Another classic Swallows and Amazons adventure. This time the children are camping on muddy tidal islands, tasked with creating a map of the archipelago. They discover another gang of sailing kids (the 'Eels') complete with a shy lad called the Mastodon who lives in a wreck. The muddy adventures include being caught on a tidal causeway with the water getting deeper by the minute ...
- "It was as if they had come across a skeleton and on looking at the skull had been greeted with a wink." (Ch 8)
- "He woke with a queer feeling of gloom. It was like waking on the day after he had written parvissimus instead of minimus in an examination paper." (Ch 29) What a wonderfully sated concern that seems to us now!
A great yarn if suffused with colonialist attitudes. May 2021; 373 pages
The Swallows and Amazon series contained twelve books:
- Swallows and Amazons: Children camping on an island in a lake have sailing based adventures
- Swallowdale: More sailing adventures are threatened when the Swallow sinks
- Peter Duck: The Swallows and Amazons and Captain Flint sail on a big yacht into the Caribbean in search of pirate treasure; pirates pursue
- Winter Holiday: the lake freezes allowing a sledge-based expedition to the 'north pole'; the 'D's are introduced
- Coot Club: The Ds join the Death and Glory kids in the Norfolk Broads but the excitement is just as great when birds have to be protected from rowdies.
- We Didn't Mean to go to Sea: The Swallows accidentally find themselves at sea in a yacht they scarcely know: for my money this is the most dramatic and exciting book of the series.
- Secret Water: The Swallows are joined by the Amazons in an expedition to map some tidal mud-flats
- The Big Six: The Death and Glory kids have to be cleared of accusations of crime; the Ds help.
- Missee Lee: The Swallows and Amazons and Captain Flint are shipwrecked near China and captured by a lady Chinese pirate with a taste for Latin.
- Pigeon Post: The Swallows and Amazons and Ds search for gold in the hills above the Lake; one of my favourites
- The Picts and the Martyrs: The Ds have to hide in the hills when the Great Aunt comes to stay with the Amazons
- Great Northern: The Swallows and Amazons and Ds and Captain Flint are protecting birds in the far north of Scotland