Arthur Ransome Wiki
Titty Walker
Titty Walker
Native Residence:
The South

School; further from the Lake than John[ and Nancy (PP1)

Future career:

Titty Walker is Able Seaman of the Swallow, third-oldest and the most imaginative of the Walker family children.

Titty's exploits were often central to the adventures, for example capturing the Amazon (SA20), the candle-grease incident (SD18) and finding the well at Camp Might Have Been (PP15), not to mention discovering Swallowdale itself, with Peter Duck's cave in it.

Particular relationships[]

Titty is possibly the most "central" character, as she forms close bonds with so many other characters.

Titty shares most of her adventures with Roger, who usually willingly adopts her point of view; in SW it is mentioned that he acts Titty-fashion in order to impress her. Together they seek Captain Flint's buried treasure (SA28), discover Swallowdale (SD4), explore the Northwest passage (SW30) and wander across the moor in the fog (SD28), although Titty is always the one to liven things up, and is naturally in charge. Titty finds only one annoying thing about her younger brother his appetite: That was the worst of Roger. He might get hungry at any minute (SD4).

When aboard boats or ships, however, it is quite clear that the one whose mind is closest to Titty is John; He knew what Titty was thinking as she stood there dripping, looking at the waves breaking on that hateful rock. For Titty and himself, "Swallow" was something alive. (SD5). And on the deck of Goblin: John (said Titty) Where've we come from? John started. It was if she had heard him speak his thoughts out loud. River Plate he said. Dover seemed too near, if Titty also was thinking they had come in from the sea (WD7).

Other pairings with Titty:

Titty has Peter Duck as an imaginary friend, particularly in Swallowdale.

Titty sometimes appears dishevelled after sleep: the white face and rather draggled hair of Able-seaman Titty appeared over the transom (of Amazon) and Titty looks like as dishcloth said mother (SA21,31);Titty was the next to wake .... lifting a head as tousled as her sheepskin (WH29).

native prototype[]

Titty is based on Mavis Altounyan, third-oldest/third-youngest of Arthur Ransome's young friends in the Altounyan family.

Mavis's nickname was not an abbreviation of Laetitia, but comes from a children's storybook called Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse; see:

Might as well get this off my chest[]

Arthur Ransome recognised the mild humour or embarrassment with Titty's name:

You must be John and you're Susan. And that's Roger. Which is the one with the funny name? (Daisy, SW19)

The BBC TV adaptation of Swallows and Amazons re-named the character as Kitty; the rest of us just got over it.