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Complete Mapp and Lucia is the entire collection of Mapp and Lucia stories by E F BensonAnd features the following novelsueen LuciaMiss MappThe Male ImpersonatorLucia in LondonMapp and LuciaLucia’s ProgressTrouble for LuciaThe novels feature humorous incidents in the lives of mainly upper middle class British people in the 1920s and 1930s vying for social prestige and one upmanship in an atmosphere of extreme cultural snobbery Several of them are set in the small seaside town of Tilling closely based on Rye East Sussex where Benson lived for a number of years and like Lucia served as mayorLucia previously lived at Riseholme based on Broadway Worcestershire from where she brought to Tilling her celebrated recipe for Lobster à la Riseholme

10 thoughts on “Make Way for Lucia

  1. says:

    E F Benson apparently had two obsessions ghost stories and high society with an unrelenting hatred of social climbers The distant rumbles of Bolshevism and the nearer at home threat of Black Shirts and incipient Nazis don't stir him to the heat of indignation that he reserves for middle class people pretending to a rank to which they are not entitled; a great many of his short stories are savage satires of bumptious mushrooms trying to shoulder their way into society to the extent of certain plots being revisited repeatedlyHis stories about the tempests in the teapots of Riseholme and Tilling are not silver fork novels The denizens of these two towns all have cooks and maids but the people are decidedly bourgeois and get flustered in the presence of noble titles whether the humans wearing the titles deserve it or not There is nothing silver fork about the gleefully funny satire of Mrs Poppit returning in triumph to Tilling with her Order of the British Empire and her description of her triumphant visit to the king and ueenThe Lucia and Mapp stories are twenties and thirties English comedy of manners whereas his early novel about Dodo was very much in the silver fork tradition In fact in some ways I think Mapp and Lucia define twenties and thirties comedies of manners in a way that even Noel Coward didn't uite achieve judging by the number of references I've picked up in collections of letters memoirs diaries and the occasional obscure reference in a cozy mystery or other type of novel of the periodI end up taking these out and rereading them whenever like now I've got a cold and can't wrap my brain around anything else but I've reread all my Austens and PG Wodehouse too recentlyI also don't read them all the way through For example I usually skip over Lucia in London which is an entire novel about Lucia playing the snob and being made fun of behind her back I can only stand humiliation stories if I have no sympathy whatever with the victim and I like silly Lucia who does have a good heart in the clinch too much to enjoy her being slow roasted by this smug collection of duchesses and countesses And the ultimate chapter view spoiler which plot Benson reuses several times in his short stories in which a homosexual society journalist is tricked into the bedroom of a social climber who is actually uite prudish hide spoiler

  2. says:

    I've read this one several times whenever I need something to cheer me up it's this or Agatha Christie Not that they're remotely the same The Benson books are hilarious witty and nasty Perfect

  3. says:

    I have just finished rereading the complete Mapp and Lucia series and though I would have thought it beyond the bounds of possibility I enjoyed it even second time around There are six books in the series seven counting the included short story Whilst each is stand alone they are best read in seuence and what pure delight there is in store for those at the start of this hilarious immersion into middle class small town England Though the Great War is only just behind them the people of Riseholme and Tilling give it not a thought so deeply mired are they in the trench warfare of their own declaration The generals are Miss Mapp and Mrs Lucas Lucia The war they wage is for social dominance their battlefields are the gardens and parlours of decorous Elizabethan and ueen Anne homes their skirmishes are fought over recipes for red currant fool and Lobster “a la Riseholme” over the veracity of one’s teeth or one’s spoken Italian or one’s visiting Indian guru and endless other matters so trivial as to be normally hardly worth mentioning but which obsessively occupy the minds of Tilling and Riseholme with invariably complicated comical conseuences A victory is inevitably followed by a defeat which is the spur to fresh strategic campaigns and reprisals EF Benson lived in Rye the fictional Tilling in “Lamb House” Miss Mapp’s fictional “Mallards” The town is as uaint and “delicious” as its fictional inhabitants believe it to be as can be seen on Street map; sadly what cannot there be seen is spherical Diva whirring from shop to shop Miss Mapp wreathed in awful smiles Major Benjy infuriated at the sight of camp Georgie “Miss Milliner” gaily tripping down the high street Lucia being maddeningly condescending to her subjects all of them furious at being held up once again by dear Susan’s enormous Royce and all of them voraciously and maliciously gossiping They are insufferable snobs dreadful hypocrites unerringly selfish and completely self centred and I love them so so much Au reservoir

  4. says:

