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For anyone who loves sailing and adventure, Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons series stands alone. Originally published over a half-century ago, the 12 books are still eagerly read by children and adults alike - by all those captivated by the world of adventure and imagination. Such longevity is not only due to Ransome’s unparalleled gift of storytelling, but also his championing of qualities such as independence and initiative; virtues that appeal to every generation, whether young or old.
Great Northern? is the 12th, and final, book in Arthur Ransome's acclaimed series. Once again, the children set out on an adventure (this one off the coast of Scotland) with a minimum of parental advice and interference. Here, the story centers on a desperate race to thwart the efforts of pernicious egg collectors threatening the survival of a pair of rare birds not previously known to nest in British waters.
Arthur Ransome was a prolific writer of children's books. Born in Leeds in 1884, it was his father, a nature-loving history professor, who inspired his love of the outdoors and nurtured a passion for fishing. As a child he enjoyed active, outdoor holidays: sailing, camping, and exploring the countryside. He used many of these holiday settings for his children's stories, notably the much-loved Swallows and Amazons, a book that sits comfortably in the category of ‘timeless classic’. In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for the sixth book in the Swallows and Amazons series, Pigeon Post.
“Enchanting and escapist” (Sunday Express)
“There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating” (Times Literary Supplement)