Flora Thompson (1876–1947)
author of
'Lark Rise to Candleford,' 'Heatherley,'
'Still Glides the Stream' and 'The Peverel Papers'

Flora Thompson - bust in Liphook (8K)
Sculpture of Flora Thompson at Liphook by Philip Jackson

This site is dedicated in particular to her time in
Grayshott (1898–1900) & Liphook (1916–1928)

Contact: John Owen Smith
NewsBooksCDsDramaTVTimelineWalksTalksTributesVerseWanted List
Links/ContactsPhotographsDiscussion TopicsGeneral Notes


NEW book by Richard Mabey on the Life of Flora Thompson, published March 2014
and Listen to his 10 minute interview on Radio 4's Woman's Hour (start at 12min 18secs)


Flora's grave in Dartmouth seems to be in a sad state at the moment according to reports

Please could someone let me know when the situation improves – thank you.


— BOOKS & WRITINGS Large Print & Audio Formats Cottisford Fringford Grayshott Bournemouth Liphook Devon
book cover, Lark Rise to Candleford

Lark Rise to Candleford, a trilogy by Flora Thompson (see also Heatherley)
Penguin Modern Classics, 2008 — ISBN 978-0-141-18331-2 (paperback)
The Trilogy: originally published in 1945 by OUP with an introduction by H.J. Massingham, this 2009 edition has a new introduction by Richard Mabey
In 2009 Penguin also published the three books of the trilogy Lark Rise , Over to Candleford and Candleford Green as separate volumes again

book cover, Lark Rise to Candleford

Lark Rise to Candleford, a trilogy by Flora Thompson
The Folio Society, 2009 — no ISBN given (hardback)
Illustrated by Sue Scullard; new introduction by Kathryn Hughes

book cover, Lark Rise to Candleford

Lark Rise to Candleford, a trilogy by Flora Thompson
Oxford University Press, January 2011 — ISBN 978-0-19-960160-8 (hardback)
With original wood engravings by Julie Nield; new introduction by Phillip Mallett

Lark Rise was first published by Oxford University Press in 1939, Over to Candleford in 1941, Candleford Green in 1943; issued together as a trilogy in 1945. Trilogy published by Penguin Books 1973, reprinted in several Penguin Classics versions thereafter.
The story of three closely related Oxfordshire communities – a hamlet, the nearby village and a small market town – this immortal trilogy is based on Flora Thompson's experiences during childhood and youth in the 1880s and 1890s.

Note that: "The Illustrated Lark Rise to Candleford" 1989 published by Cresset Press in 1989 has a text abridged by Julian Shuckburgh – it says "In abridging the text for this one-volume edition it has been possible to avoid a number of overlaps and repetitions which were necessary in the three separate books and to omit some descriptive passages designed to set the scene for new readers of the second and third volumes. But to contain the book within its present compass other deletions were necessary. It is in Lark Rise, her first volume, that Flora Thompson paints the most vivid portrait of the countryside, and the way of life that was already disappearing as she herself grew up. These chapters have been abridged much less than the second two volumes in which Laura ventures into the grown-up, and to us more familiar world of Candleford. All omissions in the text have been indicated by the insertion of three full points."


book cover, Lark Rise to Candleford in Japanese

Lark Rise in Japanese
translated by Hideko Ishida
ISBN 978-4-86085-068-5 (hardback) – published 2008 by sakuhokusha.co.jp

A translation of 'Lark Rise' into Japanese by Mrs Hideko Isheda, to be followed up in due course by similar translations of 'Candleford Green' and 'Over to Candleford'. The translation is an interpretation of the content and style of the book with, for example, English country idioms being replaced with the nearest appropriate Japanese idiom. It is well recognised that there are close similarities between English and Japanese social history, particularly in respect of rural life and the countryside in general, albeit at slightly different time periods. Japanese visitors are often to be found during the summer months walking the lanes and byways of what has now become known as 'Flora Country'. [My thanks to Tony Webster for this information]


book cover, Lark Rise to Candleford in Japanese

More Tales from Lark Rise
written by Flora's younger sister Betty Timms at about the same time that Flora wrote Lark Rise to Candleford
ISBN 978-1902-279459 – published by The Wychwood Press in Sept 2012
– contains further information about Juniper Hill and Cottisford.


