We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea

4.22 (1,745 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Like to spend a night in the Goblin?'

The Swallows are staying on the Suffolk coast while they wait for their father to return home from China. But although the harbour is bursting with bobbing yachts, barges and steamers, this year there's no chance of any sailing for the landlocked Swallows. That is until they rescue young Jim Brading and his boat the Goblin from a sticky situation and to their delight are recruited as crew members. Mother agrees they can go, on one condition - they absolutely must not sail out past Beach End Buoy and into the open sea...
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 144 x 201 x 30mm | 494g
  • Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0224021230
  • 9780224021234
  • 107,157

Review Text

"This book is Ransome at the top of his form."
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Review quote

"This book is Ransome at the top of his form." * OBSERVER * "The book is a record of an uncovenanted voyage, which ended in Holland, of the rain and wind, the darkness and the wild water, the escapes from buoys and from ships crossing in the night, the courage and resource of the children." * EVENING STANDARD * "Perhaps the best of all ... Just what does happen is told with all the wealth of practical detail and satisfying sense of reality which make Mr Ransome so unfailingly successful." * PUNCH * "The most exciting of the whole Swallows and Amazons series." * NEW STATESMAN * "The seventh of the Arthur Ransome books, and I really think it is the best." * SUNDAY TIMES *
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About Arthur Ransome

Arthur Ransome was born in 1884. He was in Russia in 1917 and witnessed the Revolution, which he reported for the Manchester Guardian. After escaping to Scandinavia, he settled in the Lake District of England with his Russian wife where, in 1929, he wrote "Swallows and Amazons." Thus began a writing career that has produced some of the best children s literature of all time. "From the Trade Paperback edition.""
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Rating details

1,745 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 45% (793)
4 34% (602)
3 17% (300)
2 2% (41)
1 1% (9)

Our customer reviews

Poor John. In "Swallowdale" he nearly ruins the summer by sinking the ship, and in this book he forgets to lengthen the anchor cable as the tide comes in, resulting in a ship adrift in fog in the harbour. The only way out ... was out. Though he does seem to have a knack of making mistakes inshore, this book is John's book. In no other book in the series does he come quite so much to the fore, and the book reaches its emotional climax when his father quietly says "We'll make a seaman of you yet, son." This the only book in which the Swallows are the only children to share in the adventure. Titty, strangely, is a secondary player. Roger has his moments, and Susan is exposed as a fairly vapid, thinly-rendered character whose main purpose is to worry unnecessarily. One is left with the suspicion that Ransome didn't much like her, but needed her in order to make the storylines more plausible. After all, someone has to do the washing up. I won't ruin the plot for new readers - suffice it to say that the children, through a series of mishaps, end up at sea in a small cutter, heading from Harwich in England to the other side of the North Sea. The pace of the story is maintained well, and one is only required to suspend disbelief occasionally, in non-obtrusive ways. Needless to say, the children make it across - and back - safely. One interesting thing to note is that this book is set six months after "Winter Holiday", just a few weeks after "Pigeon Post" and immediately before "Secret Water." One is left surprised that the children had any resources of resilience left to draw upon by the end of Secret Water! As always, this is a thoroughly good read, made no less so by the passage of eight decades.show more
by Anthony Marinac
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