- Audio CD: 3 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition edition (5 May 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405509627
- ISBN-13: 978-1405509626
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Queen Lucia (Mapp and Lucia) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD
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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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Top Customer Reviews
With George ‘Georgie’ Pillson as Lucia’s second in command we see our main protagonist act like a general in charge of the field as she plots to stay at the top of the local society, with everyone else kowtowing to her. Always a pleasure to read this is packed full of comedy as we see the plotting and sniping that goes on in what to all appearances looks like a lovely little village.
There is the Guru who turns up, Lucia’s soirées and piano playing, one-upmanship, and even a psychic paying a visit. Always for Mrs Lucas there is the worry that someone else could trump her, and what with a new person moving into a cottage, an opera singer, could this add yet even more pressure to Lucia’s prestige?
As we see characters pretending to be au fait with a foreign language, music and other arts, we also see vanity and snobbery, as Benson pokes fun at the upper middle class in the main. We see his scathing wit pointed at the home owners, and not their servants, who have to put up with what is going on around them.
Riseholme is based on the real village of Broadway in Worcestershire, which is worth a visit if you are in the area. Although I could put down that such things that happen here are long in the past I know I would be lying, after all I have stopped many a time at a tea shop in small places, and you can at times overhear conversations that would not be out of place within this book.
I am writing this review having just finished Queen Lucia, the first book in the Mapp and Lucia series. The novels, in chronological order, are:
Queen Lucia (1920)
Miss Mapp (1922)
Lucia in London (1927)
Mapp and Lucia (1931)
Lucia's Progress (1935) (published in the US as Trouble for Lucia (1939))
There are also five other books based on the same characters written by other authors.
In this first book in the series we are introduced to Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known by all as Lucia (due to her penchant for using Italian phrases), along with a host of other characters.
Whilst I am not convinced Queen Lucia should be taken at face value (it is a satire after all) it does give broad hints at the lifestyle of the idle rich in 1920's English society. For a book that was written almost a hundred years ago, it also feels remarkably fresh and readable.
One character, the gullible Mrs Daisy Quantock, is prone to embrace some of the era's health crazes and as such we get a short but interesting exposition of the tenets of Christian Science, and then an amusing dalliance with yoga - taught by her personal guru; and then onto another splendid infatuation with spiritualism via the services of a Russian medium known as Princess Popoffski.Read more ›
I've not long ago read Mapp and Lucia, as well as watched the BBC's fabulous adaptation at Christmas, and so some of the story seemed very familiar from those sources.
In 1920, social queen bee Emmeline Lucus (known as Lucia to all) rules the roost of al that happens in the village of Riseholme. This is one of a series about Lucia (and later Elizabeth Mapp), detailing the small misadventures of her and her social circle, with the backbiting, social climbing and posturing that makes these a pleasure to read.
I love this series, though they do all feel very much on a similar vein. The minor characters all get little roles to play, with Lucia and Georgie (and here Lucia's husband Papino) taking the lion's share of the story, humour and enjoyment. There were a few phrases that made me think "that sounds like Pride and Prejudice", and I wondered if Austen's language served as a model. Lucia is such a contradiction - scheming, smart, condescending, goodness itself.
She's a pleasure to visit with. And to laugh at.
This was a very amusing way to pass a few hours, and an author that deserves more recognition - he's very funny. I'll be looking for more in the series.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This and the rest of the Mapp and Lucia series have given me so much enjoyment - I've re-read all the books and particularly love the tv series with Geraldine McEwan, Prunella... Read morePublished 12 months ago by marie cheshire
This is for the audio version of this book. I have read the books, seen the series (the original with Geraldine McEwan and Prunella Scales) and now we have the audio with Miriam... Read morePublished 16 months ago by C. J. Simmons
I love E F Benson's stories of one-upmanship, and these Hachette productions are great, with Miriam Margolyes providing the narrative and giving convincing voices to all the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by SpecialGirl
A picture of a small community in a time where who said what or did what mattered very much and being the leader of the pack was all. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Caroleinclover
I bought this book after watching the BBC adaptation and was not disappointed. The depiction of social machinations in a small town is brilliant and this is a lovely book to read... Read morePublished 23 months ago by H E Rayner