is the second book in the Swallows and Amazons series
by Arthur Ransome
. It was published in 1931. In this book, camping in the hills and moorland
country around Ransome's Lake in the North
features much more prominently and there is less sailing. A significant new character, Maria Turner, the Blacketts' Great Aunt, is introduced.
Ransome was living in the Lake District
and he drew on his experiences and memories of encounters over many years with the local farming community. Ransome had often climbed Old Man of Coniston
and in the book, this becomes the children's Kanchenjunga
. Expeditions to Kanchenjunga in the Himalaya
had been much in the news while Ransome was writing the book.
Returning to Wild Cat Island for their second summer holiday by the Lake, the Swallows find the Amazons and Captain Flint
mysteriously suffering from "native trouble". It transpires that Great Aunt Maria has come to stay and she is a stickler for good behaviour and treating the Amazon
pirates as young ladies who have to be home for meals.
Despite this, the Blacketts escape the Great Aunt whenever possible and they arrange a rendezvous. On the way there, the Swallow
hits a rock and sinks. All are saved and the boat refloated but she needs repairing and so camping on the island is impossible. Fortunately there is an alternative, camping in a beautiful hidden valley, Swallowdale
, (found by Titty and Roger) up on the moor
above the lake.
The Swallows camp there and... Read More