book cover, Still Glides the Stream Still Glides the Stream, by Flora Thompson
Oxford University Press – first published 1948, tenth impression 1990, now out of print
ISBN 0-19-281192-4 (paperback)
'An enchanting portrait of an Oxfordshire village and its inhabitants around Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887'
This was the last book written by Flora Thompson — published posthumously .
book cover, A Country Calendar A Country Calendar and other writings by Flora Thompson
Selected and edited by Margaret Lane
Oxford University Press – first published 1979 – out of print since 1992 * but see below
ISBN 0-19-281418-4 (paperback)
Contains:—
book cover, Heatherley Heatherley, by Flora Thompson – her sequel to Lark Rise to Candleford
Republished from the original typescript with new introduction, chapter-head illustrations and historical notes in September 1998, to mark the centenary of her arrival in Grayshott, Hampshire
ISBN 978-1-873855-29-4 – John Owen Smith – details – in stock at Foyles in London, under Fiction!
Note: Since a Large Print version of Heatherley is no longer available from ISIS, I am happy to print out the text in large print on A4-size paper on demand (contact me for details), or you can obtain an eBook version (which can be viewed in enlarged font) from my stall on GENfair.
book cover, The Peverel Papers The Peverel Papers, by Flora Thompson
A yearbook of the countryside by the author of Lark Rise to Candleford
Edited and introduced by Julian Shuckburgh
ISBN 0-7126-1296-3 – Century Press – first published 1986, now out of print

Contains selections from The Peverel Papers articles which Flora wrote for The Catholic Fireside magazine during 1921 to 1927 – generally these are different selections from those chosen by Margaret Lane (see above).

Note that this publication and that edited by Margaret Lane as A Country Calander have together printed only a fraction of Flora's total output for The Catholic Fireside, which she wrote over a period of seven years. See below for a full republication.
In addition to her monthly Peverel Papers, Flora also contributed some short stories and a monthly Fireside Reading Circle article of literary criticism, which have never yet been republished in any collected form. Copies of The Catholic Fireside may be seen at the British Museum Newspaper Library in Colindale, London – Tel: 020 8200 5515 Ext 7356


book cover, The Peverel Papers The Peverel Papers, by Flora Thompson
Nature notes written in Liphook, Hampshire 1921–1927
First published in The Catholic Fireside
ISBN 978-1-873855-57-7 – John Owen Smith – May 2008 details

This is the first time that the Papers have been published in full and in chronological order in one edition.


cover, A Guide to Liphook 1925 Guide to Liphook, Bramshott and Neighbourhood
A 1925 guidebook to the village, largely written by Flora
Reprinted by the Bramshott & Liphook Preservation Society in 1995 – details

book cover, Lindsay biography of Flora Thompson Flora Thompson – The Story of the 'Lark Rise' Writer
The complete biography of Flora Thompson, by Gillian Lindsay
ISBN: 978-1-873855-53-9 – John Owen Smith – May 2007details
(replaces ISBN 0-7090-4594-8 – Robert Hale – first published 1990 – reprinted with corrections 1996)

book cover, On the Trail of Flora Thompson On the Trail of Flora Thompson – beyond Candleford Green
From Heatherley to Peverel; Grayshott to Griggs Green
The story of Flora Thompson's time in East Hampshire, by John Owen Smith (including 'Flora's Trail')
ISBN 978-1-873855-24-9 – John Owen Smith – first published 1997 – details

book cover, On the Trail of Flora Thompson Flora Thompson:– Beyond Candleford
Two plays about her time in Hampshire, by John Owen Smith
also published separately as Flora's Heatherley and Flora's Peverel
ISBN 978-1-873855-63-8 – John Owen Smith – February 2011 – details

