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back to Book Reviews

Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk
New edition by Christina Hardyment
Published by France Lincoln
ISBN - 978-0-7112-2692-0

Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's TrunkAs a boy, I was fascinated by Arthur Ransome’s tales of the adventures of the Swallows and Amazons and, thirty years later, took great delight in passing on my enthusiasm when I read them to my sons. For all fans, this new edition of the classic account of a voyage in search of the author and his characters will be welcomed.

Following up clues found amongst the contents of Ransome’s old trunk, which was bequeathed to Leeds University, Christina Hardyment set out to settle once and for all the questions that have tantalised generations of readers of the Swallows and Amazons books. Are the people real? Are the places true? Following in their footsteps, sailing in their wake, she resolves nearly all of the big questions. She has talked to the Swallows, untangled the mysteries, and determined and identified the myriad influences, incidents and locations that Ransome incorporated into his narratives.

Now fully revised to account for a further twenty years of research, and newly illustrated with many extra drawings and previously unpublished photographs, this book is not only an essential companion to the Ransome books but a magical transposition of story into reality, which enchants and bewitches Ransome’s thousands of readers of all ages.

reviewed by John Burland - Member No. 2