Arthur Ransome Wiki

The Amazons or Amazon Pirates are Nancy and Peggy Blackett. They are the owners of the Amazon dinghy. Though a very small crew, Nancy and Peggy are both very talented sailors, and have evidently made good use of their boat.

They function as a typical crew: Nancy gives orders, Peggy follows them. Peggy, the mate of the "Amazon" seemed to be in charge of the ship's food, like Susan, the mate of "Swallow" (SA11).

Although Nancy often refers to her younger sister as a "galoot" or "chump-headed galoot", they are clearly quite close, and Nancy relies on Peggy as a crew member just as Peggy relies on Nancy as a captain. Peggy is the more talkative, a habit for which Nancy frequently reprimands her; saying Avast there, Peggy .... She does chatter so (SA10). Though Nancy is the more outgoing (and louder) of the two; Titty and Roger could hear only the voices of Nancy and Peggy .... Then Nancy's voice alone (SD4). When listening to what Captain Flint says to Mr Jemmerling and Nancy says Do be quiet .... Peggy whispers Everybody is quiet except you (GN11).

When Dorothea asks if the Ds should wear their best clothes on a visit to Beckfoot, Mrs Dixon says they won't be your best clothes if you spend a day in them with Mrs Blackett's two, so they wear ordinary Arctic rig (WH7). When the Great Aunt goes missing, the postman says I wouldn't put it past them two lasses of Mrs Blackett's .... With them two limbs you never know (PM26).

Nancy's piratical phrases include barbecued billygoats and jib-booms and bobstays. When Nancy is absent Peggy uses them (WH29, PM25). Nancy uses other appropriate phrases in some books: Barbecued Billygoats … I mean Great Congers SW22, Suffering Lampreys ... SW14,20, Great Auks and Albatrosses! GN28

The Amazons are Eels, by that act becoming blood brothers and sisters (SW12).

The Amazons are locals: We were born on the shores of the Amazon River ... we have been coming to this island for years and years (SA10). Living in the north, at the foot of the great hills, they had been skating every year since they could remember anything (WH5). Mrs Lewthwaite used to be mother’s nurse, and she was our nurse when we were very young (SA24).

The Dog’s Home is where we used to go when we were young, before we had "Amazon" and before we discovered Wild Cat Island (PM4). We sailed with him (Uncle Jim) in "Amazon" (last year). Then he gave us "Amazon". We only had a rowing boat before that. We used to come (to the island) in a rowing galley until we got "Amazon" (SA10).

They were taken once up Kanchenjunga years ago (SD13). They never discovered Swallowdale: Nancy said We’ve always come up this side of the fell, and High Street is such a good track that we’ve always used it and never crossed over the watershed (SD34).


Swallows and Amazons, Swallowdale, Peter Duck. Winter Holiday, Pigeon Post, Secret Water, Missee Lee, The Picts and the Martyrs, Great Northern? and Coots in the North.


  • Coot Club: the Amazons are away with their uncle (CC1).
  • The Big Six: While the mountains of the north, prospecting for gold ...,. are mentioned (BS22), the Amazons are not.