book cover, Bloxham biography of Flora Thompson

The World of Flora Thompson Revisited, by Christine Bloxham
This updated biography gives particular emphasis to Flora Thompson's roots in the Oxfordshire countryside – details
ISBN 978-0-7524-4348-5 – Tempus Publishing 2007
(replaces 0-946978-06-6 – Robert Dugdale – first published 1998)

book cover, Bloxham biography of Flora Thompson

Without Education or Encouragement, by Ruth Collette Hoffman
The Literary Legacy of Flora Thompson – details
ISBN 978-0-8386-4206-1 – Farleigh Dickinson University Press 2009

book cover, Bloxham biography of Flora Thompson

Dreams of the Good Life, by Richard Mabey
The Life of Flora Thompson and the creation of Lark Rise to Candleforddetails
ISBN 978-1-846-14278-9 – Allen Lane 2014


book cover, Headley's Past in Pictures Headley's Past in Pictures
Includes pictures from Flora's time in Grayshott, then in the parish of Headley
ISBN 1-873855-27-3 – John Owen Smith – first published 1999 – details

book cover, Walks around Headley Walks around Headley … and over the Borders
A dozen circular walks starting in Headley will take you through much of the countryside Flora grew to love during her time in Grayshott and Liphook
ISBN 1-873855-49-4 – John Owen Smith – first published 2005 – details

book cover, Walks through History Walks through History … at the West of the Weald
A dozen circular walks with a historical theme in areas which Flora would have known during her time in Grayshott and Liphook
ISBN 978-1-873855-51-5 – John Owen Smith – first published 2007 – details

book cover, The Hilltop Writers The Hilltop Writers – a Victorian Colony among the Surrey Hills, by Bob Trotter
Details of 66 writers who worked around Haslemere and Hindhead in the last decades of the 19th century when Flora worked nearby at Grayshottincluding Conan Doyle and Bernard Shaw who both came to her post office
ISBN 1-873855-31-1 – John Owen Smith – illustrated edition published 2003 details

book cover, Growing up in Griggs Green Growing Up in Griggs Green, by Joe Leggett
Recollections of life at the time of the First World War, by Flora's next-door neighbour
ISBN 0-9511829-9-4 Bramshott & Liphook Preservation Society, 1999 details

book cover, Cottisford Revisited Cottisford Revisited, by Ted and Joan Flaxman
Flora's 'Fordlow'. A brief history of the parish and its people.
Illustrated, including photographs of the war memorials to Edwin Timms and Peter Thompson.
Ted and Joan Flaxman 1999; 62pp – RRP £5.00 (by post £6.00) – e-mail
book cover, Cottisford Revisited The Real Lark Rise Parish, by Ted and Joan Flaxman
A new account of the parish in Oxfordshire where Flora Thompson spent her childhood and about which she wrote so engagingly, many years later, in "Lark Rise" and its sequels. Illustrated.
Ted and Joan Flaxman 2009; 108pp – RRP £8.00 (by post £10.00) – e-mail

book cover, Fringford through the ages Fringford Through the Ages, by Martin Greenwood
A stroll round the village on which Flora based her 'Candleford Green'
Illustrated, including a previously unpublished photograph of Flora thought to have been taken in the 1890s
ISBN 0-9539627-0-9 Martin Greenwood 2000; 76pp – RRP £6.95
book cover, Banburyshire Villages of Banburyshire, by Martin Greenwood
including Lark Rise to Candleford Green
Cottisford, Cropredy, Fringford, Fritwell, Great Tew, Horley, Juniper Hill, King's Sutton, Lower Heyford, Sibford Gower, Sibford Ferris
ISBN 1-902279-24-7 Wychwood Press 2006; 174pp – RRP £9.99
book cover, Banburyshire In Flora's Footsteps , by Martin Greenwood
Daily life in Lark Rise country 1876–2009
Cottisford, Finmere, Fringford, Godington, Hardwick, Hethe, Juniper Hill, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne, Stratton Audley
ISBN 978-1-922279-37-4 Wychwood Press 2009; RRP £9.99

book cover, Bog Myrtle & Peat

Not for Sale - Bog-Myrtle and Peat by Flora Thompson
Published 1921 by Philip Allen & Co, London
24 poems by Flora – see contents
This was Flora's first published work (my thanks to Jim Iley for the picture of the cover)
photo of some real bog-myrtle and peat (taken on the Isle of Jura!)


