Arthur Ransome Wiki

Camping in tents is the theme of several Swallows and Amazons books. In Swallows and Amazons and Secret Water it is associated with sailing, though in Swallowdale the Swallows are marooned on land without their boat.

Camping is associated with independence from "natives" and cooking for themselves; e.g. in Pigeon Post the Swallows and Amazons are first camping at Beckfoot, but it's not going to be as bad as it might be. We're going to do our own cooking (PP2). Then at Mrs Tysons, though we'd rather do our own cooking began Susan (PP9) and Nancy says No real camp. No real cooking (PP10); so Mrs Tyson says You're more than an hour late, and the chops I'd on for you'll be pretty near cinders (PP11). When Titty finds water they are able to move to Camp Might Have Been.

Susan always makes a stone fireplace for cooking: And a good place for a fire said Susan (SA4); All right .... I’m going to make a fireplace (SD12); Susan had built her usual stone fireplace (PP17); Susan was busy making a fireplace exactly as she wanted it, cutting slabs of earth and arranging them in a circle. (SW5).

Mary Walker told them Father and I often slept in one (a tent) when we were young (SA2) and .... once in the bush ... I was in a tent like that and it ripped to ribbons, and was blown clean away (SA31)

Waking early in a tent[]

  • The next day ... began early. Sunshine in a tent is even more waking than sunshine in a room (SA6).
  • The explorers woke early .... the sun ... poured down through the trees on the island and splotched the little white tents with light so strong that nobody could sleep (SD3).
  • This was the first night these holidays that they (the Amazons) had slept in a tent instead of a mere bed. The morning sun woke them early, but had no effect on the Swallows .... (SD34).