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Was a member if the now-defunct "Tilling Society", based in Rye, Sussex, where Fred lived for many years, and which is immortalised in the Mapp & Lucia novels as "Tilling".
Have a website devoted to the TV version of "Mapp & Lucia":
and my collection of Benson books can be accessed here:
Look forward to many interesting discussions here in the future.
I'm Julia, originally from Chicago, now a Londoner for the last two years. I've read and re-read all the Mapp and Lucia books, as well as Tom Holt's books. Right now I have the Dodo Omnibus in my to-read pile. Any opinions on that book?
I'm a Londoner myslef, though I have also lived in Paris and Abu Dhabi at different times.
I have read Dodo itself, but am not familiar with the omnibus. What else is in it?
Incidentally, I don't know if you are familiar with the story of what happend when Benson was finally embrassed by his friends into writing to apologise to the society hostess on whom everybody knew (though he denied it) he had based the character of Dodo. In a response worthy of Lucia she wrote: "Dear Mr Benson, have you written a book? I had no idea. How clever of you." This was all the more witty as Dod had been a massive best-seller and all of London was talking about it.
Guy, did you invite tiffin? She is a super fan of E.F.Benson.
The Mapp and Lucia books are the only Benson works that I've read so far. I can see that I'll have to look into the others: I shall be particularly interested to sample the ghost stories.
105 By What Authority? by Robert Hugh Benson (read in fall of 1942)
200 Queen Victoria, by E. F. Benson (read 14 July 1945)
202 Queen Victoria's Daughters, by E. F. Benson (read 25 July 1945)
1140 Abraham Lincoln, by Godfrey Rathbone Benson Lord Charnwood (read 25 Nov 1971)
2858 Confessions of a Convert, by Robert Hugh Benson (read 7 Apr 1996)
3804 Mother, by E. F. Benson (read 18 Sep 2003)
3817 Final Edition, by E. F. Benson (read 24 Oct 2003)
3923 Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson (read 19 Aug 2004)
3943 Come Rack! Come Rope! by Robert Hugh Benson (read 11 Oct 2004)
4053 Hugh Memoirs of a Brother, by Arthur Christopher Benson (read 3 Aug 2005)
I know, or presume, No. 1140 does not belong in this list, but I have not deleted it since maybe there is some connection to the Benson family to which E.F. belongs?
And no, there are lots of US members here already. In fact, I am beginning to think there may be more E.F. Benson fans in the States than in England. Perhaps the TV series was shown over there?
You can't beat English comedies of manners. In their own way, Richmal Crompton's William stories (stick with the 1920s-1930s collections) complement Lucia remarkably well!
I picked up my first Mapp and Lucia book at a library seconds sale just because I had vaguely remembered seeing the series on PBS. The woman running the sale turned out to be a fan, and she gushed over my choice. After reading the first one, I went on line and purchased the rest of the series, then the two books previously mentioned. His other books are not always that available, and not up to M&L standars, but they are good reads.
I tried to get my friends to read the books, but for the most part they read only NYT best sellers, so I enjoyed them all by myself (except for the library woman, who always reminds me that she remembers my purchase) until LT when a member contacted me after seeing my catalog where all the books received 5 stars, and we emailed back and forth a couple of times.
I haven't re-read the series yet, as I'm always on something else, but they're on my bookshelf, and I know that when I need something to brighten my say, M&L are there waiting.
I look forward to reading posts.
I first read Benson's "Queen Lucia" in 1997, and since then I've been hooked. They're some of the select few books I own that I periodically re-read.
I live in Chicago! I'm a married, sometime-writer semi-artistic type. My main hobby is lolling around the house. My goal is to one day be a housewife so that I can loll around full-time.
The Dodo Omnibus includes Dodo, Dodo the Second, and Dodo Wonders. I haven't read it yet, but it's near the top of my tbr pile.
I love the Mapp and Lucia books - they're are, in fact, the only books I've ever re-read. Aside from those, the only other E.F. Benson book I've read is The Blotting Book, although my library also contains As We Were, An Autumn Sowing, Desirable Residences, Mrs Ames, Secret Lives and The Freaks of Mayfair. For those of you who've read far more E.F. Benson than I have, which of those should I move to the top of my TBR pile?
I'm more of a Wodehouse fan than a Tillingite, really, but I do enjoy the Mapp/Lucia stories, and get a lot of pleasure out of my Folio Society set.
I love the Mapp and Lucia books and own them and the TV series on DVD. My next goal is to get hold of the 2 books by Tom Holt!
Are M&L anything like Woodehouse? Those I have read - my next cat will be named Empress of Blandings.
It might be a little misleading to compare Fred to Wodehouse because the humour is very different. Imagine a rather camp, bitchy Jane Austen looking out of his living room window and creating little acid drops about his neighbours ...
Won't that be rather confusing for the poor thing? If it grows to the size of the Empress, I think you might need to reinforce your sofa a bit. Wouldn't "Webster" be a safer bet?
- from Universehall, who is also Serena Lomond on the Yahoo group.
I have got an old Penguin of EFB's memoirs on my tbr shelf. That can wait.
For those embarking on the M&L books, could I recommend starting with Miss Mapp? Queen Lucia can be rather hard going and you can always come back to that and Lucia in London later.
With membership of this group I can foresee a new obsession looming - I'll get hooked and have to read everything by E.F. Benson. There are obviously lots of treats in store.
I'm interested in the Corvo connection with his brother that benwaugh mentions, too.
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