book cover, Peverel Book of Verse

Not for Sale - The Peverel Book of Verse
Published c.1925 by The Peverel Society, Liphook
Printed by the Catholic Publishing Co Ltd, London, Liverpool and Manchester
Fifty-six poems by members of the Peverel Society, selected and arranged by Flora Thompson – details


Books and CDs for sale at the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham

A special selection of books by, about or connected with, Flora Thompson, who used Buckingham as her inspiration for Candleford and who is the subject of a unique permanent exhibition at the Old Gaol.

"Remember that folk club you used to go to (maybe still do)? We now have a range of traditional folk CDs, including the 2006 reissue of the Albion Band/Keith Dewhurst folk music recording at the National Theatre production of Flora Thompson's 'Lark Rise to Candleford' in 1979. Recreate those memories of the unique folk music of our English countryside, heritage, mores and legends, with one of these modern CDs."

Link to the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham for details.


Large Print Books and Audio Formats from Isis Publishing Ltd

Large Print Books:—

For further information or to order a Large Print title, phone ISIS on (01865) 250 333
— they tell me that they have too many titles to put them all on their website!
Unfortunately, 'Heatherley' is no longer available from ISIS in large print—see above for options.

Audio Cassettes/CDs:—

For further information or to order an Audio title, visit the ISIS Publishing Ltd website


End of books


— DRAMA — Dramatisations of Flora Thompson's life and works:—

book cover, On the Trail of Flora Thompson Flora Thompson:– Beyond Candleford
Two plays about her time in Hampshire, by John Owen Smith
also published separately as Flora's Heatherley and Flora's Peverel
(see below)
ISBN 978-1-873855-63-8 – John Owen Smith – March 2011 – see details

Flora's Heatherley, script cover
Flora's Heatherley brings to life the period 1898–1900 in Grayshott ('Heatherley') when Flora passed through her 'sinister street' days.
First produced in September 1998 as a community play project on the Surrey/ Hampshire border.
Performed again in May 2006 – see details
The script is available from this website for general release – order

Flora's Peverel, script cover

Flora's Peverel brings to life the period 1916–1928 in Liphook (her 'Peverel') when, against the odds, Flora won the fight to write.
First produced in May 1997 as a community play project on the Surrey/ Hampshire border.
 Performed again in July 2007 – see details
The script is available from this website for general release – order


Lark Rise to Candleford, script cover Two plays adapted by Keith Dewhurst from Flora Thompson's trilogy 'Lark Rise to Candleford'
– 'Lark Rise' enacts the first day of harvest from sunrise to sunset
– 'Candleford' depicts a day in midwinter
First produced the late 1970s as promenade performances in the Cottesloe Theatre, London.
Scripts available from Samuel French, 52 Fitzroy St, London W1P 6JR

The cast of 'Lark Rise' at Farnham, August 2000 (38K) Performance of 'Lark Rise' by the New Farnham Repertory Company — July/Aug 2000
— the Redgrave Theatre rose again in July and August 2000, in a marquee in the garden of Farnham Library, and 'Lark Rise' was chosen as the opening production.

Picture shows the cast about to make their entrance at the start of the show.
The cast of 'Lark Rise' at Juniper Hill, May 2007

Performance of 'Lark Rise' at Juniper Hill by the Wheatley and Garsington Barnstormers — May 2007

Picture shows part of the cast at the end of the show.

