‘Swallows, Amazons and Coots’

9780718894368_cover Swallows3.indd

‘Swallows, Amazons and Coots’ by Julian Lovelock, with a forward by Sophie Neville, was launched on 23rd September at The Radcliffe Centre at the University of Buckingham. Published by the Lutterworth Press, it is a companion for anyone who loves Arthur Ransome’s series of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books.


To read more and enter a competition to win a copy please click here

For photos of the book launch please click here.

About the new book

‘In 1929, Arthur Ransome (1884-1967), a journalist and war correspondent on the books of MI5, now widely regarded as one of the most influential children’s writers of the twentieth century, turned his hand to writing adventure stories for children. The result was Swallows and Amazons and eleven more wonderful books beyond, 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, beloved for the author’s ability to create a world of escape so close to reality that it is utterly believable, in which things always turn out right in the end. Yet 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 to offer an erudite assessment of Ransome’s creative process and narrative technique, highlighting reflections of his experiences and contradictory politics, colonial imagery, the spectre of war and of course his remarkable skill as a story-teller as he constructed a fictional refuge for himself and his readers. Thus Lovelock convincingly demonstrates that, despite first appearances, the novels challenge as much as reinforce the pervading attitudes of their time. Elegantly written, Swallows, Amazons and Coots is both up-to-date and nostalgic. It will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed the world of Swallows and Amazons, and there is plenty here to challenge the Ransome enthusiast and the student as well.’


Virginia McKenna wrote: ‘There is always more in life than meets the eye. The delightful and unique Arthur Ransome stories from Swallows and Amazons to Great Northern? have delighted 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. In no way does this diminish them – on the contrary. By giving us a more profound understanding of the author, the adventures and exploits of his characters take on an extra depth and dimension. These are stories for children that no adult should miss.’

‘An admirable introduction for newcomers to the Swallows and Amazons novels, written with detailed and expert knowledge. 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, and co-author of How Did Long John Silver Lose His Leg? (2013)

Available from Amazon online and from all good bookshops

There was an interesting feature published in the East Anglian Daily Press here

Julian Lovelock is the editor of Mixed Moss,2016, the journal of The Arthur Ransome Society, which includes an article by Sophie Neville who is President of the literary society.


Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

10 thoughts on “‘Swallows, Amazons and Coots’”

    1. They don’t seem to have a Kindle copy yet. The paperback is on sale at a specail reduced price of £17 to members of The Arthur Ransome Society. Do you have a collection of books about Ransome?

  1. Have just read your foreward to the book ( tick v.g. as Tom Good would have said ) and also chapter 4 – Winter Holiday , as printed on the Lutterworth Press website .
    I was most impressed by the depth of understanding , even the way he notices the use of the word `Softly ` when talking of the night snowfall .
    I can`t wait for my copy to arrive

    1. So glad you enjoyed the forward to ‘Swallows, Amazons and Coots’. Do please add comment on the Amazon site once you’ve finished the book! I’m about to launch a second edition of my ebook on ‘The Secrest of Filming Swallows & Amazons’ in 1974.and used a few references from this more academic woork.

  2. My copy , as we speak , is still `in the post` and I may well post comments when I have read it . I await your new ebook -revised `Filming of S and A` and wonder if `Swallows , Amazons and Coots will also make it to ebook status . Do you know if this is likely soon ? I do hope so .
    TARS for ever , Martin

    1. Yes, ‘Swallows, Amazons and Coots’ will emerge in ebook form,although I am not sure when. We have been working hard on the 2nd Edition of ‘The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons’, which I HOPE will be launched tomoorow!

      1. I have a copy ( signed ) of the first edition and I shall buy the Ebook of the revised edition . Thanks for the info. about the possibility of an Ebook of Swallows , Amazons and Coots . We wait with bated breath . You may be interested to hear that `Lanehead ` – just downwind of Bank Ground Farm , is on sale for £ 1.5 m . Just a thought ……

        1. How interesting! Very many thanks for your support! I hope you enjoy the 2nd edition. It is free for anyone who already has an ebook – you can just reload. We published it today but I think it takes about 24 hrs for it to be checked and available on the site. Please let me know if you spy any typos!

  3. I have read this book and loved it. I think it is a very enjoyable study and Julian Lovelock’s explanations and conclusions make me view the books in a new light. A fitting tribute to Arthur Ransome, I think.

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