Dienstag, 18. August 2015

Arthur Ransome: Swallows and Amazons illustrated by Zdenek Burian

Arthur Mitchell Ransome (18 January 1884 - 3 June 1967) was an English author and journalist, best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books. These tell of school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. Many of the books involve sailing; other common subjects include fishing and camping.
Translations of his books have appeared in a number of languages. As a result, Ransome became popular in countries such as Japan and Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), where thriving appreciation societies exist. Therefore, it is not surprising that Zdenek Burian illustrated Swallows and Amazons and further books of Ransome.
Im Englischen ist das Buch 1930 bei Cape in London erschienen, schon 1931 kam die deutsche Übersetzung beim Union-Verlag in Stuttgart heraus. Das Bild einer herrlichen Kinderfreiheit wurde in Deutschland jedoch so bald darauf von braun uniformierten Lagerideen überdeckt. In der Folge blieben Ransomes Bücher im deutschsprachigem Raum fast unbekannt. Allerdings erschien 1966 in der Schweiz der Kinderroman in neuer Übersetzung: Der Kampf um die Insel. Der Titel entspricht auch der tschechischen Ausgabe.

Four children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger Walker, are on holiday for the whole summer in the Lakes exploring the islands in their boat (the Swallow of the title). The lake seems at first to be all their own until they run across two local girls, self styled “Amazon” pirates Nancy and Peggy Blackett, who claim ownership of the lake and “Wild Cat Island” by way of a message attached to an arrow fired into the Swallows camp on the island.
All the children meet for a “parley” where it is agreed that the leader of the team that captures the others’ boat will become overall Captain. But in time a truce is called as the Swallows and Amazons join forces against Captain Flint, the Amazons’ grumpy uncle Jim, living on a houseboat with his parrot on the Lake.

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