Cover of Lark Rise programme Cover of the 20-page souvenir programme

 

Cast of Candleford, June 2009

19-27th June 2009: Headley Theatre Club presented 'Candleford' at five locations in east Hampshire/west Surrey: Bohunt School at Liphook; The Petersfield School; Rural Life Centre at Tilford; The Phoenix at Bordon and ending at Headley Village Hall – see details

Picture shows the cast at dress rehearsal in Headley Village Hall

awaiting image
11-18th July 2009: Pranksters Theatre Company presented 'Lark Rise' in the open air by the Victoria bandstand in Guildford Castle grounds

'LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD' — 3-person stage version adapted by Daniel Buckroyd

Toured with the New Perspectives Theatre Company from 9th March to 22nd May 2011.


'LARK RISE' — Sylvia Read and William Fry tell the story and play all the characters in a new adaptation of the book.
Flora Thompson's classic work brought vividly to light in a new adaptation in which the stonemason's children, Laura and Edmund, conjure up the characters, gossip and excitement of their tiny Oxfordshire hamlet in the 1880s, from the horror of pig-killing by torchlight to the thrilling visit of the cheapjack.

Having seen this play myself, I can thoroughly recommend it – Webmaster

"A truly magnetic two hours" IndieLONDON
"Don't miss" The Stage

Phone for general enquiries: 020 8455 4752 (Mobile 07774 638800)


End of plays

— NEWS — PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE . . .

Upcoming events — Please tell us of any Flora Thompson-related events you would like to see posted here …


Past events

Sat 23rd March 2013 – Unveiling at Hindhead of several sculptures designed by local schoolchildren to celebrate the opening of the A3 Hindhead Tunnel. One is based on the works of local authors and shows quotes from Flora Thompson's Heatherley (along with some from Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred, Lord Tennyson).

Sunday 4th July 2010 – Plaque unveiled in Fringford, aka 'Candleford Green'

There was a special service in Fringford church at 3pm followed by tea.
Linda Bassett ('Queenie' of TV) unveiled the plaque which is carved on a Welsh slate roundel (see photo courtesy of Gillian Lindsay)

For further information, contact Martin Greenwood – 01869 278317


Flora's poem 'Home Thoughts from the Desert' was broadcast on Radio 3's 'Words & Music' programme 'The South Country' at 22.45 on Sunday 28th March 2010, read by Tamsin Greig . It's good to see her recognised for her poetry!


Flora's house for sale

Good news. Plans to demolish Flora's house Woolmer Gate at Liphook seem to have been shelved for now.

It was then up for sale, and if you wanted to buy into Flora's heritage and had an amount to money just shy of £ half a million to invest, it could have been for you!!

It's currently off the market (Jan 2010) but watch this space.

Woolmer Gate was the first house that Flora and John owned – they bought it new in 1926 and sold it in 1928 with an asking price of £750.


From the 1911 census

At 2 Edge Hill Road, Bournemouth:

John William Thompson, Head, 36, Married 8 yrs, Sorting Clerk (code 402),
Post Office worker, born IoW Ryde

Flora Jane Thompson, Wife, 32, Married 8 yrs, 2 children surviving, born
Oxford Cottisford [she was actually 34]

Winifred Grace Thompson, Dau, 7, School, born Hampshire Bournemouth

Henry Basil Thompson, Son, 1, born Hampshire Bournemouth


At Juniper Hill, Brackley, Northants:

Albert Timms, Head, 56, Married, Bricklayer (code 290), born Bucks
Buckingham

Emma Timms, Wife, 57, Married 36 yrs, 12 children, 6 surviving, 6 dead,
born Oxon Ardley

Edwin Timms, Son, 31, Single, Farm Labourer (code 140), private army reserve, born Oxon Cottisford

Frank Wallington Timms, Son, 22, Single, Farm Labourer, born Oxon
Cottisford


2nd May 2009: A plaque was unveiled at Amity in Crossways Road, Grayshott, the site of the post office when Flora worked there 1898–1900. Sadly the original building has been demolished.

The plaque was unveiled by Chloë Porter and Kat Wootton who play 'Laura' and 'Dorcas' in the Headley Theatre Club production of Candleford in June 2009.

