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Illustrated Lark Rise to Candleford (Lark Rise to Candleford #1-3 omnibus)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  2,461 Ratings  ·  291 Reviews
Flora Thompson's memoirs of a childhood spent in the Oxfordshire hamlet of Juniper in the 1880s.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 30th 1984 by Crown Publishers Inc. (first published 1945)
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Melee
May 12, 2011 Melee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like so many others, I wanted to read Lark Rise to Candleford because I love the TV series. The book was not really what I expected, having very little plot and only focusing seriously on a few characters. (Mainly Laura, of course. So most characters you know and love from the show only get passing mentions in the books, at best.) But still, I loved it! It was such a lovely book. At first I found it a little dry, but soon became enchanted with the description of life in Lark Rise (where the firs ...more
Pamela
Oct 30, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gift Thompson has bequeathed us. In our academies we learn history from the top down: “Big" people first followed by middling ones who managed to become important, and then the rest - farmers, laborers, servants, and craftsmen who left little more to posterity than their names in parish records and the artifacts we dig up (when we want to build a new road e.g.), catalog, and make stories about. The former existence of these people, from whom most of us are descended, are only known to us ...more
Hilary
Nov 26, 2010 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very long book! It almost reads more like a blog (a very faithfully, well written blog) that Flora Thompson is keeping of her life in the late 1800's in rural England. Despite the lack of plot (think of the lack of plot in a good blog, yet it's still interesting to read) it moves with grace from one topic to another, or from one interesting person to another.

I do recommend the television series to those who are fans of costume drama. The characters are so incredibly truthful with each
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Gemma collins
Mar 25, 2010 Gemma collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes,I got hoooked on the TV series and then bought the book but I have been wanting to read it for a while. When I was a child I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and Flora Thompson has that same feeling of historical detail mixed with a nostalgic sensitivity, both being told from the point of view of a child but written in adulthood many years after the events (Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie and Christy Browns Down All the Days also do this beautifully). This gives the writing a glorious sens ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Seeing as this book is 3 books in 1 my review has averaged the 3 books.

Book 1: Lark Rise 1 star
Rather boring overly detailed living in crappy village. I would think it was endearing and sweet if she didn't destroy all her lovely anecdotes with something horrible about what happened years later. Like Twister, lovely old man, years later he took to kill cats. Laura's father, worked hard his whole life hoping to better his family and get out of Lark Rise, he died in the same cottage 40 years later
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Sonia Gomes
Mar 21, 2009 Sonia Gomes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any person who wants to know a great deal about rural England at the turn of the Century
Recommended to Sonia by: The box of books that my father brought from Kenya
At sixteen, I thought this book was a colossal bore, where was the excitement I was craving for...
At a much later date, when my craze for excitement in books had abated, I picked it up and found it very good.
It really is a meticulous account about rural England at around the beginning of the Twentieth Century . The author Flora Thompson has worked extremely hard to write everything she observed in her village, the lives of the peasants, the food they ate, the crops they grew, not a single deta
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K.
I was inspired to get myself a copy of this book after being delighted with the BBC miniseries (am eagerly awaiting season 4, even if it is only partial).

I've tried to describe how this book reads, not sure I'm going to be successful here. Let's see. It's a semi-fictional (I think names of people & places are changed, no idea what else was fictionalized) auto-biography that reads like great fiction, but not in a "fiction" way at all, but in a great biography/historical document sort of way.
...more
Aaron
Aug 27, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to some of my co-workers, I was definitely pulled into the BBC series that was based upon this three-in-one book written by Flora Thompson, who was sharing her experiences growing up in the Oxfordshir hamlet of Juniper, which she renamed Lark Rise, and finding employment as she trained under the postmistress, her cousin Dorcas, in the nearby town of Candleford. Flora, who calls herself Laura throughout the book, has a good eye for detail and is able to share the information of what it was ...more
Tony
May 27, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD. (1939-1943). Flora Thompson. ****.
This is essentially a lightly concealed memoir about a young girl growing up in the English countryside. Flora becomes Laura, and, in the process manages to convey to the reader what it was like back in the day. The three books are “Lark Rise” (1939), “Over to Candleford” (1941), and “Candleford Green” (1943). A fourth volume, “Still Glides the Stream,” was released in 1948, a year after the author’s death, but is not normally included a
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Wealhtheow
Oct 16, 2011 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Little House on the Prairie but with more textual awareness of poverty, class, and sexism. Also, it's set in rural Victorian England. Otherwise, just like, complete with grand tales of killing the pig and stories about getting dresses muddy on the miles-long walk to school.
Kate
Jul 27, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, classics, litfic
I am entirely willing to admit that I read this book because of the TV series - but I wasn't at all disappointed that so few of the relationships in the series are here. Laura and her family, life in the hamlet, life in the town, are so much more vivid than I expected in a book that does little more than describe the basics of life at the end of the 19th century in rural England, that I cannot wish Thompson had more of a narrative arc in the three books that make up this book.

