For anyone who loves sailing and adventure, Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons series stands alone. Originally published over a half-century ago, the twelve books are still eagerly read by children and adults alike - by all those captivated by the world of adventure and imagination. Such longevity is not only due to Ransome's unparalleled gift of storytelling, but also his championing of qualities such as independence and initiative; virtues that appeal to every generation, whether young or old. Jibbooms and bobstays!
Those two Blackett sisters are back at it again, and Nancy is right there in the thick of it. Their mother (doubtless suffering from exhaustion) has gone off sailing in the North Sea with Captain Flint on a rest cure, but she has allowed her two daughters to stay a fortnight at Beckfoot on the lakeshore with their trusty cook. She's also permitted their two old friends, Dick and Dorothea Callum, to come up for a visit. But when their redoubtable Great Aunt (aka G. A.) hears of their abandonment, she's horrified and off on the next train. Arthur Ransome was a prolific writer of children's books.
Born in Leeds in 1884, it was his father, a nature-loving history professor, who inspired his love of the outdoors and nurtured a passion for fishing. As a child he enjoyed active, outdoor holidays: sailing, camping and exploring the countryside. He used many of these holiday settings for his children's stories, notably the much-loved Swallows and Amazons, a book that sits comfortably in the category of "timeless classic". In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for the sixth book in the Swallows & Amazons series, Pigeon Post.
This is a truly amazing book for children and it is evidently head,shoulders and body above the rest.
If you could sum up The Picts & the Martyrs in three words, what would they be?
old fashioned fun
What other book might you compare The Picts & the Martyrs to, and why?
other books in the series have some of the same characters
Have you listened to any of Gareth Armstrong’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I haven't listened to any others
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I know this book very well having read it as a child, and have returned to it and enjoyed it again. It is an old fashioned story about children having adventures and feels like a by gone era. Definitely not a story with contemporary issues and as such is a relaxing read!