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The Making of Swallows and Amazons


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Table of Contents

The Cast and Crew of Swallows & Amazons Introduction - Serendipity 1. Preparation for Filming 2. First Days on Film 3. On Wild Cat Island 4. The Amazons Attack 5. Away to Rio 6. Rain, Smoke and Dangerous Wild Animals 7. Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday 8. Days to Remember 9. In Houseboat Bay 10. Going to War 11. Last Days on the Lakes 12. Swallows in Egham 13. Studio Secrets 14. A Storm of Publicity 15. Reflections 16. A Journey Back in Time 17. Where Are They Now? 18. What Sophie Did Next About the Author Acknowledgments Bibliography Picture Credits

About the Author

Sophie Neville is an award-winning author and the current President of The Arthur Ransome Society. A member of the Nancy Blackett Trust, she joined forces with Sail Ransome in 2010 to buy the original Swallow from the film. Nowadays she lives with her husband on the south coast of England, where she gives talks on the making of the film and how Arthur Ransome influenced her life.


"Sophie has reminded me of one of the happiest times I ever spent on a film. The fun that was had, the friendships forged, the challenges overcome, are all delightfully recalled with a freshness and sense of adventure that has made me smile all over again." Virginia McKenna OBE, 'Mrs Walker' in Swallows & Amazons "Amazing. It brought so much that I had forgotten flooding back. Thank you! My father will love it, too." Simon West, 'Captain John' in Swallows & Amazons "Looking at your pictures, I relive all the thrills, wearing the costumes, the people and the lovely carefree, but caring, atmosphere. Extraordinary, extraordinary how it all comes back." Suzanna Hamilton, 'Mate Susan' in Swallows & Amazons "Sophie brings to life all the many memorable characters who worked on the film and in particular the other children, the Director Claude Whatham who developed a great relationship with his young cast and the stars Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser. ... The result is compulsive reading as she recalls that cold wet summer, while the camera crew wrapped up warm and she shivered in her skimpy dress as Able Seaman Titty Walker." Roger Wardale, biographer of Arthur Ransome "The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974) will be of interest to anyone who has seen the film, but also to anyone who is a fan of Ransome and his famous book. ... An enjoyable read that adds to the collective knowledge surrounding one of the country's best-loved children's stories." The Westmorland Gazette, 15 September 2017 "This uplifting memoir tells us how a schoolgirl's life was transformed by unexpectedly starring in a major film adaptation of the world famous classic tale by Arthur Ransome. ... [T]his book's greatest asset is how it communicates a sense of camaraderie between players and crew. In a profession notorious for backstabbing it is refreshing to read how such a community worked with mutual respect for each other on a highly commercial enterprise." Anne Gaelan, annegaelan16.wordpress.com

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