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The Complete Mapp & Lucia: Volume One (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

E.F. Benson , Dr Keith Carabine
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Price: £1.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

5 April 2011 Wordsworth Classics

Contains: Queen Lucia; Miss Mapp: Lucia in London


Lucia is one of the great comic characters in English literature. Outrageously pretentious, hypocritical and snobbish, Queen Lucia, ‘as by right divine’ rules over the toy kingdom of ‘Riseholme’ based on the Cotswold village of Broadway. Her long-suffering husband Pepino is ‘her prince-consort’, the outrageously camp Georgie is her ‘gentleman-in-waiting’, the village green is her ‘parliament’, and her subjects, such as Daisy Quantock, are hapless would-be ‘Bolsheviks’. In Lucia in London, the prudish, manically ambitious Lucia launches herself into the louche world of London society. Her earnest determination to learn all about ‘modern movements’ makes her the perfect comic vehicle for Benson’s free-wheeling satire of salon society, and of the dominant fads and movements of the 1920s, including vegetarianism, yoga, palmistry, Freudianism, séances, Post-Impressionist art and Christian Science.


Meanwhile in Tilling, clearly modelled on Benson’s home town of Rye, Miss Mapp consumed by ‘chronic rage and curiosity’ sits at her window, armed with her light-opera glasses keeping baleful watch on her neighbours. ‘Anger and the gravest suspicions about everybody had kept her young and on the boil’: and Benson   transmutes her boiling into a series of small humiliations in his witty, malicious comedy.


In his insightful Introduction Keith Carabine shows that these books are excruciatingly funny because Benson, like Jane Austen, invites the reader to view the world through the self-deluded fabrications and day-dreams of Lucia and the self-deluded chronic anger and jaundiced suspicions of Elisabeth. Carabine also concentrates on the novels’ disturbing, bitchy, ‘camp’ humour whenever ‘that horrid thing which Freud calls sex’ is raised.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Mapp & Lucia: Volume One (Wordsworth Classics) + The Complete Mapp & Lucia: Volume Two (Wordsworth Classics) + Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Series [DVD] (1985-1986)
Price For All Three: £16.48

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions (5 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226737
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle comedy treat 9 July 2011
EF Benson's social comedies are an absolute treat. He manages to keep the reader engaged and amused without resorting to crassness or vulgarity. The characters are marvellous and engaged in a social war of attrition for supremacy in their social circles. Musical evenings, tableaux vivants, daily shopping and rubbers of bridge are the settings for witty observations and acerbic put downs. Lucia herself is an absolute joy, and even though she is vain. pretentious and affected, we somehow are still on her side as she ploughs through the Moonlight Sonata in her pseudo-Elizabethan Manor with her acolyte Georgie. Set in a long gone pre-War world of parlour maids, steam trams and local shops, nevertheless I suspect most of us are related to or work with people very similar to the chatelaines of Riseholme and Tilling. A great read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing favourite 12 Jun 2013
I read a review saying these novels were being reprinted, and for Christmas I asked for volume 1 to see if I would like it. I was horrified that I was given all six volumes....what if I didn't like then? Found them unreadable? No worries. I was engrossed from the start, and have ever since wanted a house overlooking the village green so that I could watch everyone scurrying around. And all six volumes were read in such a short time! Those who have only seen the TV series miss out on Lucias ruling of Riseholme, and of her domination of the village, and totally lose the skill of Bensons dominating heroine.
Read them all and enjoy them all
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten world 11 Dec 2013
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I enjoyed the Mapp & Lucia books many years ago and also the videos. When I saw that Amazon have the whole first series into one volume I simply had to get it.
Yes they are dated. Maybe that adds to their charm. The smiles come thick and fast even for the sillier situations. For me they have worn well.Recommended by me !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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Got volume one and two for my mother who loved the TV series Mapp And Lucia Collection - The Complete 1st & 2nd Series [DVD]. Her verdict is that they are wonderfully entertaining books and a real treasure. She especially loved the foreword telling her about the background to the books and their basis in real places and people. In her opinion the books are better than the series (as is almost always the case) but she pays tribute to the actors in the TV series in getting the spirit of the characters spot on. She is a very discriminating reader and it was great to find something she likes this much. The only niggle is that the size of the print is a bit small, but given the price and that they include all the Mapp and Lucia books I really couldn't mark them down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good stories 11 Dec 2013
By Itanale
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These are so much fun to read after seeing the TV series. I recommend them to anyone. The service to the US was great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 15 Mar 2014
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I really enjoyed reading the stories. They made me smile and cheered me up during this wet winter. Very good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book. 18 Jan 2014
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Saw the series on TV years ago, visited Rye but had never read the books. Enjoyed the book very much. Also bought volume two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 14 July 2013
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I bought it for a friend, having read and re-read the complete canon over the years. It must be among the funniest things I have ever read.
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