    I'm adding this book years after I read it but certain cherished passages inevitably recur in my fading memory especially as I'm now reading Saki and Sōseki's I Am A CatFor years I sniffed at Benson's Lucia novels somehow imagining that I was above them that they were the sort of thing old ueens who loved Ronald Firbank would read Well maybe they are – but I was wrong about myself When I pick up this doorstop of a book I can only echo the Foreword by Anne Parrish although my copies are warped from falling into brooks and baths and their pages dotted with semi transparencies from buttery crumbs that have fallen on them from tea times I cannot exhaust their freshness In my case the pages are wrinkled stained from juicy burgers at Hot Hunky dabs of wasabi and vinaigrette from the salad bar at Harvest MarketWhich is to say these tales are addictive – and lucky is the soul who wanders into their uintessentially English pages because she is in for hours and hours of pure malicious merriment At 1119 pages it wasn't long enough

  5. says:

    These books present a uintessential fishbowl view of early 20th century priveleged English village life The characters are so well drawn that they're almost caricatures They become family; they make you crazy sometimes but just when you're ready to kick them out they endear themselves in a way that makes you want to hug them to your chest instead These are literally ha that sounds like a pun some of my favorite books I would take them to that proverbial desert island with me

  6. says:

    The GR description of this book is incorrect this is NOT the stage adaptation but is an omnibus edition of the complete 6 novels in the Lucia series as written by EF Benson

  7. says:

    I absolutely love this book It is actually a compilation of 7 stories about Lucia and Miss Mapp The first two stories are about Lucia which I didn't get too much out of But when Miss Mapp enters the story in book three it becomes the most hilarious book I've ever read It takes place in a small British hamlet and covers the lives of certain individuals who live in the town The busybody Miss Mapp is the center of the story and I have never laughed so much as when I read about her adventures She is a spy just like me Always checking on her neighbors to see what they are up to I can't recommend this book enough

  8. says:

    My life would have been much sadder had this book these books really not have been in it Went so far as to go on a pilgrimage to Tilling itself where I learnt exactly how Mapp was able to spy on Lucia from the church steeple

  9. says:

    Georgie held her hand a moment longer than was usual and gave it a little extra pressure for the conveyance of sympathy Lucia to acknowledge that pressed a little and Georgie tightened his grip again to show that he understood until their respective fingernails grew white with the conveyance and reception of sympathy It was rather agonizing because a bit of skin on his little finger had got caught between two of the rings on his third finger and he was glad when they uite understood each otherAnd that in a nutshell is the world of Lucia Make Way For Lucia is the consolidation of all six of Benson’s books approximately half of which are set in Riseholme based on a town in Worcestershire and half in Tilling which is Rye So it’s a monstrous thing once combined and mine sits beside my bed like a Gideon bible I can pick it up any time start reading anywhere and know exactly where I am and usually what’s going to happen Because I read it and read it and read it I buy it whenever I see it in a used bookstore and give it to someone I have to be careful because not everyone is going to run with it BecauseThere is nothing of import that ever goes on There are no children There are no poor at least not that we see No one has a job No one is particularly nice absolutely no one is selfless and everyone is frantically curious about what everyone else is doing They garden they gossip they have tableaux they host themed dinner parties and when they get bored they bring in a swami or an opera singer to stay They are not really supposed to be realistic portraits though they’re not caricatures It is one of the most delightful ways to pass the time you could dream up It is everything I think to do with Benson’s homosexuality and his Englishness and thus his scathing but generous wit and his endlessly inventive ways to talk about the same thing and make it humorous all over again I couldn’t imagine a straight man able or willing to write this book nor even necessarily a woman although there is that British Club of Splendid Women of a certain age that could likely pull it off Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym spring to mind The opening paragraph is uintessentially Benson and I think it’s funny as stink This is a desert island book for sure and certainMy copy is about a four pound trade paperback and although I could replace it with a hardcover I found in a bookstore I’m sentimentally attached to this copy I loaned it to a friend once and she reached over to pick it up off the floor and ripped the cover off like tearing the wing off a bird She confessed it to me right away but she had trouble doing so because she found it all so funny She still finds it very funny and it’s been years I still do not find it funny The cover is back on with VERY YELLOW cello tape Kathy I’m talking to you Still not funny

  10. says:

    Mapp and Lucia The Complete Series contains all six of the Lucia novels which are also compiled under the title Make Way for Lucia The novels needless to say are excellent particularly the first four You'll laugh out loudThis Kindle anthology contains no table of contents and is otherwise uite difficult to navigate The font very difficult to read is one I haven't seen since the days of IBM Selectric typewriters Considering Mapp and Lucia The Complete Series cost a mere 99 cents it's OK but don't expect the usual Kindle uality In fact every free Kindle book I've gotten has been of higher uality Caveat emptor