The third book in Arthur Ransome’s wonderful series for children, Peter Duck takes intrepid explorers John, Susan, Titty, and Roger Walker and fearless Amazon pirates Nancy and Peggy Blackett onto the high seas. Under the command of the infamous Captain Flint (Nancy and Peggy’s Uncle Jim), the children brave a real-life pirate and his cutthroat crew, fog, sharks, and the ravenous crabs of Crab Island in search of buried treasure.
“In many ways, Peter Duck is the best of the series.” -The Guardian
“This is the stuff of real imagination which might so easily happen ... all the details are true to life, the ship is a real ship, with all its sails and rigging made familiar, and the voyage which those happy children make to southern seas and coral islands is the beautiful possibility of daring and freedom become living and credible.” –Listener
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"Peter Duck" tells a fantastic adventure story, starring the Swallows & Amazons themselves! It features treasure, pirates, and a beautifully described ocean sailing voyage. This tale was supposedly written by the Swallows & Amazons and Captain Flint during the winter holidays that fell between "Swallows & Amazons" and "Swallowdale". This book is a slight change of pace for the series, as the adventures which had largely occurred in the imaginations of the children are allowed to take full flight. Parents of younger readers should know that this book contains some fairly strong scenes of violence. Additionally, there is some language that is today regarded as unacceptably racist. However, it is an accurate portrayal of the speech and attitudes of that time, and the reader should not take this as an indication of the views of the author. In particular, you will note that none of the Swallows or Amazons ever say those things. Because this is a story-within-the-story, I have always set this book a little bit apart from the others in the series, along with "Missee Lee", the other similar book set in the Orient. It's a lot of fun, but it doesn't quite have the same meaning as the "real" stories. I found only two OCR errors, so someone worked very hard on the conversion: p155, "Yankee dipper", should be "Yankee clipper". p176, "This shore simply won't keep stiff" should be "This shore simply won't keep still".