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The Mapp and Lucia Novels (1994)

por E. F. Benson

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

Series: Mapp and Lucia (1-6)

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5051836,590 (4.47)30
The complete Lucia, including Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp, The Male Impersonator, Mapp & Lucia, The Worshipful Lucia and Trouble for Lucia., all in one volume.
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» Ver también 30 menciones

Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
"Scrumptious" is a word I've probably never used in my life, but it seems rather apt for this series. E.F. Benson's delectable light comedy is a cross between Austen and Wodehouse, somehow more savage than either and yet more fond of the characters at the same time.

Queen Lucia introduces us to the immortal Emmeline Lucas, renowned for her dinner parties in which she will play the First Movement of the Moonlight Sonata, but will then beg off playing the second and third movements on the grounds that they are more "morning and afternoon" (*cough* she can't quite play them yet *cough). Lucia dominates life, along with her effete best friend Georgie, in their idyllic town of Riseholme, while Lucia in London takes the characters on the road for some urban satire. Miss Mapp, originally a separate novel entirely, shows us the life of the doughty, determined Elizabeth Mapp in the quirky, rather insular town of Tilling. Finally, in Mapp and Lucia, the two women are brought together, two generals in the field, each determined to have complete control of their terrain. Benson would eventually carry on this story in Trouble for Lucia and Lucia's Progress.

This joyous series is light and sparkling, but remains a fantastic break from reality 100 years after the first book was published. The last three novels were famously adapted in the 1980s with Prunella Scales, Nigel Hawthorne, and a career-best Geraldine McEwan in the lead roles. This led to McEwan and Scales releasing the books on tape, which are a real gem if you can find them. (Like Wodehouse, Benson's novels lend themselves to being read aloud.) The books were adapted again for a far shorter miniseries in the 2010s which was well cast but a little over-zealous in my opinion.

Since the 1980s adaptation brought the books back into the culture, several novelists have tried their hand at sequels. Tom Holt's two volumes are well worth reading, but the more recent trilogy by Guy Fraser-Sampson were, to my mind, a complete failure, utterly at odds with Benson's approach.

I was so glad to find this six-volume Folio Society edition from the 1990s, with the original six novels in beautiful cloth-bound hardcover, and elegant illustrations.

A lifelong treat for lovers of this sort of humour. ( )
  therebelprince | Jun 24, 2021 |
Honestly I couldn't think of any better stay-at-home distraction reading than 900+ pages of Benson's delightful tales of small-stakes English country melodramatics. It did the trick perfectly. ( )
1 vota JBD1 | Apr 19, 2020 |
I love these stories. My only complaint is that the book is physically too heavy for light reading. ( )
  raizel | Sep 18, 2017 |
Light weight and very much of their time, these novels follow the social adventures of upper-middle class residents of quiet country villages near London in the period between the wars. Lucia is pretentious and social climbing, but an interesting character study of a woman whose abilities would have taken her in quite different directions in another era. As Nancy Mitford remarks in her introduction, the oddly sexless Georgie Pillson and the rebellious woman painter, Irene, could not be creations of a modern writer. The rise and fall of fads among Lucia's social circle: spiritualism, Ouija boards, yoga, raw food diets, exercise programs and such, reminds us that human nature doesn't change that much, at least among those who have resources and time to devote to hobbies.
  ritaer | Mar 10, 2016 |
Though my favorite Benson is Paying Guests (see my rev), I prepared for it through the Lucia series, a delightful rendering of neighborly interface before neighbors were armed and dangerous. The Lucia novels embrace village life and bourgeoise pretense in exactly the right level of critique and amusement.
One would not suspect them written by the son of an Archbishop of Canterbury--and the founder of the newest English Cathedral, Truro. His siblings followed their father into the church; they were not known for their humor, though the church must require some.
Lucia's coastal town of Tilling [and its summer dynamics, each homeowner moving out to the next lower rent to make way for what Mainers call "the summer complaint") explains any coastal town in New England. The particular dynamics of Tilling are more closed, bounded almost by the town itself--which only adds to our amusement.
The neighborly concern for others' gardens, or tea, or habits, strikes home as a fundamental of human behavior. The great ape knows where, exactly, she is on the pecking order, while the novelist brings exactly that into question. Perhaps only an Archibishop's son could write with such assurance and amusement about pecking order and neighborly intrusion.
I wonder if Benson will ever be "taught." He is too accessible, too apparently simple, and yet doubtless, one of the greatest novelists of the 20th C. Americans will never credit my statement, since they're looking for "serious" lit. I have told them for decades (in classes): the best "serious" lit is humorous--Chaucer, Shakespeare, Moliere, Wycherley, L Sterne, Byron, Austen, Dickens, Twain, Bellow, etc. ( )
1 vota AlanWPowers | Dec 18, 2013 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
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» Añade otros autores (1 posible)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
E. F. Bensonautor principaltodas las edicionescalculado
Ledwidge, NatachaIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Masters, BrianIntroducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Mitford, NancyIntroducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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This is all six (and only six) works in the Mapp & Lucia series (a single volume OR the six volume set containing all six works in the series). Whether a single volume or six volumes, these are the same six works, and, therefore, should be kept combined.

Please do not combine these six-work editions with single editions or editions containing works other than all, and only, the original six by Benson.
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The complete Lucia, including Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp, The Male Impersonator, Mapp & Lucia, The Worshipful Lucia and Trouble for Lucia., all in one volume.

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