I don't think I've
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Maria
Jan 07, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of History and Historical Fiction.
I picked up this book because I had found the BBC production of "Lark Rise to Candleford" so very endearing. The book is quite different from the series, however, but has a very similar tone.

Whilst the show is episodic and has a loose overarching storyline which underpins each season, the book itself is almost entirely lacking in plot.
It is very good writing indeed which can hold my attention for 537 pages when those pages are filled with description and anecdotes.

I soaked up every word as it d
...more
Leslie
If you loved Little House on the Prairie when you were a little girl and love all the Masterpiece Theater productions (like Cranford especially) and eagerly await each and every Jane Austen adaptation you are in for a treat. If you also like long novels you won't be dissapointed. This is not an exciting novel. It's not at all thrilling, but neither is it sappy or mushy-gushy. It's actually a realistic barely-disguised memoir of an English lady who grew up in a poor country hamlet. I've just fini ...more
Angela Young
Sep 18, 2012 Angela Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read the sequels but I loved this book. The pace is so gentle and the book itself is gentle: Flora Thompson's slow, descriptive style is a way of writing that's vanished in this fast-moving world of ours where we feel cheated if the first sentences of a novel don't immediately make a bid for our attention. The sixth word in the first sentence of Lark Rise is gentle:

'The hamlet stood on a gentle rise in the flat, wheat-growing north-east corner of Oxfordshire. We will call it Lark Rise be
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Sverre
The setting is rural Oxfordshire, England, in the 1880s and 90s, written half a century later. Although it is an autobiographical account of the author's childhood and youth--she being Laura, rather than Flora--it is written in third-person. However, other than a few remarks comparing later events and conditions with the time period being chronicled, the narrative is not that of a mature adult reminiscing about the past. Instead, the story is told with the innocence of a young child, largely dis ...more
Chris
Apr 26, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Mom
This is one of those “saw the TV series before I heard about the book” books. I mean it has Saffie in it. Anyways, this book is different, but it’s not bad. I just wish it had little more than in the way of a plot or was a straight out memoir.

The three books that make up this edition detail the life of the poor people (low class) that Flora Thompson came from. In this regard, it does make the first volume, “Lark Rise”, the best of the three. The level of detail and the almost chatty tone in Lar
...more
Debbie
Aug 07, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Lark Rise to Candleford" is an autobiography about a woman who grew up in a small, very poor hamlet in England from 1876 to 1892. (She refers to herself as "Laura" instead of writing as "I.") As a teenager, she often spent her summers in a nearby town where her better-off cousins lived. At age 16, she went to work in a post office at the edge of that town. She described life--education, games, holidays, etc.--at that time, but she also tells stories about things she did relating to these subjec ...more
Hessie
Jun 12, 2015 Hessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are considering "Lark Rise to Candleford" after watching the series, you won't be disappointed if you are looking for a richer picture of the communities and customs of that time and place. If you are looking for drama or even a plot line, you may be surprised. I, for one, loved the pace and description of this memoir-esque book and found it perfectly delightful to read from beginning to end. The first section of the book about the hamlet of Lark Rise was particularly beautiful and intrig ...more
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gale
Jan 27, 2016 Gale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beloved Memories of a Country Girlhood

LARK RISE
Set in the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign this first part of Thompson’s trilogy captivates readers despite the fact that it proves virtually plot less, with minimal character development.
Although narrated in the 3rd person the 250 pages provide gentle nostalgia for on the part of young Laura. Written from the vantage of mature reflection decades after her girlhood Lark Rise preserves with fondness but without bitter sentimentality a vanis
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Marieke
Lark Rise to Candleford was an intriguing journey. I had mixed feelings about it all the way and there were several times when I nearly abandoned ship. But I kept going, and the reading got better the further I got. In the end, I wished the story went on longer, so I could follow Laura further into her newly independent life.