So, Grayshott now has two plaques dedicated to Flora.


Lark Rise to Candleford on BBC1:

Of the first series of Lark Rise to Candleford in 2008, the BBC said: "We are delighted with our audience's positive and warm reaction to Lark Rise To Candleford and have subsequently commissioned a second series of 12 episodes for transmission in 2009." And a third, and a fourth … but they never got as far as Heatherley.

See the BBC TV website

The series are now available to enjoy on DVD.


August 2008: Lark Rise in Japanese is now available.


May 2008: The Peverel Papers is now available.
It is the first time that these have been published in full, in chronological order and in one volume.


9th April 2008: A plaque was unveiled at 2 Edgehill Road, Winton, Bournemouth by the mayor and Olivia Hallinan, who plays 'Laura' in the BBC TV series. Another plaque was placed at 4 Sedgley Road, another of the four houses in which Flora and her family lived while in Winton, 1903–1916. See write-up by Bournemouth Council.

L to R: Tony Webster, Henry Westbury and wife, Carol Knight and husband, Gillian Lindsay and husband

The moment of unveiling at
2 Edgehill Road

Olivia Hallinan in full flow
in Winton Library


See what went on in 2007 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Flora's death


Celebrating Flora's 130th birthday in Liphook library

Celebration of Flora's 130th birthday

Ann Mallinson organised readings from Flora's work at a meeting in Liphook Library on Tuesday 5th December 2006.

The photo shows (from the left) Gill Lindsay (Flora's biographer), John Owen Smith (publisher of Heatherley and The Peverel Papers), Brenda Adams (actor), Flora's statue, Anne Silver (hidden, from the Bramshott & Liphook Preservation Society), and Anne Mallinson.


Dramatic re-creations, 2006/7
Headley Theatre Club ran Flora's Heatherley during May 2006 (130th anniverary of Flora's birth) and Flora's Peverel during 2007 (60th anniversary of her death), touring locally in the area of Grayshott and Liphook, in east Hampshire – see details.


Flora Thompson Museum
The Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham now has a permanent Flora Thompson exhibition.


A Flora Thompson Society?
At the present time there is no Flora Thompson Society. Gillian Lindsay (her first biographer) and I would like to start one. If anyone else has an interest in helping to create and run such a Society, please contact me in the first instance.


April 2004: Flora's house at 'Lark Rise', a 'one-up, one-down with some later additions', sold for £350,000 – picture


INFORMATION from the 1901 census: Flora was at Yateley, Hampshire, working in the Post Office on 31st March 1901 – her occupation given as 'Post Office Clerk' – living with the sub postmaster William Bettesworth and his wife and their servant. This has come as something of a surprise, since we had expected her to be either in Grayshott or Bournemouth!

From the same source, we now see that John Thompson (aged 26, born Ryde) was working as a Post Office Clerk at nearby Aldershot (a boarder at 27 St Michael's Road). So the assumption is that they met then – as indeed Margaret Lane had stated in her introduction to A Country Calendar (p.19) where she says: "When she was twenty-four, however, this independent single life came to an end, for in the course of the penny readings and village soirées which went on in the neighbourhood she met John Thompson, a young post-office clerk from Aldershot, and as soon as he was transferred to the main post office in Bournemouth they were married."

[My thanks to Sarah Farley of the Hampshire Record Office for the census information]

We also believe we have identified from the 1901 census for Grayshott the house where Flora lodged and the identity of 'The Parkhursts'. See more.


Text of Flora's unfinished novel Dashpers is available from Mark Dashper in New Zealand


AT ANY TIME
Flora's Trail — See details of this guided walk from Grayshott to Griggs Green and back (5 miles each way) through the countryside which Flora loved.
If you are considering doing the walk and would like assistance, contact me.
An alternative 6-mile circular walk from Griggs Green, prepared by Anne Mallinson, is available from East Hampshire District Council (01730 266551) or local Information Centres.


