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Queen Lucia [Paperback]

E. F. Benson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Sep 2010
An unabridged edition of Benson's 1920 classic -

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Product details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Watchmaker Publishing (3 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603863621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603863629
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The first book in the outrageously funny Mapp and Lucia series

About the Author

Edward Francis Benson was born in 1867 and educated at King's College, Cambridge. Mayor of Rye from 1934 to 1937, Benson was awarded the O.B.E. and made an Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. E. F. Benson died in 1940.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Queen Lucia emerges. 29 Jun 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known in her community as Lucia, "reigns supreme over the affairs of Riseholme". Riseholme is a one main street village in rural England in the year 1920. The "affairs of Riseholme" involve leisured eccentrics who devote their energies and time to the favorite pastimes, hobbies, fads and fancies of the day. It is Lucia's role as leader to take responsibility for heightening an awareness and questing for greater cultural richness. Not that she admits to this, even to herself. "You all work me to death," she usually says, when a new opportunity for leading a crusade or instigating a new field of cultural endeavor presents itself.
Of course, Lucia's stance provokes great rivalry. Riseholmeites do not so much relate to each other as try to put each other down. Many are put down, and many fall down when they tread on those metaphorical banana skins that fate seems to spread before those who are absurdly over-ambitious
Using this material, E F Benson, begins an inter-related series of novels with this one in 1920. He devises an almost mock-heroic quality in the telling of his tale. Benson makes us aware that no great legendary conqueror gave as much thought and weight to the planning of a military conquest as do the Riseholmeites to the consideration of who to invite for afternoon tea.
The result is gentle satire and great fun from beginning to end. Not a day, not an hour, passes in Riseholme without plots being hatched, news being sought, and allegiances being formed.
I don't recommend that you present this book as a gift to you football-playing, beer-swilling, macho male friends and relations. It is for those who enjoy the word spinning of an Oscar Wilde, mixed with the sophistication of a Noel Coward.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Emmeline Lucas, known as Lucia to all her friends, rules the little English town of Riseholm with her (very few) words of Italian, her social and cultural snobbery, and her charming ability to always come up on top. But rebellion is in the wind and even Lucia's social lieutenant, Georgie, wonders whether the prime position always has to be Lucia's...

Full of the mosr marvellous characters, hysterical situations and sublime writing, this is like Waugh, Wodehouse and Mitford all rolled into one and set amongst the English small town middle classes. Benson never misses a nuance and yet makes his characters completely loveable at the same time as we laugh at them, sometimes with tears of horror.

This is the first of a six book series and they really do need to be read it order - utterly wonderful, this is one of my go-to books whenever I need a pick-up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genteel curiosity 17 Mar 2009
If you love the Mapp and Lucia stories, even if you came to them from the television adaptations, then this early story about Lucia, long before she was mapped on Londonised, is a treat and an early lesson in pure ENglish snobbery. To enjoy and relish.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Gossiping Fun! 30 May 2004
I just love EF Benson's world created for his characters Mapp & Lucia. Tilling (& Riseholme of course) just make you want to laugh out loud (and I usually do!)
If you want an easy read but one that also tells you a lot about the human condition this is for you. Ideal for holiday reading and when you're feeling fed up. If this doesn't help you smile I'd be surprised if anything will!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful Aubrey Woods 12 April 2012
Format:Audio Cassette|Verified Purchase
I have at last managed to trace the wonderful man who read the Mapp and Lucia books in the 1980s on BBC radio 4. In my opinion
this version is vastly superior to any subsequent versions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light, frothy, sparkling entertainment 26 Jan 2011
Queen Lucia introduces the village of Riseholme, its inhabitants and, most importantly, Lucia Lucas who presides over Riseholme's social scene as benevolent dictator. In this first installment in the series, Lucia's unspoken sovreignty comes under threat from an Indian guru, a Russian medium and a celebrated opera singer and we see how she deals with these attempts, whether intentional or not, to go against the status quo.

The appeal of Queen Lucia is explained rather well by Olga Bracely: `Oh, it's all so delicious!' she said. `I never knew before how terribly interesting little thingswere. It's all wildly exciting, and there are fifty things going on just as exciting. Is it all of you who take such a tremendous interest in them that makes them so absorbing, or is it that they are absorbing in themselves and ordinary dull people, not Riseholmites, don't see how exciting they are? (pp. 258-259) It is a novel about little things that happen and are only made interesting by the way in which the entertaining cast of characters treat them.

Lucia reminded me of no one so much as Mrs Elton from Jane Austen's Emma: she is shallow, snobbish, pretentious and completely convinced of her own importance. In other words, she should be a rather unpleasant character but is absolutely delicious to read about as she lords it over her friends. The only facet of her character which I didn't particularly enjoy was her fondness for baby talk with the men in her life; self-importance and snobbery, while irritating traits in real life, can be made great fun to read about, but adults trying to sound like infants is something that I will always find annoying.

Riseholme's other inhabitants are equally as obsessed with social climbing, though in different ways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 11 days ago by Daid I Atcheson
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously entertaining
I don't really understand why it took me so long to get around to reading this. All the reviews that I have read of this book, and indeed the whole sequence of stories, have been... Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Brydon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listen
E F Benson is a wonderful writer and this series is most enjoyable and well read by Prunella Scales - splendid!
Published 10 months ago by Happy Buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucia reigns!
Another wonderful Lucia story, as good as the rest.
I hope I can find more that I haven't heard of yet.
Published 14 months ago by Trixie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good voice
Very nicely read, good accent for it ,shame that the CDs end so abruptly in the middle of a sentence or word!
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by Rhea Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming, gentle comedy
In the small English village of Riseholme, Mrs Lucas, more commonly known as Lucia (pronounced the Italian way), rules and the rest of the village follow where she leads. Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2011 by H. M. Holt
4.0 out of 5 stars A Funny Delightful Opener Of What Promises To Be A Great Series
As `Queen Lucia' opens we meet the title character, real name Mrs Emmeline Lucas, as she rejects the fly that her husband Peppino has sent for her and send it home with just her... Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2010 by Simon Savidge Reads
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh rapture
EF Benson cannot be bested. Once again his characters live and squabble in the political and domestic .hotbeds of Tilling. Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2009 by Lazy Kipper
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