Best 1931 Adventures (10)

By: Joshua Glenn
May 2, 2016

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1931 adventure novels. Happy 85th anniversary!



Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons adventure Swallowdale.

Native trouble! The Amazons’ stuffy, tyrannical Great Aunt has come to visit; Nancy and Peggy aren’t allowed on any adventures with the Swallows. Worse, the tomboys are forced to wear starched dresses and behave like proper young ladies — even to the point of reciting uplifting Victorian poetry. Even worse, the Swallow hits a rock and sinks. Captain Flint (the Amazons’ Uncle Jim) helps John build a new mainmast, while the boat is being repaired. Roger and Titty, meanwhile discover a hidden valley on the moors above the lake. Dubbing it Swallowdale, the Swallows move in. Finally, the Great Aunt leaves and the Swallows and Amazons mount an expedition to the summit of “Kanchenjunga”… where they find evidence that Nancy and Peggy’s parents and uncle had done the same thing 20 years earlier. When Roger and Titty are lost on the moor in a fog, their idyll suddenly turns frightening.

Fun fact: The second book in the Swallows and Amazons series. Chronologically, it is set after the events of the third book, Peter Duck, so some fans suggest reading this book after that.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1931 adventures that you particularly admire.