In Flora's Footsteps

In Flora's Footsteps

Daily Life in Lark Rise Country 1876-2009

by Martin Greenwood

This book brings to life the characters in Flora Thompson's book and the BBC television series, by searching out what is known about the real-life people Thompson was writing about and the circumstances in which they lived.

From the review in the Oxford Times by Peter Barrington:

Local historian Martin Greenwood has just published a new book on Flora Thompson and the villages associated with her trilogy, Lark Rise to Candleford.

Martin, who lives in Fringford, had been planning the book, In Flora's Footsteps, for some time but was given an impetus by the BBC TV adaptation of the trilogy.

 “Originally I was going to write the book more about the Shelswell group of ten parishes in the area. But the television series gave me a focus for my book,” said Martin, 73.

So the first chapter of the book is devoted to unravelling the differences between Flora Thompson's trilogy on Oxfordshire rural life at the turn of the century and the television series. He also explores the real locations of the trilogy as Flora, who was born in Juniper Hill, disguised all the villages.

Martin covers the social history of the area from the year Flora was born, 1876, until the present day, looking at the influences of the country estates, churches, chapels and schools plus the Bicester and Warden Hill Hunt, which is now the Bicester Hunt with the Whaddon Chase.

“I decided to write a social history of the area, rather than produce another biography of Flora. There have already been two biographies, one by Margaret Lane in the Cornhill magazine and a fuller work by Gillian Lindsay,” said Martin.

Left: The author, Martin Greenwood, with Linda Bassett in character as Queenie, the part she plays in the BBC television series Lark Rise to Candleford.

£9.99 paperback 128pp (including 16pp of colour illustrations)
978 1 902279 37 4
The Wychwood Press, 2009