Book Page


‘The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974)’ first published by Classic TV Press is now being brought out as a dazzeling new 2nd edition by The Lutterworth Press available here

9780718894962_cover Amazons.indd

Watch an interview with the author and screenwriter David Wood here

Also available on Kindle under the title:


‘The Secrets of Filming SWALLOWS & AMAZONS’ (1974)

#1 Amazon UK bestseller list under Stage and Theatre

£2.56 ($3.99) on Kindle

Also available for other devices worldwide from Smashwords

Sophie has a short piece in this anthology published by ACW for Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas Everyone


-Now available as a paperback on ebook on Amazon-

“But I don’t have a Kindle!”

Don’t worry.

All the official Kindle reading apps are free, directly from your regional Amazon site. You can easily add a free Kindle reader app to your PC, laptop, Android, or Apple i-device to see the illustrations and play the video clips in colour:


If you are in the UK ~ Click here
If you live in the USA, or elsewhere in the world ~ Click here
– selecting which device you want to download the app to.

Ride the Wings of Morning by Sophie Neville

‘Ride the Wings of Morning’ 

#1 in the Travel-Africa  Kindle section in the UK and Canada

£2.56 on Kindle ~ click on either  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  Amazon Brazil ~

Also available for other devices worldwide from Smashwords

Ride the Wings of Morning by Sophie Neville

“I love the blend of real life, humor, adventure…” Richard Pilbrow

 ‘Funnily Enough’ and ‘Ride the Wings of Morning’

are available

in Paperback and Hardback with black and white illustrations

 in Amazon paperback and from * 

Elephant by Sophie Neville from 'Ride the Wings of Morning' her truelife book

‘Ride the Wings of Morning’  ~ ISBN-13: 978-1475244472

A conventional English girl arrived in South Africa, to help a friend run horseback safaris on a game reserve in the Northern Transvaal.

It was 1992. There were yellow road signs declaring “Dit is die Volkstaat”.

Sophie had heard of “biltong” but knew nothing of Afrikaans culture. She was aware of poachers, but not of the danger of sausage trees. Nor how to cook a gemsquash on the campfire without causing an explosion. She understood there were rhino on the reserve, but not that she would end up working as the safari guide. In the dark. On a stallion. Lost. With completely innocent tourists on other horses.

This upbeat true story, the sequel to her book ‘Funnily Enough’, is told through correspondence sent back and forth between Sophie Neville and her family in England.

Armed only with a paintbrush, she set off on various adventures into the wilderness, to illustrate the beauty, diversity and warmth of the great continent.

“Enormously amusing.” Nick Archer.

‘Real life jumps off the page with such warmth and energy I couldn’t put it down.’ Fiona Lindsay

“No one else has written a travel book for girls nor one that compares life back here with the precarious existence Sophie leads in Africa… It’ll sell because it’s funny; we need another Gerald Durrell.”


Funnily Enough

Reached #1 in Humour on Kindle UK ~ Amazon. com ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Also available for other devices worldwide from Smashwords

‘Funnily Enough’  ~ the paperback and hardback – with black and white illustrations click  here 

‘I can seriously recommend it.’ Sarah Collins

Funnily Enough (UK) ISBN-13: 978-1466213487 ISBN-10: 146621348 – click here

Amazon paperback edition (USA) Funnily Enough ISBN-13: 978-1466213487 ISBN-10: 146621348 – click here

Also available from the Book Depository UK  (free shipping worldwide), and Barnes and Noble

From the glamorous world of television production – working on some of the BBC’s hottest dramas and educational programmes – Sophie is torn between her love of Africa and returning to England for the sake of her career. But when she falls ill on the set of a show she is directing, she soon finds herself stuck in bed, forced to take stock of her life.

It sounds like a novel. But it isn’t.

Suspecting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sophie’s doctor at the BBC prescribes an extraordinary treatment: write a diary. So, armed with watercolours, and with the support of her family, friends, dogs and otters in rural Gloucestershire, she sets out to record a spiritual journey, which proves at times funny, poignant and uplifting.

Funnily Enough a truelife story by Sophie Neville paperback on Amazon US

Hardcover editions, signed by the author ~ £20 including p+p within the UK ~ please e-mail specifying the book title in the subject line

Hardcover editions from – click here

These hardback copies are lovely and make good presents

Paperback editions from – click here

Rubery Book Award 2013 Header

~ An award for ‘Funnily Enough’ ~

Funnily Enough - the first extract in iBelieve Magazine

You can read the first draft of Funnily Enough (without illustrations) of the opening four chapters here on the HarperCollins Authonomy website (no registration required).

