I read this first when I was young, but, having had a diet of exciting Enid Blyton, found it a little too slow. Now, I really found myself immersed in the imaginative world of the children and am in the throes of collecting the whole set. The world was a simpler place then. No parent would allow children to go off by themselves like that (my parents certainly did: I wandered far and near as a child) and stretch themselves both imaginatively and in survival skills. It's a pity. But Ransome has given us a priceless snapshot of a bygone age.
unfortunately i'd never heard of swallows and amazons until i was in my fifties. i had been reading lots of dinghy cruising literature and people k ed pt referring to these stories. i had to read it, and enjoyed it immensely. a read recommended for anyone with adventure in mind.