Swallows and Amazons

"Ratings" represent only my opinions. 5 = best; 1 = worst.
"Story dates" are all relative dates, based on the two (?) absolute dates in the books, 11 August 1931, in Swallowdale, chapter 27, and August 1929, in Swallows and Amazons, chapter 10. Unfortunately, these two dates appear to conflict: Swallowdale clearly takes place one year later than Swallows and Amazons, despite the two-year difference in dates. Nor is dating the rest of the series easy: some books are clearly dated (relative to events of the year and to one another); others not at all.

Story Date Title Characters Pub Date Rating
1929 August Swallows and Amazons Sw,Am,CF 1930 4
nd (fantasy) Peter Duck Sw,Am,CF,PD 1932 2
. Note: May be the story mentioned in Swallowdale as having been concocted by the S & A during the winter holidays, 1930/1 (using the Swallowdale dating) or 1929/30 (using the S&A dating).
1931 August Swallowdale Sw,Am,CF,Aunt 1931 4
1931/2 Winter Winter Holiday Sw,Am,Ds,CF
1933 5
1932 Easter Coot Club Ds,T,P/S,D/G
1934 4
1932 Early Summer Pigeon Post Sw,Am,Ds,Tim,~CF 1936 4
1932 August We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea Sw,JB 1937 5
1932 Late Summer Secret Water Sw+,Am,Ee 1939 4
. Note: Immediately follows WDMTGTS.
1932 Late Summer The Big Six Ds,T,D/G
1940 3
nd (fantasy) Missee Lee Sw,Am,CF 1941 1
1933 Early Summer The Picts and the Martyrs Am,Ds,Tim,Aunt 1942 5
1933 ?Summer [Coots in the North] D/G,Adm... 1988 n/a
?1934 Summer Great Northern? Sw,Am,Ds,CF 1947 4

Character Key

Abbrev Character(s) Details
Adm The "Admiral" Mrs. Barrable
Am Amazon Pirates Nancy (Ruth) & Peggy (Margaret) Blackett
Aunt The Great Aunt Aunt Maria Turner
CF Captain Flint James (Uncle Jim) Turner
Co the Cook
D/G Death and Glories Joe, Bill, & Pete
Dr The Doctor
Ds the "D"s / Scarabs Dick & Dorothea Callum
Duck Peter Duck (fantasy character)
Ee Eels Tribe Daisy, Dee, Dum, Don ("MastaDON")
JB Jim Brading
MB Molly Blackett nee Turner Amazons' mum; CF's sister
P/S Port & Starboard
Sw Swallows John, Susan, Titty, & Roger Walker
Sw+ Swallows plus baby Vickie (Bridget)
T Tom, chief Coot Thomas Dudgeon
Tim Timothy Timothy Stedding

Other Arthur Ransome sites:
Ransome Biography.
Arthur Ransome Society page.

Copyright © 1996, 1997 Paul F. Schaffner.

Rev. 23 July 1997
File last modified Wednesday, 31-Mar-1999 15:35:48 EST