Top positive review
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Social satire at its best
on 17 December 2014
E F Benson's series of books featuring the minutiae of day to day life in the fictional village of Tilling remains as entertaining now as it was when first written in the 1920's and 30's. The comedy is delicious; the pretensions and aspirations of the central characters are laid bare for our amusement and delight. The affectations, mannerisms and way of life of a particular class are captured to absolute perfection, the narrative is tight and social intercourse is wonderfully observed. The characters are so filled with their own importance and place and they interlock with panache. It's a wonderful portrayal of a particular inter war period which will never be seen again. The class distinction and daily one upmanship is priceless and there's barely a line without a laugh.
This volume is amazing value, with all books in full for only 77p. It comprises the following volumes, and it's easy to move between chapters or books if you wish:
Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, The Male Impersonator, Lucia in London, Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress and Trouble for Lucia
The TV adaptation in the 1980s really brought the characters to life and will be difficult to better. It'll be interesting to see how well the new TV series measures up. But for social satire, there are few authors who capture a period and the values as well as Benson and after many years, this remains one of my favourite series of all time.