This book is hard to define – could it have pioneered the ‘fictionalised memoir’ long before it became a well known genre? It’s basically non-fiction, written in episodic, r
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Ana T.
Sensitive and book-loving Laura is born in the rural hamlet of Lark Rise, where life has followed an unchanging pattern for centuries and the days are governed by the rhythms of nature. This is the unforgettable story of her beloved home: a place where children know the name of every bird, flower and tree; men work the fields; women gossip over the fence; and the last relics of country customs have yet to die out. Whether it is describing ancient traditions such as the Mayday garland procession ...more
Joey
Feb 28, 2011 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Lark Rise to Candleford is actually three books, "Larkrise", "Over to Candleford", and "Candleford Green". Set in rural 1890's Oxfordshire, the author recounts her childhood, writing down all the little details and beauty of country life. Flora Thompson was a naturalist and her love of nature is self-evident in this trilogy.

"Nearer at hand where the trees and bushes and wild-flower patches beside the path she had trodden daily. The pond where the yellow brandyball waterlilies grew, the little b
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Lize
Dec 07, 2010 Lize rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
(I found this at the library after watching series 1 and 2 of the BBC production on DVD. My copy was an abridged version, gorgeously illustrated with cottage scenes by the likes of Sir George Clausen, Helen Allingham and Claude Strachan.)

What a lovely book! Published in 1939, it's an account of the author's childhood in an English country village in the late 1800s, and it reads very much like Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' series, and is just as timeless. Phenomenally detailed in some pla
...more
Laura
Mar 25, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book because I enjoyed the BBC series adapted from it, and plus, the main character shares my name, so how could I resist? Though it's technically a book of fiction, it doesn't really read like one. It's more a collection of stories and reminiscences of a way of life that has long since been lost. There wasn't really an overall plot, so it wasn't a gripping page-turner of a book, but pleasant enough to read as long as it was done in small portions.

I couldn't help but compa
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Brett
I think this semi-autobiographical book is more of a memoir than a novel, as there isn't much dialogue & not much "happens" in the way of a plot. It's more a series of vignettes & descriptions to do with various aspects of life in the British countryside at the turn of the twentieth century. Most of the time, the telling is matter-of-fact recollections, unshaded by how the third-person narrator felt about anything, & that actually works very well for its purpose. The reader emerges f ...more
Annabel Youens
Sep 04, 2012 Annabel Youens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my mum's favorite novels she lent this book to me last year and finally I got around to finishing it off. I can see why she loves it & no doubt it reminds her of growing up in the British countryside.

This book transported me to rural England and captivated me. I loved reading about the small country cottages filled with their: holiday traditions, learning how pigs were slaughtered and roasted, old children's games and lessons and the comings and goings of rural life. All beautifully d
...more
Diane
Oct 01, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
A charmingly written (and illustrated) view of country life in 1880s England, 20 miles from Oxford and many worlds away. I found this through the PBS series that dramatizes some of the stories - but this book is less about the stories and more about the time and place and the people in general. I felt I was getting a direct look at the particulars of country life in England at that time, which illuminates for me dozens of English novels I've read over the years. Although the 1880s were a time of ...more
Pikapaula
Oct 13, 2010 Pikapaula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this insightful and sweet memoir of a rural English childhood, Flora Thompson recounts life growing up in a small hamlet at a time when the way of life was about to disappear forever. She may have only had an inkling of the changes to come, but in retrospect is able to pinpoint exactly when the last tinker came through the village, when the ubiquitous pig stys of her childhood were outlawed, and when farm laborers could no longer make a living off the land. She describes the beauty of the fie ...more
Beverly
Sep 11, 2009 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: punks!
This book is full of beautiful and funny observations of country society at the turn of the last century in England. The writer came of age before industrialization took hold and this book gave me a very valuable glimpse into what the world was like before industry remade made the world to suit its own needs. You had to poop outside but at least everything wasn't crappy and made in China. And your neighbors were always there for you and you for them, though that didn't necessarily mean you liked ...more
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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.

Flora benefited from good access to books when the public library opened in Winton, in 1907. Not long after, in 1911, she won an essay competition in The Ladies Companion for a 300-word essay about Jane Austen.[6] S
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More about Flora Thompson...

Other Books in the Series

Lark Rise to Candleford (4 books)
  • Lark Rise
  • Over to Candleford
  • Candleford Green
  • Heatherley: The Lost Sequel To " Lark Rise To Candleford "

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“There Laura spent many happy hours, supposed to be picking fruit for jam, but for the better part of the time reading or dreaming. One corner, overhung by a Samson tree and walled in with bushes and flowers, she called her 'green study'.” 8 likes
“Twas a still, calm night and the moon's pale light
Shone over hill and dale
When friends mute with grief stood around the deathbed
Of their loved, lost Lily Lyle.
Heart as pure as forest lily
Never knowing guile,
Had its home within the bosom
Of sweet Lily Lyle.”
5 likes
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