Flambards by K.M. Peyton

The Past v The Future

Flambards by K.M. Peyton is a marvellous YA historical novel. It is perfect for ages twelve and above.

I first read Flambards at school when I was thirteen, many years ago. I really enjoyed it then and I really enjoyed it now. It is a timeless classic for all to enjoy.

Flambards is set between 1908 – 1912. It is a time of change and progress. Horse drawn carriages will soon be a thing of the past. Whilst some cling to the old order of things, others embrace the change that will come with cars and planes as they are admired. “She felt humbled by their faith, excited by their courage…”

The social status will soon change with the advent of World War I but for now the old order of masters and servants exists. The forward thinking, kind hearted leading lady is just twelve as the book opens but she is remarkably perceptive. “People should earn their place and not be born into it.” She sees hearts and not wealth and social status.

Flambards is a house but not a happy one. It is ruled by a tyrannical bitter and crippled uncle/father. He rules with a black heart and a belt buckle. The darkness of Flambards is contrasted with a happy household. “It truly did shine, with kindliness, reason and light. By contrast Flambards seemed all darkness, violence and ignorance.”

Horses are a way of life at Flambards. The father/uncle and one of his sons are obsessed with them. In contrast the other son is obsessed with planes. Planes will bring freedom and are the future. This view is opposed by his father who ignores his one son completely.

K.M. Peyton paints the scenes with her words. The novel is very atmospheric.

Flambards is every bit as fabulous as I found it forty plus years ago. It is perfect for any age.


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