“…all plaudits to you for trying to describe and find humour in your darkest hour.” Clare Francis, Author

“I am LOVING this book! A great read!!!! Funny as promised, interesting and encouraging. Well written and I love the illustrations. Very enjoyable. ” Jenny Nash

Funnily Enough really helped me when I was feeling a bit low, and the descriptions of your adventures in South Africa were very evocative and entertaining.’ Winifred Wilson, TARS librarian

“I’ve just finished your book. I do congratulate you on a quite splendid achievement. The whole read is such fun, so joyful, so funny and so touching. I found it very lovable… I was quite enraptured by your lovely piece of work. Well done indeed.” Richard Pilbrow, CEO Theatre Projects, Connecticut USA

“Your writing is so delightfully open and funny and full of fun. It’s a breath of fresh air while also giving courage and perspective to others who struggle with long hard trials.”  Wendy Chandler, South Africa

“Hilarious.” Nick Lombard-Scott, London

“I am completely loving ‘Funnily Enough’ in fact I have nearly finished it and cannot wait for the next book. I will take my copy to the Seychelles. I relate so much to everything you are writing about and it really is amazing – such insights into life. Well done. It is just my kind of book.” Sarah Collins, the ‘Wonderbag’ designer, South Africa

‘a unique and cherishable book’ Julia Jones

‘…the aquarell you have as cover picture is beautiful and makes an otter soul get very happy!’ Louloute, Paris

Ten years ago I was given this verse:
“ Write the vision 
 And make it plain on tablets, 
 That he may run who reads it.” 
Habakkuk 2:2
….I thought the word tablet very old fashioned at the time, never guessing that it would be possible to read it on an electronic gadget. Mine is called ‘a tablet’.
In 2011 we went to China on a delegation with the Bible Society and were taken around the vast factory where China’s bestseller is printed. There, on the first press, was my verse: Habakkuk 2:2. I returned to England and started to format Funnily Enough for publication.
Sophie Neville ~ what she saw in China

At the Amity Press in Nanjing, China in 2011

‘It will make a lovely present…’ Peter Norbury
The Aldeburgh Bookshop

Available from the Aldeburgh Bookshop – click on this picture

“…all plaudits to you for trying to describe and find humour in your darkest hour.”  Clare Francis

'Funnily Enough' a truelife memoir by Sophie Neville

Visit ‘Funnily Enough’ on Facebook ~ click here

Funnily Enough - a diary of 1991 by Sophie Neville

The Secrets of Filming ‘Swallows and Amazons’ 

The filmography of Richard Pilbrow’s 1974 immortal movie of Arthur Ransome’s well-loved book Swallows and Amazons, is told by Sophie Neville, the girl who played Titty.

Sophie Neville as Titty in 1973

‘Whilst I kept a diary as a child my parents took photographs and cine footage. My mother kept these with newspaper cuttings and letters, cards and cinema programmes in a terrible 197o’s carrier bag at the back of a dusty wardrobe. I very nearly threw the lot away. But then Swallow, the dinghy we used in the film, came up for auction. A number of us clubbed together to buy her.

When Swallow was finally restored I was invited to admire her at the Boat Show and asked to talk to members of The Arthur Ransome Society, so we dug out the carrier bag to find the old photos, with other things of interest including her famous flag. All the Arthur Ransome fans were so excited and eager to find out more that I started to write about being in the film, eventually settling down to publish my diaries and write about each day we spent on location in the Lake District. In a matter of weeks we had over 19,000 views, so it looks as if we’d better release it as an e-Book. I found myself explaining that, “This was a totally unplanned child, but luckily the father – Richard Pilbow –  is delighted.”

Sophie Neville – now and then – in ‘Swallows and Amazons Forever’

Since Sophie went on to work on the BBC adaptations of Arthur Ransome’s Coot Club and The Big Six this could become a never-ending story…

Sophie Neville with 'The Making of Swallows & Amazons'



Life on an African Farm

‘They call us “The Bitter Enders”,’ Charles said, looking back on his life and struggles farming the soft Kalahari sand of the Limpopo Province.  “For good reason. But what a life it’s been.”

This is a saga of a family battling against the elements and facing up against the odds. It is not a tale of violence and intrigue but of funny things. It’s a story of perseverance, about a man who tells of the time he was caught up in a passing whirlwind with tears of laughter in his eyes. Over the years I sat at the Babers’ dining room table and listened to endless amusing accounts of the family, their animals and other characters of the bushveld. And these I recount today.


Young Europe Africa, a drive of 10,000 miles London to Johannesburg

Nearly thirty years ago Sophie Neville joined an expedition driving from London to Johannesburg in eight 4WD vehicles. We learn from her letters home of her adventure down through Africa.

Makorongo’s War, the book of the screenplay

‘When I was a just a toto,’ Makorongo began, lapsing into Swaheli, ‘Wakali niliku kijana, inchi yanga a likuwa mkuba wa Germani.  My country was in the hands of the German masters…  The coffee farm near Arusha, that your Uncle Tony now runs, was established in the late 1800s by a very efficient family from Silesia.’


Do contact the author on:

Sophie Neville is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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