Thursday, July 25, 2013

BritLit continues with Swallows and Amazons

Or, shall I say it like a Brit "Swallows un Amazns"!

     I suspect most 10-year-old American children would not have the patients for 400 pages, but the Brits love it! It's their "Tom Sawyer" and "Huck Finn". It's so popular, it's been made into a screenplay. Even our boat captain was quoting it all the way across the lake and back! The four children on the cover are little sailing wizards and their father sends a telegram reply to their request to stay on Wildcat Island with the famous quote, 

"Better drown than duffers, if not duffer's don't drown." 

     Which, if you ever need to say to a Brit that if you can't handle something, you might as well be dead, is how you could phrase it. We all looked back in awe and wonder at the idea of four children under the age of 13 sailing to an island for weeks!  The ingenuity it would take and the pride they would develop with each accomplishment. Can you imagine the freedom to run wild? Would it be Lord of the Flies all over again? Children of the corn? Or an all-new society of little pirates?
     Actually, after a battle with another pirate boat of pre-teens, the teams form an alliance against the real thieves who have buried treasure on the island and turned Captain Flint against them.

Arthur Ransom got one thing right - setting. Just look at this gorgeous Lake Coniston! 
Jetting out on the right - Wildcat Island, Lake Conniston, England

The House where the real kids he based his characters on lived

The Swallow behind the tea house
It's 2 o'clock - time for proper tea!

And one very interesting take on clueless adults, they were called "the natives".....or possibly one day, muggles.

Now that we have a generation of kids occupied indoors,  can you remember a time when you ran free and fearless? Were in in a fort? A tree-house? An empty lot? Where was your Wildcat Island?


Post a Comment