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Complete Mapp and Lucia is the entire collection of Mapp and Lucia stories by E. F. Benson.And features the following novels:Queen LuciaMiss MappThe Male ImpersonatorLucia in LondonMapp and LuciaLucia’s ProgressTrouble for LuciaThe novels feature humorous incidents in the lives of (mainly) upper-middle-class British people in the 1920s and 1930s, vying for social prestigeComplete Mapp and Lucia is the entire collection of Mapp and Lucia stories by E. F. Benson.And features the following novels:Queen LuciaMiss MappThe Male ImpersonatorLucia in LondonMapp and LuciaLucia’s ProgressTrouble for LuciaThe novels feature humorous incidents in the lives of (mainly) upper-middle-class British people in the 1920s and 1930s, vying for social prestige and "one-upmanship" in an atmosphere of extreme cultural snobbery. Several of them are set in the small seaside town of Tilling, closely based on Rye, East Sussex, where Benson lived for a number of years and (like Lucia) served as mayor.Lucia previously lived at Riseholme, based on Broadway, Worcestershire, from where she brought to Tilling her celebrated recipe for Lobster à la Riseholme....

Title : Complete Mapp and Lucia
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ISBN : 19018343
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 1757 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Complete Mapp and Lucia Reviews

  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-08-03 17:40

    E. F. Benson apparently had two obsessions: ghost stories, and high society, with an unrelenting hatred of social climbers. The distant rumbles of Bolshevism and the nearer-at-home threat of Black Shirts and incipient Nazis don't stir him to the heat of indignation that he reserves for middle class people pretending to a rank to which they are not entitled; a great many of his short stories are savage satires of bumptious mushrooms trying to shoulder their way into society, to the extent of certain plots being revisited repeatedly.His stories about the tempests in the teapots of Riseholme and Tilling are not silver fork novels. The denizens of these two towns all have cooks and maids, but the people are decidedly bourgeois, and get flustered in the presence of noble titles, whether the humans wearing the titles deserve it or not. There is nothing silver fork about the gleefully funny satire of Mrs. Poppit returning in triumph to Tilling with her Order of the British Empire, and her description of her triumphant visit to the king and queen.The Lucia and Mapp stories are twenties and thirties English comedy of manners, whereas his early novel about Dodo was very much in the silver fork tradition. In fact, in some ways I think Mapp and Lucia define twenties and thirties comedies of manners in a way that even Noel Coward didn't quite achieve, judging by the number of references I've picked up in collections of letters, memoirs, diaries, and the occasional obscure reference in a cozy mystery or other type of novel of the period.I end up taking these out and rereading them whenever, like now, I've got a cold and can't wrap my brain around anything else, but I've reread all my Austens and PG Wodehouse too recently.I also don't read them all the way through. For example, I usually skip over Lucia in London, which is an entire novel about Lucia playing the snob and being made fun of behind her back. I can only stand humiliation stories if I have no sympathy whatever with the victim, and I like silly Lucia (who does have a good heart in the clinch) too much to enjoy her being slow roasted by this smug collection of duchesses and countesses. And the ultimate chapter (view spoiler)[ which plot Benson reuses several times in his short stories, in which a homosexual society journalist is tricked into the bedroom of a social climber who is actually quite prudish (hide spoiler)] is exceptionally painful rather than entertaining.That said, I rejoice in the foiling of Elizabeth Mapp, as she does not in any sense have a good heart. The small doings of Tilling are even more fun than Riseholme's tempests, which I think Benson realized, because he soon brings Lucia and Georgie Pillson to Tilling, whence he proceeds to pit the two female titans against each other, one winning, then the other, with generally (I am glad to say) Lucia coming out the better.It's surprising, just how much subversive fun Benson has playing around with gender roles. There are some married couples, and a sprinkling of widows, but except for Mrs. Boucher, who managed to produce the peculiar daughters Piggy and Goosie, and Susan Poppit, whose vegetarian, suntanning daughter is around briefly in Tilling until she fades off somewhere, there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone in either Riseholme or Tilling's high society knows anything about sex.Georgie Pillson, who at first appears to be a rather effeminate Bertie Wooster, takes on some depth and complexity during the Olga Bracely episodes (it is clear that she, at least, lives life to the full in all senses). Irene Coles of Tilling is unrepentantly lesbian, cavorting happily through the stories until she paints a picture so heavily ironic that it is voted Picture of the Year by the Royal Academy, a painting so jaw-droppingly awful that it is regarded as genius.In both the marriages made in Tilling, between the horrible Elizabeth Mapp and the boozy but weak Major Benjy, and then Lucia and Georgie, it is quite clear that the female wears the pants. (Or as Lucia and Georgie decide after the Mapp-Flint marriage, they wear one trouser leg each), yet Georgie is the only one who can halt Lucia's worst high flights, and it is clear that matrimony for them is very happy in its mutual innocence. Unlike Elizabeth and Major Benjy, whose silent matrimonial duel never quite achieves a lasting truce.Some of the best chapters are about the smallest incidents, such as the War of the Poppies, and especially the tightly, brilliantly plotted chapter concerning hoarding. A little poking into Benson's life provides the information that Tilling is based on Rye, a picturesque town in which the most picturesque house was his, once belonging to Henry James. Mapp is given this house, where she rules in dingy parsimony until Lucia takes it over and makes it gracious. I wonder how many of the characters of Tilling are based on residents of Rye, or if Benson put together characteristics of all those he met over the course of a lifetime. One thing for sure, Lucia and Georgie, Elizabeth and Diva, Olga Bracely and all the others are distinctive and endlessly fun.

  • Sue
    2018-08-04 17:40

    I have just finished rereading the complete Mapp and Lucia series and, though I would have thought it beyond the bounds of possibility, I enjoyed it even more second-time around. There are six books in the series (seven counting the included short story). Whilst each is stand-alone, they are best read in sequence and what pure delight there is in store for those at the start of this hilarious immersion into middle-class, small-town England. Though the Great War is only just behind them, the people of Riseholme and Tilling give it not a thought, so deeply mired are they in the trench warfare of their own declaration. The generals are Miss Mapp and Mrs Lucas (Lucia). The war they wage is for social dominance, their battlefields are the gardens and parlours of decorous Elizabethan and Queen Anne homes, their skirmishes are fought over recipes for red-currant fool and Lobster “a la Riseholme”, over the veracity of one’s teeth or one’s spoken Italian or one’s visiting Indian guru, and endless other matters so trivial as to be normally hardly worth mentioning, but which obsessively occupy the minds of Tilling and Riseholme with invariably complicated comical consequences. A victory is inevitably followed by a defeat which is the spur to fresh strategic campaigns and reprisals. E.F. Benson lived in Rye (the fictional Tilling), in “Lamb House”, (Miss Mapp’s fictional “Mallards”). The town is as quaint and “delicious” as its fictional inhabitants believe it to be, as can be seen on Street-map; sadly, what cannot there be seen is spherical Diva whirring from shop to shop, Miss Mapp wreathed in awful smiles, Major Benjy infuriated at the sight of camp Georgie (“Miss Milliner”) gaily tripping down the high street, Lucia being maddeningly condescending to her subjects, all of them furious at being held up once again by dear Susan’s enormous Royce, and all of them voraciously and maliciously gossiping. They are insufferable snobs, dreadful hypocrites, unerringly selfish and completely self-centred - and I love them so, so much. Au reservoir!

