List of Swallows and Amazons characters

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This is a listing of characters from the Swallows and Amazons series of books by Arthur Ransome.

The Swallows[edit]

  • John Walker — eldest of the Walker children and Captain of the Swallow
  • Susan Walker — Mate of the Swallow and the cook and domestic organizer
  • Titty Walker — Able Seaman of the Swallow and the most imaginative of the Walkers. This name was the nickname of the real life Mavis Altounyan, from Joseph Jacobs's children's story, Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.[1] It has caused titters among generations of children, causing it to be changed to Kitty in the original BBC adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, and Tatty for a 2016 BBC Films adaptation[2]
  • Roger Walker — originally Ship's Boy, later Able Seaman, mischievous, mechanical and very fond of chocolate, Naughty. He is the youngest of the children apart from the baby.
  • Bridget Walker — Ship's Baby who proves to be a brave member of the crew in Secret Water. Referred to as Vicky in Swallows and Amazons because of her supposed resemblance to Queen Victoria.

The Amazons[edit]

  • Nancy Blackett (real name: Ruth) — Captain of the Amazon; an enterprising leader. She is an imaginative and lively girl who is always willing to create fantasies and adventures.
  • Peggy Blackett (real name: Margaret) — Mate of the Amazon, Nancy's sister; although a bit timid, tries to live up to Nancy's expectations

The Ds[edit]

  • Dorothea Callum — imaginative romantic novelist introduced in Winter Holiday with her younger brother.
  • Dick Callum — Dorothea's younger brother who is scientific and thoughtful, usually comes up with solutions to technical problems. Though younger than his sister, Dick is Captain of the Scarab and she the First Mate.

The Coots[edit]

  • Tom Dudgeon — competent sailor, owner and skipper of the Titmouse and (briefly) captain of the Teasel on the Norfolk Broads, in Coot Club and The Big Six.
  • Bess "Port" Farland — left-handed twin and expert yacht racer
  • Nell "Starboard" Farland — right-handed twin and expert yacht racer

The Death and Glories :

  • Joe — co-owner of the Death and Glory and owner of a white rat, 'Ratty'
  • Bill — co-owner of the Death and Glory
  • Pete — is the youngest co-owner of the Death and Glory and keenest fisher of the crew

The Eels[edit]

  • Don (The Mastodon) — Chief of the Eels (in Secret Water)
  • Daisy — Fierce and bold, acts like the chief most of the time, even though she is the youngest Eel.
  • Dum — Eel, elder brother, and best eeler of the tribe.
  • Dee — Eel, younger brother, though older than Daisy,

Friendly Natives[edit]

  • James Turner also known as Captain Flint or Uncle Jim — the brother of Mrs Blackett and therefore uncle to Nancy and Peggy Blackett, by whom he is considered "unfriendly" at the beginning of Swallows and Amazons. He is given his nickname by the Walker family (the Swallows) after Captain Flint of Treasure Island. After differences are resolved he becomes the closest adult ally to the Swallows and the Amazons and joins them in many adventures.
  • Molly Blackett (real name: Mary) — mother of Nancy and Peggy Blackett (Peter Duck is dedicated to Mrs Robert Blackett and Mrs E.H.R. Walker)
  • Mrs Walker — called Mother (or Mary by Ted) — mother of the Swallows
  • Cdr Walker — called Daddy ('Ted' by Mrs Walker/Mary) — father of the Swallows and sender of the famous telegram "Better drowned than duffers if not duffers won't drown"
  • Professor and Mrs Callum — parents of the Ds; Prof Callum is an archaeologist
  • Jim Brading — owner of the Goblin in We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea which he lends to Cdr Walker in Secret Water
  • Timothy Stedding — friend of Captain Flint, originally known as Squashy Hat the rival prospector
  • Dr Dudgeon, Mrs Dudgeon, and "our baby" — Tom's family
  • A.P — Mr Farland, Port and Starboard's father, the "Aged Parent"
  • Mrs McGinty — Housekeeper to Mr Farland
  • Mrs Barrable — Custodian of the Teasel. The children decide to make her "Admiral" of the "fleet" consisting of the Teasel and the Titmouse.
  • Jim Woodall — skipper of Sir Garnet the fastest wherry on the Bure. Port and Starboard work their passage (peeling potatoes) when Sir Garnet is late with her tide and is thus able to give them a lift down to Yarmouth.
  • The Billies — Old Billy and Young Billy, father and son charcoal burners, who befriend the Swallows in Swallows and Amazons and Young Billy treats Roger for his sprained ankle in Swallowdale. Young Billy is over 70 and Old Billy is 94.
  • Mr & Mrs Jackson — farmers at Holly Howe, the Swallows' initial holiday location. They own the Swallow
  • Mr & Mrs Dixon — farmers at Dixon's Farm, where the Swallows often go for milk, and where Dick and Dorothea stay during Winter Holiday. Mrs Dixon was nurse to Dick and Dorothea's mother when she was young. She is famous for her pork pies and also makes toffee and fudge.
  • Silas — cowhand at Dixon's Farm, where the Swallows often go for milk, and where Dick and Dorothea stay during Winter Holiday. Silas and Mr Dixon make the Ds' sledge following the rescue by Dick of the cragfast sheep.
  • Mr & Mrs Swainson and Mary Swainson (their granddaughter) — Farmers at Swainson's Farm where the Swallows go for milk when shipwrecked in Swallowdale; Neddy who is 90 sings them a song. Mrs Swainson is famous for patchwork quilts (mentioned in Swallowdale and in Winter Holiday). Mary darns Roger's shorts after he has slid down the Knickerbockerbreaker in Swallowdale. She also rows the Great Aunt, Miss Maria Turner, over to Captain Flint's houseboat on her way to the railway station for her holiday in The Picts and the Martyrs.
  • Jacky Warriner — farmer's son met briefly by Roger & Titty in Swallowdale, in The Picts And The Martyrs he brings milk for the Ds, lends them his saw which they find in the Dogs Home, shows them how to store milk (under a stone covering a scooped-out hollow in moss), teaches them to guddle trout in the beck, and also gives them a rabbit and an onion. These latter form the main ingredients for the stew cooked by Dorothea the night before the burglary, when Nancy visits the Dogs Home at night in a rainstorm and shares the rabbit stew. Jacky is pleased to have his knife with a bone handle, which the Ds find in the Dogs Home and return to him.
  • Mrs Tyson and her son Robin — In Pigeon Post; she is apprehensive about fires and they are glad to escape from Tyson's Farm to the campsite by the spring (Titty's Well). Robin lends them a crowbar for the sinking of the well.
  • Mrs M. Braithwaite — usually called Cook — cook to the Blackett family.

