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Flambards (Oxford children's modern classics) [Paperback]

K. M. Peyton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 1999 Oxford children's modern classics
This wonderfully written story is the first in K.M. Peyton's Flambards quartet, and was the runner-up for the Carnegie medal. This paperback edition is in a smaller mass-market format.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition edition (Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192750240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192750242
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,284,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

K. M. Peyton was brought up in the suburbs of London and went to school in Wimbledon. Obsessed by horses, she was unable to own a pony but saved up for riding lessons - one every school holidays - on Wimbledon Common. She had an 'imaginary' stable of two thousand horses and ponies, all listed in exercise books. She still remembers many of these 'pretend' animals even now.

She began writing while still at school and has never stopped writing since. She had written about ten books before her first one was accepted for publication by A & C Black when she was fifteen, Sabre, the Horse from the Sea, published under her maiden name, Kathleen Herald.

She continued to write during her period at Manchester Art School where she met a fellow student, Michael Peyton. They married in 1950 and in the six years before their first child was born they lived in a variety of places and undertook any jobs that were available. For two years Mrs Peyton taught at Northampton High School. Both she and her husband travelled abroad, hitch-hiking and living out in the mountains, and in 1955 they went to Canada and the USA where they lived for nine months, working and travelling. They did a 150 mile trip by canoe in Northern Ontario and walked in the Rockies for as long as they could carry food.

In 1956 the Peytons bought a derelict cottage on the edge of a village on the Essex marshes. Here they worked, writing and drawing, and had two daughters, Hilary and Veronica, bought a boat and sailing became a passion. Michael Peyton has since specialised in sailing for a living, and now is a well-known internationally as a yachting cartoonist, a journalist and charter skipper. In 1970 their cottage was compulsorily purchased when a new town was scheduled for the area and they moved to another farm cottage three miles down the river where they now live.

K. M. Peyton has written many articles for the Guardian and for women's magazines, she has had over thirty novels published, mainly for the teenage market. The most well-known of which is Flambards, on which the popular television serial was based.

Product Description


...brilliantly compelling slice of social history (The School Librarian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A beautiful new edition of this modern classic - a family saga of country living, rivalry, and love --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, heart warming 2 Nov 2009
By K Brown
This is one of the best books i have ever read. I read it when i was young, and read it about once every year. (it's quite a quick book to read). despite it being a children's book it contains an underlying theme that is quite adult in it's context.

it is part of a 4 book series and is the first one in the series. It follows an orphan girl through the beginning of the 20th century and is about her going to live with her uncle and 2 cousins in the country. As the book progresses she gets much older and the book follows her through a dramatically changing society from an ordinary girl who knows little of politics or real world situations perspective. I loved the way in which the book shows her naivety about life. it's honest and refreshing because it shows what a sheltered life she and many other girls in her time led and the mistakes she makes are believable when you look at the way she is bought up.

The series deals with the war, suffragette's and class issues in a thought provoking and heart warming way. You also see the effect that these three issues have on the other characters ranging from poor servants at a time when servants were becoming less and less of a need for in smaller households and the wars effect on her family and cousins.

It's a great book for kids and adults and i would recommend it to anyone but it's perfect for parent and child reading.

The cover makes it look like a silly horse book but it isn't so don't buy it thinking that's what your going to get because you won't.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only a quarter of excitement and is amazing! 30 Dec 2011
By mr t
I have read all the flambards books. I am 11 and i love them!:) the first book may not be the most exciting out of the 4 but is the most important! By that I mean it holds all key information you will need for the next books or you will not understand them.

About the book.

Orphan Christina moves to Flambards when she is twelve. There she falls in love with horses and riding (especially hunting!) William (one of her two cousins) has a passion for aeroplanes and Mark (her other cousin) also has an interest in horses.Through this book you learn about the ups and downs, romances and tragedies Christina experienced. This book shall indeed MAKE you be hungry for the next three sequels.............heres their names in order.

