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The Picts and the Martyrs: or Not Welcome At All (Swallows And Amazons) [Hardcover]

Arthur Ransome
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Sep 1984 Swallows And Amazons (Book 11)
The poor old Amazons become Martyrs and the Ds Picts living in the woods, in Arthur Ransome's 11th adventure. The Ds can't wait to go and stay with Nancy and Peggy in the Lake District during the summer holidays. But when the Amazons' dreadful Great Aunt invites herself to stay too, the summer is threatened with dullness. Staying indoors and reading poetry is not what the Amazons had in mind. To save the Ds from the same fate they organise for them to stay in the Dogs' Home, a tumble-down hut in the woods. As long as no one discovers they're there they can sail all summer long.

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The Picts and the Martyrs: or Not Welcome At All (Swallows And Amazons) + Great Northern? + Missee Lee
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (27 Sep 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224606417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224606417
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 456,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Stands out in triumph. It is firm, intelligent, in tune with twentieth-century mentality and well-written" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Quite up to the best standards of its predecessors, and to all old Ransome devotees the return to the lake of the first novels gives an added pleasure" (Glasgow Herald)

Book Description

The poor old Amazons become Martyrs and the Ds become Picts who live in the woods, in Arthur Ransome's 11th adventure --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Ransome 1 Feb 2009
The "Swallows and Amazons" series documents credible adventures of childern in the English Lake District, and the East Anglian Broads in more a gentle age before the Second World War. Though the context is dated, this does not spoil the appeal of these exceptional adventures, all of which focus on the exploits of top junior/lower secondary school children in their seemingly endless summer holidays on the water, boating, fishing, camping and setting wrongs to right. The girls are as strong, as competent and as inteligent as their brothers, so it scores on that level too.
My favorite teacher raved about these books, I raved about them and in turn my son raved about them.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate times for the Amazon pirates. 15 April 2001
One of the greatest of the series, this book unusually partners the Ds and the Amazons, with the Swallows not arriving until the day after the last page. As usual Nancy and Peggy are in dire straits, this time thanks to a surprise visit from the dreaded Great Aunt. With their guests, Dick and Dorothea just arrived, they are forced to take extreme measures to keep life on, what they consider, an even keel. Dragged into their web of deception are a myriad of "Natives" including the doctor, Squashy Hat, Cook and the postman. As usual, there is continual suspense and excitement and once again we are transported to a better world and left the better for it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the best in the series 27 Feb 2008
This is for me by far the best in the whole series. All twelve books would earn five stars in my view, but The Picts and the Martyrs, coming as it does just before our last adventure with Arthur Ransome's characters, is particularly enjoyable. By this stage we know the characters so well it is easier to just enjoy the story for its simplicity and comic moments. And there are plenty of these (even without Roger to provide them); the encounters with various "natives" who are unwillingly drawn into the childrens' secret, the aftermath of the burglary, and especially the final confrontation of the Great Aunt and her hunters. The story is set in the Lake District after so many books in other locations, and it really does seem like coming home at this stage, all the more realistic after the excitement of Missee Lee, and before the final adventure in the Scottish Highlands. The illustrations are exquisite, as always.

Having grown up with these books they are still perfect reading for adults. I would recommend all Arthur Ransome's wonderful series of Swallows and Amazons, but this one is definitely the book that I look forward to most while reading the others, and leaves me feeling in the best humour!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
in this book dick and dot go to stay with the amazons while the amazons mother is away with captin flint (uncle jim) on a cruse getting better after being ill with influenza. and they get their first boat of their own: the SCARAB. but just as they get there the dreaded G.A. (great aunt) hears that the amazons mother is away and comes to stay!dick and dot are swept away to the dogs home, a hut in the woods. the amazon pirates must turn into martyrs and for the sake of their poor mother keep the G.A. happy.dick and dot must be picts hidden from the G.A. secretly sailing with the amazones while the G.A. is not there. they must survive storms, work with timothy on the houseboat, catch fish with their hands, skin gut and cook a rabit, burgle a house, make a secret harbour, make their own letter box,stop the docter, postman and timothy and still hide from the G.A. but will they get caught? then the G.A. goes missing what has happed? what will happen? what can they do? this is not the best of the arthur ransome books and does not include the swallows
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition reviewed 1 Jun 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful! At last one of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series arrives for Kindle users; and it has been very well done. Ransome's laconic line drawings, which are almost an essential part of the books for Ransome devotees, have been included and they work very well in ebook format. The only drawback in the illustrations is that the map, which covers the endpapers in the original hardback, comes out too small on Kindle even when 'zoomed.'
The text is well formatted and fully navigable from the contents page. You can also skip easily from one chapter to the next using the 5-way button.
Picts and Martyrs was a return to the Lake District setting of the earlier books and the adventures of the Amazons and D's (no Swallows in this story) are as fresh today as ever. It is a stand alone story although a knowledge of the earlier books in the series, especially Swallowdale and Pigeon Post, adds to the appreciation of the characters. Hopefully the other eleven books in the series (all done as well as this one) will become available in ebook format. In fact it would be quite possible to put the whole series in one file. Would that be asking too much?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Jim J-R
The eleventh of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons books is the only one of the series to feature the Amazons without the Swallows, taking place early in the summer holidays. Dick and Dorothea are visiting the Amazon pirates to take delivery of a boat of their own, but an unscheduled visit from the Amazons' great-aunt disrupts their plans.

It's a good new situation for the characters to find themselves in, and the use of the D's as main characters allows Ransome to write about them learning at the same time as his readers - by showing rather than telling, which is what would have to happen if he used his more experienced characters.

Although compared to some of the earlier adventures, the plot seems quite tame, it's still an exciting tale of children left to their own devices that is still approachable for modern children. It's probably one of the best of the later books in the series, and makes a number of references back to earlier adventures.

Another good story that I've enjoyed revisiting. Ransome's tales deserve to remain well-loved children's classics for many years to come.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Picts and Martyrs
Another great book. Predominately the Ds but still interesting and exciting.
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. Janet R. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 1 month ago by G. S. Peterson
1.0 out of 5 stars Held to Ransome!
This is a great book but the one they sent me was NOT the one illustrated here - with its classic cover designed by Ransome himself. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Claudia Saatchi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books!
Another great adventure to get involved in! My son is rapidly working his way through all the stories. good fun to read aloud too!
Published 5 months ago by Mrs Beard
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book!
First read when I was young & numerous times since, again now I am 75! Old-fashioned adventure but real page-turner!
Published 5 months ago by Mrs G
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, sweet book
At a time when my parents were growing up in poverty there were children who had the opportunity for freedom and responsibility. Read more
Published 7 months ago by MRS CLAIRE DUNCAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Did anyone write better children's books that can still be read as an...
Bought as Kindle editions as my hardbacks, some dating from wartime publication, are showing the passage of time. Read more
Published 8 months ago by P G
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not our favourite
The story is interesting, but overall there is not enough adventuring in this one to make it the best of the Swallows and amazons series.
Published 12 months ago by Jackie Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I enjoyed this as a child, and again as an adult. As with all the Ransome series, good, wholesome fun!
Published 13 months ago by MikeyP1961
4.0 out of 5 stars Picts and the Martyrs - Ransome.
Very good story and well written as always with Ransome. First tread these sixty years ago and still get pleasure re-reading them!
Published 16 months ago by Steven Jackson
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