Over to Candleford: Today’s book.

Published in 1941, written by Flora Mae Thompson, this is the 2nd in the semi-autobiographical trio which chronicles the late 19th century English land workers’ life transitioning to industrialization before the transformation brought about by World War I. A true social history memoir, it is written by an acute, intelligent observeror with the perspective and wisdom acquired through the ensuing 45+ years.

Nostalgia holds sway to some extent; yet Flora (Laura in the books) seems regretful but not sad at the passing of the country way of life. Full of the most minute details of day-to-day life in a small hamlet, one can easily become immersed in that world.

I learned a tremendous amount and feel that I’ll retain much of that (not a mean accomplishment for me!)

In the simplest manner she describes what she sees, totally drawing us into her unique perspective. Impossible not to fall in love with this youngster who is very good at and doesn’t like needlework but loves to knit!

I went looking for these books when I learned that they were what my favorite new “costume drama” on BBC was based on. There has also been a play, which I may try to find. Thanks to Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page I was able to download it for free, and using eReader read it on my iTouch. One of the advantages to reading on my iTouch is that there is no skipping the paragraphs. Somehow, because there are only a couple of dozen very short lines per screen, I don’t do much speed reading/skimming.

Now that I’ve read the original I find myself quibbling with the TV Series. It seems too “prettified.” But I still love the show, the actors and their characterizations and look forward to watching the new seasons as they emerge.

You can get the DVD from Netflix or the Ann Arbor District Library.


About lisabai

Cook, Knitter, Reader; Alpha Cat
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2 Responses to Over to Candleford: Today’s book.

  1. Ellen says:

    My favorite costume dramas are The Forsyte Saga (the 2002 version) and The House of Eliott. But I’m not sure I have the same taste in costume dramas as most people – I still haven’t made it past the first season of Upstairs Downstairs.

  2. lisabai says:

    Think peasants transitioning to the industrial age; from hamlet to village to (very small) town.

    You can download the 3 books by Flora Mae Thompson for eReader; the third one, Candleford Green, is really where the series on TV starts. It’s a social history of the countryside; none of the major characters in the series have even been to London!

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