Flora Jane Thompson (5 December 1876 – 21 May 1947) was an English novelist and poet famous for her semi-autobiographical trilogy about the English countryside, Lark Rise to Candleford.Flora benefited from good access to books when the public library opened in Winton, in 1907. Not long after, in 1911, she won an essay competition in The Ladies Companion for a 300-word essay about Jane Austen. She later wrote extensively, publishing short stories and magazine and newspaper articles. She was a keen self-taught naturalist and many of her nature articles were anthologised in 1986.Her most famous works are the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy, which she sent as essays to Oxford University Press in 1938 and which were published soon after. She wrote a sequel Heatherley which was published posthumously. The books are a fictionalised, if autobiographical, social history of rural English life in the late 19th and early 20th century and are now considered minor classics.