Swallows and Amazons (series)
The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (June 2012)
Swallows and Amazons is a series of children's books by the English writer Arthur Ransome. The series is named after the title of the first book in the series. The 12 books are about the adventures by groups of children during school holidays. They mostly take place in England and Scotland between the World War I and World War II. The stories usually are about outdoor activities, especially camping, fishing and sailing.
The series remains popular today for its lovely, yet often realistic, depiction of childhood and the interplay between children's imagination and reality. It is part of the basis for a large tourist industry in the Lake District and Norfolk Broads areas of England, where many of the books are set. There are also several societies dedicated to the study and promotion of Ransome's work which are largely inspired by the series. The first was the Arthur Ransome Club in Japan. There is also the British-based group, The Arthur Ransome Society (TARS), which has an international membership.
The series begins with Swallows and Amazons, published in 1930. It tells the story of the Walker children, who sail a dinghy (boat) named Swallow, and the Blackett children, who sail a dinghy named Amazon. The Walkers are staying at a farm near a lake during the school holidays; the Blacketts live in a house on the opposite shore. The children meet on an island on the lake, and have a series of adventures that weave imaginative tales of pirates and exploration into everyday life in inter-War, rural England.