Click to read a sample chapter!

The Making of Swallows & Amazons

Author: Sophie Neville
Format: Paperback (304 pgs + 16 pgs colour plates)
Published: 18 August 2014
Recommended Retail Price: £14.99

In 1973, Sophie Neville was cast as Titty alongside Virginia McKenna, Ronald Fraser and Suzanna Hamilton in the movie Swallows & Amazons. Made before the advent of digital technology, the child stars lived out Arthur Ransome’s epic adventure in the great outdoors, without even seeing a script.

As part of their schoolwork, the children were required to keep diaries about their time filming on location in the lakes and mountains of Cumbria. Meanwhile, the hip, young, flares-wearing crew from Elstree Studios were getting to grips with transforming 1970s Bowness-on-Windermere in mid-holiday season into a 1929 idyll.

Sophie never guessed that the film, the making of which is told here through the pages of her diary, would become an enduring worldwide success.


The Making of Swallows & Amazons is illustrated throughout with many of the photographs taken by Sophie's mother and father during filming, as well as some of the evocative stills taken by Albert Clarke, the film's official photographer. Sophie herself has also drawn several beautifully illustrated maps of the filming locations in the Lake District.

The book includes 16 pages of full-colour plates.

Listen to three new and exclusive interviews with Sophie.

Sophie Neville on Derwentwater in 1973.


Unfortunately this title is now out of print. Secondhand copies may be available from

‘Sophie’s magical Swallows tales… a heart-warming account of making the movie’

- Daily Mail -


‘Sophie has reminded me of one of the happiest times I ever spent on a film. The fun that was had, the friendships forged, the challenges overcome, are all delightfully recalled with a freshness and sense of adventure that has made me smile all over again.’

- Virginia McKenna, OBE -


(Arthur Ransome's flags redrawn by Sophie Neville)