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Customer Review

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No pictures or conversation, 4 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Lark Rise to Candleford: A Trilogy (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this book after seeing and enjoying one episode of the recent BBC version (I don't have a TV, but was staying at a hotel one Sunday).

Almost nothing that had been in the episode is in the book - and, for once, I must say I enjoyed the book far less than the TV program.
I found the book quite disappointing - far less vivid than some other books of Childhood recollections I have read. The material is arranged more thematically than chronologically, so there is very little "story", and a fair amount of repetition from time to time.

The book is probably at its best when describing high-days and holidays such as the local celebrations for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, May Day, or the day of the inspection at the village school. However, for this reader, while he can appreciate the book as social history, as literature it seems dull, perhaps inevitably so given the isolation of the community where the author grew up.

For memories of a Victorian childhood in the 1880's I'd recommend reading E.H Shepard's "Drawn from Memory" instead of this, and for life in a rural village Laurie Lee's "Cider with Rosie".
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Feb 2009 22:00:52 GMT
You bought the book on the strength of having seen a single episode and are then surprised that it bears on relation to what you saw.

Posted on 20 Mar 2009 12:50:34 GMT
With respect, it's hardly the fault of the book if the TV adaptation is less realistic! I enjoyed the TV version, but like all such things, it was a loose interpretation. You don't really think their wardrobes were that smart, do you? The lives described by Flora Thompson are much tougher and grittier, and a useful reminder of what we take for granted nowadays. She wasn't trying to write 'literature' - she was documenting the past.
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Reviewer

Alun Williams
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Peterborough,England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,706