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Hatless to Hindhead

Susannah Clapp

1 May 1980
A Country Calendar 
by Flora Thompson, edited by Margaret Lane.
Oxford, 307 pp., £6.95, October 1979, 9780192117533
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... FloraThompson was born in 1876 in the hamlet of Juniper Hill in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a nursemaid and a stonemason. At the village school she was good at skipping and scripture. She was expected to go into ...
1 May 1980
... on down Southwards, right on to the clear sea and sun of Sussex and the traditional naughtiness of Brighton, architecture that calls as strongly as does sex? Meanwhile, in Grayshott Post Office, sat FloraThompson – with enough literature to win New Statesman comps on ...

But she read Freud

Alice Spawls: Flora Thompson

19 February 2015
Dreams of the Good Life: The Life of Flora Thompson​ and the Creation of ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ 
by Richard Mabey.
Allen Lane, 208 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 14 104481 1
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... An outsider​ by birth as well as by disposition, FloraThompson took solitary pleasure in observing her fellow villagers. She stored away characters and scenes from an early age – the naughty children who pulled her hair, Queenie who spoke to bees, the annual ...
20 October 1983
Sure and Stedfast: A History of the Boys’ Brigade, 1883-1984 
edited by John Springhall.
Collins, 304 pp., £10, June 1983, 0 00 434280 1
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... down his experience, and adults rarely think about their childhood: indeed, most adults are adept at forgetting what it is like to be a child, though the occasional exceptions – Dickens, Orwell and FloraThompson – sketch in the outline of this vast unexplored continent. Perhaps this is one reason why historians have so rarely written about childhood. And even if they do write about it – when ...

Royal Mysteries

V.G. Kiernan

10 January 1983
From Agadir to Armageddon: Anatomy of a Crisis 
by Geoffrey Barraclough.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 9780297781745
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... growers’ revolt was a local phenomenon with special causes. The coming of social insurance in Britain may be dismissed in Chapter Four too summarily. Old-age pensions transformed life for the old, FloraThompson remembered in Lark Rise; and they must have been a blessing also to a great many younger families with old folk to support. But what matters is that Europe’s ruling classes – like all ...

The Ruling Exception

David Cannadine

16 August 1990
Queen Victoria: Gender and Power 
by Dorothy Thompson.
Virago, 167 pp., £6.99, May 1990, 0 86068 773 2
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... recent royal lives have still been penned by genteel amateurs, and there is no book on the modern British monarchy comparable in scholarly stature to Denis Mack Smith on the Kings of Italy. Dorothy Thompson’s study of Queen Victoria is thus the more to be welcomed, for she is a writer in a very different tradition from such conventional courtly biographers as Elizabeth Longford, Cecil Woodham-Smith ...

Imperial Project

Richard Drayton

19 September 1996
Kew: The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens 
by Ray Desmond.
Harvill/Royal Botanical Gardens, 466 pp., £25, November 1995, 1 86046 076 3
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... from its medieval insular or European cultural roots has stood as the invisible scaffolding within which many political persuasions – from Clarendon, Hume and Macaulay to A.J.P. Taylor and E. P. Thompson – have helped an emerging nation make sense of itself. There are now good reasons, as Linda Colley and Chris Bayly have suggested, to bring the Empire to the centre of domestic history and to show ...

The Stream in the Sky

John Barrell: Thomas Telford

22 March 2018
Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain 
by Julian Glover.
Bloomsbury, 403 pp., £10.99, January 2018, 978 1 4088 3748 1
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... This view is surely as much part of the heritage of Wales as the transplanted woundwort, and it is impossible to believe that to make it visible again would have any very adverse effect on the flora of the glen. To open a narrow passage from the refuge, across the plunge-pool to the waterfall and bridge, would require nothing more than lopping a few branches, felling a handful of scrawny trees ...
19 March 1987
... sex.Rubin seems to me to underestimate Ruth Jhabvala, as he overestimates Paul Scott, but he perceives very well the significance of the Indian mythology of sex: potent long ago in the novels of Flora Annie Steel, with their wicked Indian cult leaders demanding blood sacrifices of young white women; later refined in the central image of A Passage to India, which has fascinated so many readers and ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... son, a taxi driver, she wondered why the helicopters couldn’t rescue them. Mr Neda, whose flat they were in, was supposed to follow his family down the stairs. The minicab driver’s disabled wife, Flora, was carried down the entire 23 flights on the back of her son, Farhad, a recent graduate in mechanical engineering who had martial arts training. Both he and his mother survived. Sepideh and her son ...

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