison (teacher and Ransome fan).
‘My daughter is 11 today & this is her favourite present! Titty was always Moira’s favourite character from the books AND the film, she is thrilled!’
‘My daughter LOVED your book! She couldn’t help sharing gems & finished it in a few days on hols. Magic! My turn now!’
‘I have been hesitating to write, but I do want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading ‘The Making of Swallows and Amazons’. It made watching the film so much more enjoyable. I came to Arthur Ransome late in life, but I’ve read all of them, and have a complete collection of the ‘Swallows and Amazons’ adventures.’ Mark Cheng, Bedford
‘I really love the Swallows and Amazons movie. I actually went to see it at the pictures in London, with my family when it first came out, but I was only about 4 or 5 years old, so I don’t remember much about that day. But of course I have watched it many times over the years and since I have the DVD I make a point to watch it at least once every year. You are my favourite as you are so charming!!’ Robert Newland, Dorset
If you have a memory of the film, do leave a comment in the box below.
If you would like to write a short review on Amazon, here is the link for readers in the UK
You can read the first section of the memoir free of charge on Amazon here.
There are now three different editions available to purchase online:
8 thoughts on “What did you think of ‘The Making of Swallows & Amazons’?”
Hi Sophie, having followed the blog from the beginning, I bought the Kindle version when it came out and enjoyed it very much. However I’m delighted to say I found a signed copy of the paper version in the bookshop in Keswick this afternoon. Needless to say I had to buy it and look forward to re-reading it over the summer!
I’m so glad, Kevin! Let me know what you think. The paperback is really a second edition of the ebook with a better ending but we were able to include movie stills. I like the size, which makes it a good present. You may find your name somewhere within the pages!
As you can see from recent posts a few more stories have come in so as soon as I can find the time, we’ll bring out an up-to-date edition of the ebook. Kindle enable reloading the update free of charge.
I have found my name at the end – thank you very much, it was very generous of you to include me!
I meant to add that we were walking in the hills above Derwentwater on Sunday. The weather was beautiful and it was very ‘Swallows and Amazons’ on the lake, with all kinds of boats of all shapes and sizes out sailing. The closest we came was when we hitched a lift back to Keswick on the launch, to save our (very) weary legs. I couldn’t help thinking about one of the scenes in the film, with Borrowdale and Castle Crag in the background.
Not at all – thank you for your help and support.
Were you travelling in The Lady Derwentwater? She was decommissioned and converted into the Captain Flint’s houseboat for our film.
It’s lovely to hear other people’s reactions to the film and to your book; especially when they match your own!
It is so good to hear how people feel. I welcome any questions or reviews.