Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map


Background to Swallowdale

Although Swallows and Amazons sold slowly at first, both Arthur Ransome and Jonathan Cape were keen to produce a sequel. But Ransome had a false start on this. He began Their Own Story, an early version of Peter DuckIn this he had the Swallows and Amazons imagining a high seas adventure whilst aboard a Norfolk Wherry in winter. He also toyed with Swallows in Syria. But he quickly abandoned both in favour of a straight sequel, set once more in the Lake District. He began Swallowdale in January, 1931.


The four Swallows, John, Susan, Titty and Roger return to sail and camp on Wild Cat Island, the year after their first visit in Swallows and Amazons. They are looking forward to renewing their alliance with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazon Pirates. But a shipwreck and an unwelcome visit by the Amazons’ fearsome Great-Aunt Maria soon upset their plans. Can they overcome both to climb Kanchenjunga before returning to the island?

First publication

Published by Jonathan Cape November, 1931.


  • In Print
  • Jonathan Cape (hb) ISBN 978-0224606325
  • Vintage (pb) ISBN 978-0099572824
  • Red Fox (pb) ISBN 978-0099427155
  • E-book: Random House Digital Editions
  • Audiobook:
  • Abridged Audiobook: Gabriel Woolf

Ransome's drawing of two flags, used in Swallowdale, our swallows and amazons series logo

“It’s as bad as it can possibly be,” said Nancy. “We’ve only got to make a plan and it’s scuppered at once. No camping. No gold-hunting. No piracy except just now and then between meals.”

Also in Swallows & Amazons Series


Continue exploring Ransome’s bibliography:

Ransome's drawing of two children discovering a cave, our discover ransome logoRansome's drawing of a wooden hut in snow, our bibliography logoRansome's drawing of a dog on weighing scales, our books by ransome logoRansome's drawing of two flags, our swallows and amazons series logoRansome's drawing of a parrot, our story telling logoRansome's drawing of a hand holding a candle, our literary criticism logoRansome's drawing of two children in a boat, our sailing literature logoRansome's drawing of a cormorant eating a fish, our fishing literature logoRansome's drawing of a crucible held in iron bars, our political literature logoRansome's drawing of a pestle and mortar, our essay collections logoRansome's drawing of an armadillo, our world about him logoRansome's drawing of three pigeons, our autobiography logo