Other friendly characters[edit]

  • Peter Duck — elderly sailor with a story of treasure in the book of the same name. He also appears in Swallowdale as Titty's imaginary friend.
  • Bill — cabin boy of the Viper who joins the crew of the Wild Cat in Peter Duck.
  • Missee Lee (or Miss Lee) — Chinese Cambridge-educated pirate leader in the book of the same name.
  • Slater Bob - an old slate miner who tells the children tales of a lost gold seam in Pigeon Post.

Unfriendly Natives[edit]

  • Maria Turner, also known as Great Aunt Maria, the Great Aunt or The G.A. — the childhood guardian of James Turner and Molly Turner, whose parents are never named. Jim and Molly address her as "Aunt Maria" and she held considerable sway as head of the family, even after Molly's marriage to Bob Blackett. As a parent figure to their mother, Great Aunt Maria clearly thought of herself as something of a grandmother-figure to her great-nieces Nancy and Peggy Blackett. However, their view of her as some sort of distant relative, as well as an overprotective adventure-spoiler, forms the basis of the conflict between the girls and her. Of the twelve completed books in the series, she makes appearances in two, Swallowdale and The Picts and the Martyrs.
  • George Owdon — a Norfolk boy, older than Tom Dudgeon, in Coot Club and The Big Six. He steals and sells birds' eggs, so is an enemy of the Coots.
  • Ralph Strakey — a friend of George Owdon in The Big Six, in which George and Ralph attempt to frame the Coots for theft and for setting adrift moored boats.
  • Mr Jemmerling — an egg collector and owner of the Pterodactyl in Great Northern?
  • The Hullabaloos — a party of five (three men and two women) who hire the Margoletta in Coot Club. Last seen in gaudy but wet yachting gear and beach pyjamas being escorted to an hotel in Yarmouth having rammed a post on Breydon Water. They are called Ronald, James and 'Livy' (Olivia?), plus an unnamed man and unnamed woman (called Jerry and Maude in the TV series Swallows and Amazons Forever).
  • The Dogmudgeon — Scottish head ghillie who at first stalks the explorers in Great Northern? but later assists them against Mr Jemmerling

Other unfriendly characters[edit]

  • Taicoon Chang and Taicoon Wu — leaders of the Three Island Pirates who want to chop off heads in Missee Lee.
  • Black Jake and the crew of the Viper — five criminals who are after Peter Duck's treasure. The porter says Black Jake has "got the scum of the place with him in that hooker of his." Bill describes them: Simeon Boon just out from two years hard, Mogandy the negro, George (a brother of Black Jake, who is wanted by the police), and a man with a scarred face who was chucker-out or bruiser at the Ketch as Ketch Can (a fisherman's tavern in Lowestoft). Later when they climb onto the Wild Cat and attack Bill and Peter Duck, it is apparent that the others do not trust Black Jake, and that Black Jake's brother is called George (see Peter Duck, chapters 1, 13 & 30).

Animal characters[edit]