Arthur Ransome Wiki

The Outlaw of the Broads is a book which Dorothea is writing in Coot Club, Pigeon Post, and The Big Six.

  • Dorothea tried to write some of the new book that had seemed almost half done when she had put down a list of its chapter headings ... The Secret Broad, The Outlaw in the Reeds, The Black Coot’s Feather, The Bittern’s Warning, and so on. What a book it was to be, and yet, somehow, the first chapter had ended after a paragraph or two, and the second would not go beyond the first gorgeous sentence: "Parting the reeds with stealthy, silent hand, the outlaw peered into the gathering dusk". Away, across the dark water" ... Well, what was it that he saw? (CC11).
  • Dot reads to Titty while the well is being dug how the Outlaw of the Broads hid in the reeds and slipped down river under the very noses of his enemies. The reeds shivered and parted ... The outlaw’s boat nosed her way stealthily into the moonlit river ... The coast was beautifuly clear, but only just ... But she does not mind when Titty checks on the well: 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. Then Titty finds that the well is working. (PP16).
  • I must save the Outlaw she says, but sacrifices half the title-page of her precious novel to write an appeal for help during the fire (PP31).
  • Did you finish that story? asks Pete. About the Outlaw of the Broads? Dorothea says It's more than half done (BS9).
  • Dr Dudgeon looked at her exercise book: What’s it called? he asks. The Outlaw of the Broads said Dot. Outlaw or Outlaws? said Dr Dudgeon, rather grimly (BS13).
  • 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).

Dorothea writes stories says Dick, introducing her (WH3). Then Dorothea, for once, was inventing no stories. She was living in one (WH4). But later, at the North Pole, real life was not like one of her stories, in which it was easy to twist things another way or go back a page or two and start again ... (WH28).

In all her stories there were usually not more than two, or at most four (characters), and then perhaps a villain, so she she felt a little as if she had tumbled into a river, and was being swept away by a strong current when she and Dick are are two in a crowd of eight (WH4).

Other book or story titles or stories that Dot thinks of are:

  • The Outcasts (WH1) (before they have met the others)
  • Iron Bars. A Tale of the Past (WH1) (when they go into the igloo)
  • Two in the Ice (WH19) (when they are alone in the Fram)
  • Skates and Tulips (WH19) (when Dot thinks of the approaching Captain Flint as a Dutchman)
  • Frost and Snow (WH21) (after Captain Flint arrives)
  • When the others (John, Peggy, Titty and Roger) write a dispatch to Nancy, Dorothy thinks that they had missed a lot of things that might very well have been said though it did say what had happened. Her own story would have been altogether different and more exciting with words like Trackless solitudes .... marching by the glow of the northern lights ... heroic work among the frozen peaks (WH13)
  • Dorothy finds it easier to read stories in the Fram rather than making them up, as the others want stories about the sea but she finds that she couldn't mention a ship without going wrong eg forgetting that the wind was against them (WH15)
  • Dot plans to put Titty’s dowsing in a story .... Different of course. I’m making you a boy and you do that business with a stick all by yourself ...... Go on said Titty. What happened next? Dorothea replies I’m not quite sure yet. (PP16)
  • Alone in the Forest (PM6) (when they go to The Dog's Home) then
  • Ten Thousand Years Ago: ... a Romance of the Past (PM7)
  • Scarab Ahoy! A tale of Adventure (PM7) (the title on an exercise book she uses to list Stores instead)
  • Dorothy thinks after the burglary What a story it would make! "Dodging the bullets they fled with their dear-won booty. Back in their lair, safe from pursuit, the burglars feasted their eyes on diamond necklaces and golden chains ...." (PM19).
  • Romance of the Hebrides (GN2) (in the cabin Dot thinks of a misty chapter for it)