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Mapp & Lucia (Prion Humour Classics) Hardcover – February 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Make Way For Lucia Series

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Editorial Reviews


"No matter how appalling, malicious and pretentious the behaviour of Lucia, the reader is always lured into a sense of affectionate complicity with this comic monster."  —Daily Telegraph

"Bitchily observant."  —Independent

"Sparkles with wicked wit."  —Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Mrs. Emmeline Lucas (Lucia to her friends) is the recently-widowed newcomer to the village of Tilling, eager to wrest the reins of social supremacy from the incumbent Miss Elizabeth Mapp and to install herself as its benevolent dictator. In their polite acts of sabotage, as they ruthlessly jockey for the position of cultural arbiter, Mapp and Lucia tear up the conventions of drawing-room diplomacy and enter a protracted conflict using fêtes, garden parties, musical soirées, and bridge evenings as their deadly weapons. Things finally come to a head with Miss Mapp¹s audacious attempt to steal her rival¹s celebrated recipe for Lobster à la Riseholme. With a charming satirical bent, E.F. Benson turns the pretensions and snobberies of English village life into a deliciously wicked comedy. E.F. Benson (1867­1940) was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury and a member of a distinguished and eccentric family. He wrote more than 100 books but is best remembered for his Lucia novels, written between 1920 and 1939.

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Product Details

  • Series: Prion Humour Classics
  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Prion (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853753904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853753909
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,470,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CodeMaster Talon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I've read in E.F. Benson's "Lucia" series, and it is fun-filled ride indeed. For Benson novices, Lucia Lucas is a middle aged, recently widowed (in this novel), perfectly nice upper middle class woman who just happens to have the mind of Machavelli. Missing her obvious calling for World Domination, she is instead content to rule the social life of her small English village with an iron fist. As "Mapp and Lucia" begins however, Lucia has long since deposed any serious threat to her social dominance in her immediate vicinity, and decides fresher pastures are in order. She packs up her things (including , of course, best friend and right-hand-man Georgie) and moves to Tilling, where she expects she will be made society Queen in no time flat. Unfortunately for Lucia, Tilling already has a Queen, one Elizabeth Mapp, and she has no intention of relinquishing her crown.
The scene is thus set for a true Battle Royal, only in Tilling the battelfields are luncheons and dinner parties, and the weapons fruit gardens and lobster recipes. The results are very very funny, as the genteel of Tilling spend a breathless year thoroughly enjoying each swipe, snub and put down. The hilarious climax has our heroines floating out to sea on an overturned kitchen table, with Lucia's last audible words promising delicious gossip just as soon as she gets out of her current mess.
Benson draws his characters exquisitely well, I found myself flat out liking her. She is an Englishwomen of the 1930's, past her prime but still youthful, who just happens to be blessed (cursed?) with the personality of an Alpha Male.
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Format: Hardcover
Oover the last fifteen years I have been meaning to read certain authors. H.E. Bates, Anthony Trollope, P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson and the like.
Last week I succumbed to a nasty bout of influenza and E.F. Benson. I had grabbed the slender volume of "Mapp & Lucia" from the library shelf and it had rested in my bookcase for almost a week. Not wanting to dull my brain with endless hours of television, I cracked open "Mapp & Lucia".
Ten pages into the book and I was hooked. Lucia, her period of mourning almost over is looking to regain her iron control on her hometown. First action, regain her star role as Queen Elizabeth in the village fete.
As I read Lucia's plots and plans, a strange thought hit me. Lucia is the creature Hyacinth Bucket (the main character of the BBC's Keeping Up Appearances) secretly dreams of being. Having taken over the fete from her dazed and confused friend, Lucia goes onto greater pastures, the hometown of Miss Elizabeth Mapp, reigning social goddesss.
Miss Elizabeth Mapp (known as Mapp) plots with her friends to rent out their respective homes a profit. Lucia and her best friend (a gentleman who brings to mind a cross between KUA's Richard and AYBS Mr Humphries) move and slowly begin to take over the town. Mapp is not pleased and a genteel war of one-upsmanship begins between the two ladies.
Drawings are rejected from the art exhibit, parties given, ownership of produce and fruit desputed with the poor town in the middle. Matters come to a head on Boxing Day (December 26) when Mapp decides to steal a longed for recipe that Lucia refuses to give to her.
Lucia stumbles on her rival in the kitchen and both women are swept out to sea on Lucia's kitchen table (yes, Lucia's kitchen table, this is a not a mis-type).
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Format: Paperback
"Mapp & Lucia" is like reading Trollope's "Barchester Towers" with the gloves off. The teacup may be small, but the battles rumble like thunder on the bay. Lucia is incredible. She combines absolute self-absorption with ironclad charming resolve to succeed in her every endeavor. She really is wasted being queen of Society in a small English village when fulfilling the duties of Lord High Admiral would not cause her so much as a tiny frown.
Lucia is a newly minted widow in this hilarious outing. Her fires have been banked, and she is anxious to get back in the swing and show her mettle. She rents a house for the summer from the formidable Miss Elizabeth Mapp of Tilling. Miss Mapp is clearly the leader of society in Tilling and revels in her role. Lucia eyes the situation, and the lines are drawn in the most charming but resolute way possible Lucia is the richer of the two and possibly more clever, but Miss Mapp has some powerful advantages of her own. She has pride of place, a town full of quaking allies, and indomnable perseverance. When these two square off, the fun begins and doesn't let up.
This is a delightful read, a mood lifter of the first magnitude. "Mapp & Lucia" is my introduction to Lucia, and I cannot wait to further my acquaintance with this fascinating lady.
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer
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Format: Paperback
Ten years ago a friend suggested that if I were short of reading material I could do no better than to pick up a copy of 'Queen Lucia' - the first in a series of six 'Lucia' books. I ignored his advice but, fortunately for me, several months ago I experienced an attack of extremely good sense, bought the first book and have never looked back. 'Mapp and Lucia' (PLEASE read the three books preceding this one!!) will introduce you to the most disagreeable, ridiculous, shallow, narrow-minded, scheming, snobbish, frightful, venomous, adorable group of middle-class English ladies (not forgetting Mr Georgie Pilson) that you are EVER likely to meet. Every chapter oozes poison and I lapped it up. At the end of 'Trouble For Lucia' - the sixth and final book - it was most painful having to say 'au reservoir' to all my delightful new friends in Tilling. 'Mapp and Lucia' is arguably the best of the six but...it'll be so much fun making your own mind up!
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