2007 was the 60th anniversary of Flora Thompson's death – the following events happened…

Friday 18th May 2007: 7.30pm – Talk and musical performance by Doctor Gillian Warson (author of Fact and Fiction: Flora Thompson and the Fewcott Part book, a book about Flora's grandfather, John Dibber), at the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham.

Monday 21st May 2007: 2.30pm – Anne Mallinson organised her annual tribute in Liphook Library; with readings from Flora's works and a posy of flowers laid at the base of the sculpture.

Friday 25th May 2007: 11am – Opening of the new Flora Thompson audio-visual exhibition at the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham.

Friday 25th May 2007: 8pm – Presentation and musical performance by the Ashley Hutchings ensemble band at Buckingham Community Centre. Ashley Hutchings was the musical director and performer on the original 'Keith Dewhurst/Albion Band' productions of 'Lark Rise' and 'Candleford', at the Cottesloe National theatre in 1979, as recorded in 1980. He was instrumental in forming 'Steeleye Span', 'Fairport Convention', 'The Albion Band', and currently heads up 'Rainbow Chasers'. A selection of these traditional folk CDs can be found at the Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham.

Saturday 26th May 2007: 'Open Garden' event at 'Lark Rise Cottage', at Juniper Hill.

Saturday 26th May 2007: Afternoon – Production of 'Lark Rise' by the Wheatley and Garsington Barnstormers at Juniper Hill. This was the first performance of 'Lark Rise' actually at Lark Rise and Keith Dewhurst, who wrote the play, was present.

Sunday 27th May 2007: Noon – a blue plaque to Flora unveiled at The Ferns in Grayshott, Hampshire, where Flora lodged after she stopped living at the post office.

Wednesday 30th May 2007: 10.30am to 12.30pm – Old Gaol children's activity, 'Children's Victorian Games – To celebrate and discover the author, Flora Thompson'.

July 6th to 14th 2007: Jo Smith's Flora's Peverel was on tour in east Hampshire and west Surrey – see details
Fri 6 – Phoenix Arts Centre, Bordon
Sat 7 – Haslemere Museum (matinée)
Sun 8 – Rural Life Centre, Tilford (matinée)
Mon 9 – Petersfield library
Fr 13 – Liphook Millennium Hall
Sa 14 – Headley Village Hall


— TRIBUTES —

James P Norris was brought up in a country cottage in Chilton, Bucks, which he describes as a 'semi-feudal' village. He feels a great affinity for Flora, particularly as his father was the village postman. He wrote the following verse as a tribute.

FOR FLORA THOMPSON — ENGLISH WRITER

You were of my kind
Of my people of my soul
Of the hidden violet, of the wild rose,
And the lark sang above you
Over those flat fields
Where the golden beads of wheat
Whistled softly in the wind.

Your blood was of the labouring people
Your heart was in the heart of England
And though the flowers were fragrant in the fields,
In the cottages the women
Scraped and saved their pennies
To give their children life
While the winter winds blew hard against their doors.

You did not know the words
That trembled in your mind when you were young
You did not know
You were marked by the love of words
To create the texture of your English life
So that we could take from you
The power in your aspiring heart
Which bid you, against the odds,
To shake your words at us
As hawthorn blossom in the Juniper wind.

And when the words came from you
And the wild rose bloomed
And labouring men gave off their sweat
In the English fields
They became a tower of history
Because you lived amongst them
And kings became small
As village men and women worked and loved
Under the English sky
In the lark songed wind.

James P Norris

James Norris published The Lost Spring in 1999
– subtitled 'From Whiteleaf Cross to Oxford's Spires,' he tells his own story in this book of poetic prose – ISBN 0-9534967-0-8; available from Nessie Books, 8 Humber Drive, Walton Court, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 8TP
OTHER TRIBUTES —

By serendipity I recently discovered Flora Thompson. Her work is so beautiful in so many ways as you well know. Thank you for the web site.
Jim Williams
The Poet's Ruins
RMB 4681 Bullarto 3461 VIC

— WANTED —
'The Peverel Monthly'

While she lived in Liphook, Flora started the Peverel Society — a postal writers circle — and issued 'The Peverel Monthly' to members.
We are trying to collect as many examples of this small magazine as possible. Unfortunately, because it was a publication within a private society, no examples were lodged with the British Library.
If anyone has an example in their keeping, or knows of any which still exist, contact me. I would be happy to accept photocopies of the original, or take copies ourselves.


