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Dorothea Callum

The Ds train

Dorothea Callum, Dot, D (WH16)
(not much younger than Peggy (WH4)
Feet the same size as Peggy (PM21)
Native Residence:
London (assumed; school in London as well) (PM2)
Future career:
writer (WH3)
The Ds train

Dorothea and Dick lean out of their train window in the BBC adaptation Swallows and Amazons Forever!

Dorothea Callum, often called Dot is sister of Dick Callum and one of the Ds, is imaginative and romantic, aspiring to be a novelist. Sailing and adventure do not come naturally to her but her loyalty and bravery draw her in.

Dot is described as of a cheerful disposition and will never be without a friend by a fortune-telling automatic weighing machine at Bridge Stores, Potter Heigham (CC13).

She has two straw-coloured plaits (BS9).

When Captain Flint finds the D's in the Fram, he was not angry: "Nobody ever was angry with Dorothea" (WH21).

When the doctor sees them again he says Dick Callum, isn't it, and Dorothy. Dick corrects him: Dorothea and he says Dorothea, So it is. Well, you never got mumps ..... The doctor (who does not want to take part in Nancy's scheme to deceive the Great Aunt) says to her after going to Beckfoot If you don't mind, I'd very much rather not see you again but "Something in Dorothea's face stopped him" and he adds .... if you're supposed to be extinct, I oughtn't to be able to see you except in a museum (PM8).

Dorothea the writer[]

When the D's meet the Swallows and Amazons, Nancy asks .... but what are you, in real life I mean, and Dick says Dorothea writes stories (WH3). Dorothea is frequently depicted thinking about plots for her books.

  • While the others are digging the well, Dorothea and Titty go to keep watch. Dorothea reads some of The Outlaw of the Broads to Titty to keep here mind off the digging: about how the Outlaw of the Broads hid in the reeds and slipped down river under the very noses of his enemies. When Titty goes to check on progress Dorothea says: There's a bit just coming that wants rewriting. I'll get it done so that it'll be all right to read by the time you come back. It's no good reading aloud when you have to keep changing things in your head as you go along (PP16).
  • Later Roger overhears Dorothea talking aloud to herself as she is busy on a chapter of her book during the search: The outlaw saw his chance, and, hidden by the dusk, passed unseen within a stone's throw … within an arrow-shot-no … passed between his enemies so close that they might have touched him (Roger thinks at first that Dot has spotted him sneaking away from the search for the mine) (PP19).
  • She is up to Volume Five of The Outlaw of the Broads and is in the middle of a chapter with a bit to write down: It's a bit of dialogue and I've got to get it just right (BS16).
  • When she cooks and serves Jacky's rabbit, Dorothea felt about the eating of the first rabbit she had ever cooked much as if she were reading the proofs of her first book (PM18).

There are other references to authorship too:

  • referring to awnings as dust covers (CC2)
  • suggesting All rights reserved to mark the SADMC's mining claim (PP21).

Dorothea the sailor[]

Our hands are beautifully horny (CC15)

After qualifying as Able Seaman of Teasel CCPostscript, Dot becomes mate of her and Dick's own boat Scarab. Mrs Callum wrote that their father was looking forward to coming north and being given sailing lessons by the captain and mate of the Scarab (PM26). When they are sailing on the lake: Dorothea was doing very well, and the mate ought to handle the ship as well as the captain (PM27)

Literary reference[]

Theodora, an adult character resembling a possible adult Dorothea is mentioned in the Strong Winds Trilogy by Julia Jones.