The edge of the cloud
Flambards in summer
Flambards divided.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books in the world 30 Oct 2008
By Elgar17
This book deserves to be as famous as the Narnia books, or any of the Frances Hodgsen Burnetts. it is a virtually perfect, clever, witty, romantic and truthful story. Wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever!!!!!!! 17 Dec 2010
A Kid's Review
Flambards is a brilliant book, it is cleverly written and has a good twist to it! I would recommend this book to about 10+ as some of the words are slightly tricky.
It is basically about a 12 year old girl called Christina who is an orphan and is sent to go and live in a ruined, decaying mansion named Flambards with her grumpy uncle who's only passion is for horses and alcohol! The uncle has two sons (Christina's cousins) who are extremely different! It is a brilliant read and you won't be disappointed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful series 20 Aug 2007
For both children and adults, this is a wonderful series of novels, appealing to all ages. The story of Christina, a young, 12 year old orphan, who goes to live with her unpleasant uncle Russell and 2 cousins, William and Mark, one of whom she grows to love because of his kindness, one she grows to hate because of his cruelty, in their country house, called Flambards. Here, she develops a love for horses and riding, and learns to hunt. The newfangled things called aeroplanes play their part, and William and Christina make a new friend, Sandy, who introduces them to the joy of flight, but tragedy strikes soon after. The First World War eventually robs her of her cousin William, and therefore, the man she loves, and she is left to run the estate with Mark, who loves Christina, but his love is not returned. These novels are a joy from beginning to end and are highly recommended. For horse mad teenagers, they make fabulous reading, and for more mature readers, the romantic element is moving and the soapier element of the story is engrossing. You will love it. It was also developed for television in the 1970s and made must see and equally unforgettable viewing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb read 28 Dec 2001
By A Customer
One of my all time favourite books. I loved it as a child and still enjoy it as an adult. It is the story of a young girl in pre-war England. Through her eyes it describes the lives of a dying breed, the impoverished gentry. A beautiful book for horse lovers and romantics, with well described believable characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, lots to interest a reader 25 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this first book in the Flambards trilogy very much. Firstly, it's a book about horses (always a winner with me); secondly, it's a book about my next great passion - country houses. It's also a book about changing times and England just prior to the first world war, class systems and what would really be the last years in the great country estates of England.

Already in the book, Flambards is "dying", subsiding into decay due to the owner's inability/disinterest in maintaining it. There's a stark contrast outlined in the story between the traditional values of the hunting field, the lower working classes who are striving so hard to keep the upper classes in comfort, and getting sparse thanks for their efforts, and the inexorable march of progress as embodied in the development of the aeroplanes which William is so interested in, and the early warnings of the onset of the war "to end all wars".

The story is told by Christina, cousin of Mark (embodying the traditional) and William (representing the new times to come). At first, it seems she has a foot in each camp: she adores the horses and the hunting field, but finds Mark strangely uncouth and repellant. There are also certain aspects of this "traditional" class system of values which she finds very hard to swallow: Dick's family, for instance, gets an extremely rough deal out of it all with his mother ending her days in the workhouse, Violent being sent away in disgrace and Dick being sacked for a very tenuous and arbitrary reason. Instead, it is William's sensitivity she ultimately finds more appealing. Indeed, in the end, (inevitably) progress wins the day, ending in Christina leaving Flambards and her beloved horses behind.

This is a very easy to read book (intended for children in 1967 when it was originally published) but it contains much that would be of interest to adult readers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful books
A box of beautiful books. Set bought as a present for my eleven year old daughter, she's read them all and is loving the classics.
Published 2 months ago by primroselong
1.0 out of 5 stars misled
it was my understanding that I had purchased a box set as advertised but I got only ONE book.
I can see that many other people had a similar experience.
Published 2 months ago by wendy
2.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Children's Classic BOX SET
I bought this item because I thought from the listing that I was going to get the ''BOX SET'' BUT I only got one book i.e. ''The Hound of the Baskervilles''...
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Published 5 months ago by Bald Eagle
5.0 out of 5 stars Good set of children's classic books
An economical way to gain a collection of 10 good classic books for a child. The books are attractive and clearly printed so I think the set is very good value. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lyndee H
4.0 out of 5 stars good value set
you do get a lot for the money, and I'm sure my kids will enjoy reading the stories. Can't give it 5 stars though becaue the box broke a day after we got the set, there are NO... Read more
Published 6 months ago by malpkyn
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
I was expecting the full set as it was a gift although I only got one book, although the book I received was good
Published 7 months ago by Natnat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection for affordable price
It is a great collection of must-read children's classic stories.
They are nicely packed and colorful. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Berakah International Foundation
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection
A lot better use of time than playing games on a pc!

A nice set of books that is well packaged.

Would make a lovely present.
Published 8 months ago by RS
1.0 out of 5 stars I feel duped
The description implied the whole set , however we received one book , Black Beauty. This is basically mis-selling. The photo should be for the individual book , not the box set . Read more
Published 9 months ago by J K PARKIN
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor appearance
I was looking forward to reading this book, especially as it's the first of a series, and was pleased to get it as a Kindle bargain. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
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