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)
Please could someone let me know when
the situation improves thank you.
Lark Rise to Candleford,
a trilogy by Flora Thompson (see also Heatherley)
Penguin Modern Classics, 2008 ISBN 978-0-141-18331-2
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
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
Lark Rise to Candleford,
a trilogy by Flora Thompson
Oxford University Press, January 2011 ISBN 978-0-19-960160-8
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
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."
Lark Rise in
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
PS: We all know that Lark Rise to Candleford is difficult to classify.
Would you expect to find it as Fiction or Non-Fiction in your bookshop or
The last time I looked, Waterstone's had it under Biography; Foyles had it
When I asked Hampshire Libraries their classification of it, they came back
with the following list and I'm sure it's not exhaustive, so take your
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.
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
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
This is the first time that the Papers have been published in full and in
chronological order in one edition.
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)
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
Dreams of the Good Life,
by Richard Mabey
The Life of Flora Thompson and the creation of Lark Rise to Candleford
ISBN 978-1-846-14278-9 Allen Lane 2014
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!)
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
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.
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
Unfortunately, 'Heatherley' is no longer available from
ISIS in large printsee above for options.
For further information or to order an Audio title, visit
the ISIS Publishing Ltd website
End of books
brings to life the
period 19161928 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.
again in July 2007 see details
The script is available from this website
for general release order
Performance of 'Lark Rise' at Juniper Hill by
the Wheatley and Garsington Barnstormers
Picture shows part of the cast at the end of the show.
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
Picture shows the cast at dress rehearsal in Headley Village Hall
'LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD' 3-person stage version adapted by
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
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
2016 will be the centenary of Flora's arrival in Liphook.
We expect to mark it with local events, including a performance of the play
Lark Rise in July 2016. Watch this space!
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,
There was a special service in Fringford church at 3pm followed by
Linda Bassett ('Queenie' of TV) unveiled the plaque which is carved
on a Welsh slate roundel (see photo courtesy of
For further information, contact Martin Greenwood 01869
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!
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
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.
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
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
2nd May 2009: A plaque was unveiled
at Amity in Crossways Road, Grayshott, the site of the post office when
Flora worked there 18981900. Sadly the original building has been
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Text of Flora's unfinished
novel Dashpers is available from Mark Dashper in
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.
6-mile circular walk from Griggs Green, prepared by Anne Mallinson, is
available from East Hampshire District Council (01730 266551) or local Information
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
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
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
While she lived in Liphook, Flora started the Peverel Society
a postal writers circle and issued 'The Peverel Monthly' to
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.
Peverel Book of Verse, c.1925
Contents: (for those by Flora Thompson, see
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)
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!
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.
Please contact John Owen
Smith in the first instance.
Other websites with information on Flora Thompson