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Lynda Langford
The Guardian

Flora Thompson

Lark Rise to Candleford

Lark Rise to Candleford: A Trilogy is Flora Thompson's significantly autobiographical account of growing up in and English village in the 1880's.

Lark Rise describes the early life of the main character, Laura, in a small hamlet in North Oxfordshire. The occupants are very poor, but we hear of the many ways they have of getting by on very little money, and of the village life which was soon to disappear. Over to Candleford tells of Laura's visits to family in a nearby town - with many mouths to feed at home it made sense for an older child to stay with somewhat better off relatives, and she got access to a large number of books which she loved reading. Candleford Green is about Laura's job as a assistant in a post office, and the process of growing up in a culture which you don't quite belong to.

One thing I specially liked about the books was the comparison of different times. The books are set in the 1880's, but were written in the 1930's, and so the author can comment on changes in society over those 50 years. She also tells of memories of the oldest in the village, describing a time 50 or more years before the 1880's. And of course the reader can compare it all with life in the 3rd millenium. I found the book a compelling read, and I would expect it to be enjoyed by all readers.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews