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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the whole mapp from a to z
I am reviewing this edition which is the only complete single volume edition of the novels of E F Benson regarding Elizabeth Mapp and Emmaline Lucas. These stories concern two Edwardian ladies of leasure who dominate their respective towns until in the fourth novel they clash when Lucia moves to Miss Mapp's Tilling. The TV and radio adaptations focussed on this clash, and...
Published on 1 Jan 2011 by barbicandy

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bargain, bargain, bargain
I have been wanting to replace my set of Lucia books for years, ever since I loaned them and never saw them again. But with a series of books this deliciously naughty I guess I'm not surprised.

If you haven't tried them and love high camp, bitchy, snobby, hysterically funny, British froth from the 20's and 30's you'll be in heaven. And to get all six books for...
Published 23 months ago by Timbo


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bargain, bargain, bargain, 14 Aug 2012
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I have been wanting to replace my set of Lucia books for years, ever since I loaned them and never saw them again. But with a series of books this deliciously naughty I guess I'm not surprised.

If you haven't tried them and love high camp, bitchy, snobby, hysterically funny, British froth from the 20's and 30's you'll be in heaven. And to get all six books for 77p is beyond a deal!

Be warned though, the supplied type size is unimaginably tiny - so you'll need to dust off your Kindle instructions to make it readable. But for this money that's a small price to pay.

They don't write 'em like this any more.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the whole mapp from a to z, 1 Jan 2011
I am reviewing this edition which is the only complete single volume edition of the novels of E F Benson regarding Elizabeth Mapp and Emmaline Lucas. These stories concern two Edwardian ladies of leasure who dominate their respective towns until in the fourth novel they clash when Lucia moves to Miss Mapp's Tilling. The TV and radio adaptations focussed on this clash, and the less well known earlier stories of their separate empires are equally amusing. At slightly over 900 pages this is a serious volume and readers of less muscular forearms may find the Penguin two volume edition more to their liking. I struggle to describe these books to anyone who has not read them and "a camp P G Wodehouse" is the best I can manage. Like Wodehouse he was much admired by other writers, such as Nancy Mitford and Noel Coward and Miss Mitford captures something in her short preface in which she says of the characters "none of them could be described as estimable, and they are certainly not very interesting, yet they are fascinated by each other and we are fascinated by them." Their obsession with one another's status and doings do ensnare us, just as much as Wodehouse's characters attempts to secure and avoid matrimony. They are dated and of their time, with their servants and "listening in" of the radio, but that is part of their charm.
New to lovers of the TV series will be the narratorial voice, with which Benson describes how the new additions to the Lucas house can be distinguished by the way that they look so much older than the Elizabethan stem onto which they have been grafted; exactly what fussy little Georgie Pillson does when he is "busy indoors" and the way that "anger and the gravest suspicions about everybody" had kept Miss Mapp "young and on the boil".
My one quibble is with the cover illustration which isn't the way I imagine these three characters at all.
Oh and don't confuse this with the play of the same title please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accents, 16 Jan 2013
This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
The EF Benson novels need no recommendation. The Mapp and Lucia novels are a delicious confection of wit and social anxiety: Benson has created his own world for us to delight in.
One small quibble: the Kindle edition produces strange sequences of characters every time it meets a French accent. As Georgie would say, "How tarsome!"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the books under one (rather large) cover, 19 Jan 2010
By 
Meerkat (Dereham, Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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Hooray! Now I have them all in one place. The summary of the books (above) sums them up perfectly - they have a charm about them that is certainly partly to do with the era in which they were set, and partly to do with the characters that inhabit them. Mapp and Lucia are not at all likeable characters taken out of context. In context they are extraordinary women who clash like the titans of small town provincial England that they are. Each one gains ascendancy time and again, dashing the other under foot, only to be ousted in her turn.
I can entirely recommend these books, but find it hard to sum up why - read and decide for yourself is what I would say.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb fun, 4 Feb 2014
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
Wonderfully observed, self-deluding bitchiness and competition. Quite addictive. A bit like eating too many Pringles - you know it's not doing you any real good, but....just one more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vastly Entertaining, 12 April 2014
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
This edition of the Mapp and Lucia books has an active table of contents, and as well as giving us the six complete novels in order, we also have here a short story as well. I should point out that the original texts have been scanned here, and on occasion some words do appear as a mix of letters and symbols, one being manoeuvre, but you can quite easily decipher what the words are. This only happens on occasions, and in the whole this is perfectly okay to read.

The first book here, Queen Lucia, shows us Mrs Lucas, otherwise known as Lucia, in her home in the village of Riseholme, where she reigns at the head as the leader of all that is cultural in the arts. In the second book, Miss Mapp, we meet Miss Mapp, who tries to reign at the top of the social sphere in the small town of Tilling. The third book, Lucia in London takes us on the rise of Lucia in the social circles of London. From there the next three books take us through what happens in Tilling, where Lucia decides to set up home after the death of her husband. At the end we have the short story, The Male Impersonator, which chronologically should really appear with the book Miss Mapp.

So why does this series of books remain so popular? Actually that is quite easy to answer for someone coming to these for the first time; imagine a long running sit-com presented in book form, and you literally have what this series of books are. Indeed you can even name characters in sit-coms over the years that correspond in one part or another to characters in this book. Also quite daringly for the time these were first published, there are even a couple of gay characters. You have Georgie, vain of his looks, dying his hair and having a comb-over, thus moving on to owning a toupee, whilst sitting quietly doing his embroidery. And you have Irene, the rather manly artist, who takes rather a liking to Lucia.

All the characters are well drawn, the environments they inhabit and the description of homes and places are also well done, and each book is chock full of comic incident. With social climbing, one-upmanship, snobbery, and misunderstandings you also have fake gurus and mediums. In all if you do decide to download this you will have six novels and one short story that will give you endless comic entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny., 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
I've never seen the TV series, and now I'm glad I haven't, though I will buy the DVD when I've read all the books. So far, I've read 'Queen Lucia' and the first few chapters of 'Miss Mapp'. The author has two 'heroines' of his stories that are neither wholly likeable nor wholly dislikeable. The reader is constantly changing their minds about the characters, as they, and thus the reader, skip from incident to incident. The characters are strangely modern considering the times in which they live, I have known people with just their characteristics even if in a weaker form. the characters inhabit a middle-class world that has now disappeared, where to be 40 is middle-aged, and where people live off the returns from their investments in quite some comfort; no one seems to have paid work, and household servants seem common even in small households. The humour in this book is sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, and always thoroughly enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucia rocks, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
Lucia and Miss Mapp rock their respective worlds with a combination of blind ambition, assertiveness and complete and utter disregard for anyone else's views or opinions. They each have complete and utter belief in their own rights to be queen of their respective kingdoms and when they inevitably clash the Edwardian sparks fly. These fantastic novels are superbly written with a rare insight into human nature ,particularly that of the female of the species ( the males being by and large pretty much irrelevant) and feature laugh out loud episodes of the highest quality, also allowing us a fascinating insight into the social climbing mores and shenanigans of early 20th century England. Not to be missed .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very nostalgic, 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
Beautifully written with good research. It is good to read it after seeing the excelent TV series. Knowing Rye which it is based on makes it even more enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll over Wodehouse, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: THE COMPLETE LUCIA VICTRIX: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON, MAPP AND LUCIA, TROUBLE FOR LUCIA (Annotated and With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Edition)
If you enjoy the work of PG Wodehouse but prefer your female characters to occupy centre stage then you will love E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia stories. Each one is a finely honed gem of comic observation of middle class middle English life with all its snobbery and pretension told with a fondness that tempers the cynicism.
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