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Old 02-26-2011, 12:45 PM   #1
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Thompson, Flora: Lark Rise to Candleford. V1. 26-Feb-2011

Flora Jane Thompson (5 December 1876 – 21 May 1947) was an English novelist and poet famous for her semi-autobiographical trilogy about the English countryside, Lark Rise to Candleford.

Lark Rise to Candleford is a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the countryside of north-east Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England, at the end of the 19th century. They were written by Flora Thompson and first published together in 1945. The stories were previously published separately as Lark Rise in 1939, Over to Candleford in 1941 and Candleford Green in 1943.
The stories relate to three communities: the hamlet of Juniper Hill (“Lark Rise”), where Flora grew up; Buckingham (“Candleford”), the nearest town, and the nearby village of Fringford (“Candleford Green”), where Flora got her first job in the Post Office.
Because Thompson wrote her account some forty years after the events she describes she was able to identify the period as a pivotal point in rural history: the time when the quiet, close-knit and peaceful rural culture, governed by the seasons, began a transformation, through agricultural mechanisation, better communications and urban expansion, into the homogenised society of today. The transformation is not explicitly described. It appears as allegory, for example in Laura’s first visit to Candleford without her parents: the journey from her tiny village to the sophisticated town representing the temporal changes that would affect her whole community. Although the works are autobiographical, Thompson distances herself from her childhood persona by telling the tale in the third person; she appears in the book as “Laura Timmins”, rather than her real maiden name of Flora Timms. This device allows Thompson to comment on the action, using the voice of “Laura” as the child she was and as the adult narrator, without imposing herself into the work.
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