— From the Peverel Book of Verse, c.1925—

Contents: (for those by Flora Thompson, see below)

Authors & Poem Nos.
Thomas Culshaw I, II, III.
Margaret Winefride Simpson IV, V, VI, VII, VIII.
May Doney IX, X.
Margaret Ferguson XI, XII, XIII.
Sister Mary Emmanuel, O.S.B XIV.
Eva Fitzmaurice XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII.
Edward McGlone XIX.
Muriel Freeman XX, XXI, XXII.
Martha Blane XXIII, XXIV, XXV.
Frances Hanlon XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX.
Barbara Flynn XXXI, XXXII.
James Lee XXXIII, XXXIV.
Alicia Ellard XXXV.
Florence Weston XXXVI.
S. M. Wycherley-Brookes XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX.
Kathleen Todd XL, XLI.
Wynefred Baker XLII, XLIII.
Elsie Murray XLIV, XLV.
Catharine Hemming XLVI.
Winifred Robson XLVII, XLVIII.
Dorothy Baugh XLIX.
Thelma Roberts L.
Mariquita Gutierrez LI, LII, LIII, LIV.
Flora Thompson LV, LVI. (see below)



LV.
MAY MOONLIGHT - Flora Thompson

Birch trees dip their boughs to slake
Day's green fires in the enchanted lake.
Along the shore, beneath the trees,
A drift of wan anemones
Bow pale heads, and shiver and swoon,
Mourning for the drownéd moon.
Stark acacias cast a dim
Net of shade to rescue him.
Captive in its, shadowy bars,
Glimmering, multitudinous stars
Burn to orange; pale, and die,
As dawnlight steals across they sky;
Skylark shrills into the grey,
And moonlight magic melts away.

LVI.
GARDEN FIRES - Flora Thompson

A drift of wood and weed-smoke
Floats o'er the garden spaces,
Circling the orchard tree-tops;
They're burning up the traces
Of Winter from the earth,
Now Spring has birth.

Soft showers of snowy petals
Bestrew the bright, lush green;
Blue smokewreaths wheel and thicken
As warm winds stir between,
And living tongues of flame
Put daffodils to shame.

And men shall make such fires,
And warm Spring winds blow free,
When all the great desires
Which rend the heart of me
Shall dwindle into dust,
For Time is just!


— TALKS —

On the Trail of Flora Thompson, Beyond Candleford Green — by John Owen Smith

NOTE: Public Talk being given in Liphook Library on Wed 31 October 2012 - see here for details.

The 45-minute talk tells of fourteen years during which Flora lived and worked in East Hampshire before she became famous.
It was one of her most prolific periods as a writer, a time during which she learned her craft and developed the style which eventually bore fruit in Lark Rise to Candleford.

The talk covers: her contacts with Arthur Conan Doyle and George Bernard Shaw during her time as Grayshott assistant sub-postmistress, an unrequited love affair, and a murder committed by her employer against his wife; then in Liphook: the initial tragedy of the First World War followed by a commitment during the 1920s which developed her writing skills towards the style which was to become internationally successful in 'Lark Rise'.

For rates and other details, contact me.

Click here to see the text of a different talk made in September 1998 at the Grayshott & Hindhead Literary Festival


Flora Thompson and the Fewcott Part Book — by Gillian Warson

Gillian Warson works as a teacher, musician and hymnodist. She lives in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and is available to speak at local history, church and general interest groups. She may be contacted via her website.


— CONTACTS —

The people listed below are currently involved in keeping alive the memory of Flora Thompson within the UK:—

Please contact John Owen Smith in the first instance.

Other websites with information on Flora Thompson —


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— This web site maintained by John Owen Smith