Flora Thompson

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Flora Jane Thompson (December 5 1876May 21 1947) was an English author and poet, most well-known for her semi-autobiographical trilogy, Lark Rise to Candleford and her posthumously published novel Still Glides the Stream.

Sourced[edit]

Literary Observations[edit]

  • Special qualities are required of the essayist. A poem or a novel may spring from the inner consciousness of an author.. reasoning poers must be brought to reinforce imagination.
    • The Catholic Fireside Articles November 1924 Gillian Lindsay - The Story of the Lark Rise Writer 1990 ISBN 9781873855539
  • Any artwork needs time and patience and needs above a quiet mind.
    • Letter in a private collection quoted in Gillian Lindsay - The Story of the Lark Rise Writer 1990 ISBN 9781873855539
  • Words as to the inner emotions do not come readily to me, for I have led an isolated life mentally and spiritually.
    • Letter in a private collection quoted in Gillian Lindsay - The Story of the Lark Rise Writer 1990 ISBN 9781873855539

Still Glides the Stream[edit]

  • And so with us, she thought. We come, we go, and, as individuals, we are forgotten. But the stream of human life goes on, ever changing, but ever the same, and as the stream is fed by well-springs hoarded by Nature so the stream of humanity is fed by the store of accumulated wisdom and effort and hard-won experience of past generations.
    • Concluding paragraph to novel

Lark Rise[edit]

  • 'Thank God for my good dinner. Thank Father and Mother. Amen' was the grace used in one family, and it certainly had the merit of giving credit where credit was due. — (ch. 1, Poor People's Houses)
  • 'Poverty's no disgrace, but 'tis a great inconvenience' was a common saying among the Lark Rise peole. — (ch. 1, Poor People's Houses)
  • Other days, other ways; and, although they have now been greatly improved upon, the old country midwives did at least succeed in bringing into the world many generations of our forefathers, or where should we be now? — (ch. 8, 'The Box' )
  • There was no Victoria in the school...That great name was sacred to the Queen and was not copied by her subjects to the extent imagined by perioid novelists of today. — (ch. 11, School)
  • The human eye loves to rest upon wide expances of pure colour: the moors in the purple heyday of heather, miles of green downland, and the sea when it lies calm and blue and boundless, all delight it; but to some none of these, lovely though they all are, can give the same satisfaction of spirit as acres upon acres of golden corn. There is both beauty and bread and the seeds of bread for future generations. — (ch. 15, Harvest Home)

Heatherly[edit]

  • Pale purple as the bloom om a ripe plum, veined with the gold of late flowering gorse, set with small slender birches,just turning yellow,with red-berried rowans and thicket of bracken, the heath lay steeped in sunshine.
    • Chapter 1
  • A grasshopper shrilled in a tuft at her feet and was answered by other shrillings among the gorse bushes; a solitary rook flapped heavily overhead, and a pair of goldfinches twittered among the thistle-down; there was no other sound except the scarcely perceptible never-ceasing sighing of the wind in the pines and its rustling of acres of heath-bells.
    • Last chapter

The Peverel Papers[edit]

  • Some great poet or philosopher once said that " he who goes to nature for comfort must go to her empty handed " , and I think he was right.
    • January Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • No age can have everthing and in material ways ours is more fortunate than any preceding one. Our ancestors appear to have mastered the art of living better than we are able to when an easy conscience, largely due to the unshaken faith of the time, left a marging of spiritual energy with which to enjoy life.
    • May Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Some kind of contact with earth, however second hand or muffled, is still a prime necessity of humankind. We each of us have our own particular earthly paradise, a spot on earth for which our thoughts turn while our bodies are far distant, as the one place in all the world we would rather be..
  • Other days, other ways! For myself I would desire a combination of old romance and modern machinery. No housewife would wish to the return to the era when everything, had to be made at home by candlelight and which lost to us who knows how many women poets and painters!
    • August Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • The harvest-home or supper is a thing of the past. To those who feel the fascination of the past this may appear sad, but it is not so really for, even while it existed, this surface goodwill was often an empty show.
    • August Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Now, with the glamour of the past upon them we are inclined to look back on old world festivities with regret and consider present day dances as a poor substitute for the old. From an artistic point of view, they maybe, but in individual freedom and independence of spirit they mark a stage upward.
    • August Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • I do not compare the past with the present without a prejudice for either, but, great as the improvement in country life is in many respects, it seems a pity the old cheap, wholesome dishes have gone to make way for tinned and preserved foods.
    • August Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • We cannot bring the good old days back but, if we must eat mass-made foods, get laws passed to insist upon its goodness and purity.
    • September Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Manner and morals have improved, improved wages and world travel during the war have had effect, and the farm labourer now is an intelligent, self respecting workman, on a level at least with the town artisan. The village rustic of the past no longer exists outside of the comic papers.
    • October Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Alas! in nature, as in art, we gain only according to our capacity. You cannot put an ocean in a pint pot.
    • November Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • It is the fashion to talk of our changing climate and bewail the hot summers and hard winters of tradition, but how seldom we pause to marvel at the remarkable constancy of the weather from year to year.
    • November Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • So quiet and subtle is the beauty of December that escapes the notice of many people their whole lives through.. Colour gives way to form. every branch distinct, in a delicate tracery against the sky.. new vistas obscured all Summer by leafage, now open up.
    • December Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Nature knows no calendar, the seasons move in a circle.
    • February Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • Unlike most great talkers, the rooks are good workers, too.
    • February Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • What is charm, it is not a moral quality.. it is not intellectual for no man by much thinking is able to add a grain of it to his personality. One either has it or has it not, it cannot be acquired or even cultivated. It is not physical even.. it seems to be added to the human personality, an aura, a glow, the gold dust upon a butterfly's wing, the bloom upon a peach.
    • February Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986
  • It was ordained that our earthly pilgrammage should be a struggle, and life would be a tame affair if everything went smoothly.
    • January Chapter The Peverel Papers - A yearbook of the countryside ed Julian Shuckburgh Century Hutchinson 1986

Dashpers (unfinished, unpublished novel)[edit]

  • "Never forget you are English, and that one Englishman is more than a match for half a dozen foreigners".
  • "I don't believe in folks making a sort of mystery of themselves. I believe in being neighbourly , I do".
    • Chapter One - The House
  • It was a hard life, but, physically, they throve on it, the men standing up well to the hard labour of the fields and the women, in addition to their washing, scrubbing and cooking and nursing, bearing a child almost annually.
    • Chapter Two - A House is built
  • The children did not remain children long. Boys of seven or eight went to work in the fields... Girl children of ten or eleven sent out into service...
    • Chapter Two - A House is built
  • They didn't want votes, either. A vote wasn't going to raise wages or make bread cheaper. What did it matter to them what Government was in power.
    • Chapter Two - A House is built
  • It was still the custom of the countryside to build with local materials produced as close to the selected site as possible, for transport was difficult, even the best of country roads being more fitted for horseback traffic rather than heavy loads.
    • Chapter Two - A House is built
  • "Coming events cast their shadows before" quoted the clergyman...
    • Chapter Two - A House is built

Poetry[edit]

  • and so the shadows ripple on
    until it's time to part
    • Shallows- a poem in the anthology Bog Myrtle & Peat (1921)
  • Our poet's singing lips are dumb:
    This his last gift, to us has brought
    The pain pressed vintage of his thought
    His life of song, his life of pain,
    And, being dead, he speaks again.
    • From On Reading a Posthumous book Gillian Lindsay -Biography of Flora Thompson 1990 ISBN 9781873855539

External links[edit]

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