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Born in Juniper Hill, Oxfordshire, Flora Thompson left school at 14 to work in the local post office. She married young, and wrote mass-market fiction to help support her increasing family. In her 60s she published the semi-autobiographical trilogy combined as LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD (1945). RICHARD MABEY is the author of some thirty books, including Whistling in the Dark: In Pursuit of the Nightingale, Beechcombings: the narratives of Trees, the ground-breaking and best-selling "cultural flora" Flora Britannica, and Gilbert White, which won the Whitbread Biography Award. His recent memoir Nature Cure was short-listed for three major literary awards. He writes for the Independent, the Guardian, Resurgence and Granta, and contributes frequently to BBC radio. He lives in Norfolk, in the Waveney Valley.