  • Jim Coughenour
    2018-08-02 17:24

    I'm adding this book years after I read it, but certain cherished passages inevitably recur in my fading memory, especially as I'm now reading Saki and Sōseki's I Am A Cat.For years I sniffed at Benson's Lucia novels, somehow imagining that I was above them, that they were the sort of thing old queens who loved Ronald Firbank would read. Well, maybe they are – but I was wrong about myself. When I pick up this doorstop of a book, I can only echo the Foreword by Anne Parrish: "although my copies are warped from falling into brooks and baths, and their pages dotted with semi-transparencies from buttery crumbs that have fallen on them from tea-times, I cannot exhaust their freshness." In my case, the pages are wrinkled & stained from juicy burgers at Hot & Hunky, dabs of wasabi and vinaigrette from the salad bar at Harvest Market.Which is to say, these tales are addictive – and lucky is the soul who wanders into their quintessentially English pages, because she is in for hours and hours of pure malicious merriment. At 1119 pages, it wasn't long enough.

  • Susan
    2018-08-03 18:42

    These books present a quintessential fishbowl view of early 20th century priveleged English village life. The characters are so well-drawn that they're almost caricatures. They become family; they make you crazy sometimes, but just when you're ready to kick them out, they endear themselves in a way that makes you want to hug them to your chest instead. These are literally (ha! that sounds like a pun) some of my favorite books. I would take them to that proverbial desert island with me.

  • Leslie
    2018-08-11 20:21

    The GR description of this book is incorrect -- this is NOT the stage adaptation but is an omnibus edition of the complete 6 novels in the Lucia series as written by E.F. Benson.

  • Joan
    2018-08-13 15:23

    I absolutely love this book. It is actually a compilation of 7 stories about Lucia and Miss Mapp. The first two stories are about Lucia which I didn't get too much out of. But when Miss Mapp enters the story in book three, it becomes the most hilarious book I've ever read. It takes place in a small British hamlet and covers the lives of certain individuals who live in the town. The busybody Miss Mapp is the center of the story and I have never laughed so much as when I read about her adventures. She is a spy, just like me. Always checking on her neighbors to see what they are up to. I can't recommend this book enough.

  • Dmitri
    2018-07-29 17:48

    My life would have been much sadder had this book (these books, really) not have been in it. Went so far as to go on a pilgrimage to Tilling itself, where I learnt exactly how Mapp was able to spy on Lucia from the church steeple ....

  • Denise Hay
    2018-08-13 21:21

    "Georgie held her hand a moment longer than was usual, and gave it a little extra pressure for the conveyance of sympathy. Lucia, to acknowledge that, pressed a little more, and Georgie tightened his grip again to show that he understood, until their respective fingernails grew white with the conveyance and reception of sympathy. It was rather agonizing, because a bit of skin on his little finger had got caught between two of the rings on his third finger, and he was glad when they quite understood each other."And that, in a nutshell, is the world of Lucia. Make Way For Lucia is the consolidation of all six of Benson’s books, approximately half of which are set in Riseholme (based on a town in Worcestershire), and half in Tilling (which is Rye). So it’s a monstrous thing once combined, and mine sits beside my bed like a Gideon bible.* I can pick it up any time, start reading anywhere, and know exactly where I am and usually what’s going to happen. Because I read it, and read it, and read it. I buy it whenever I see it in a used bookstore, and give it to someone. I have to be careful, because not everyone is going to run with it. Because ....There is nothing of import that ever goes on. There are no children. There are no poor, at least not that we see. No one has a job. No one is particularly nice, absolutely no one is selfless, and everyone is frantically curious about what everyone else is doing. They garden, they gossip, they have tableaux, they host themed dinner parties, and when they get bored, they bring in a swami or an opera singer to stay. They are not really supposed to be realistic portraits, though they’re not caricatures. It is one of the most delightful ways to pass the time you could dream up. It is everything, I think, to do with Benson’s homosexuality and his Englishness, and thus his scathing but generous wit, and his endlessly inventive ways to talk about the same thing and make it humorous all over again. I couldn’t imagine a straight man able (or willing) to write this book, nor even necessarily a woman, although there is that British Club of Splendid Women of a certain age that could likely pull it off. (Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym spring to mind.) The opening paragraph is quintessentially Benson, and I think it’s funny as stink. This is a desert island book, for sure and certain.*My copy is about a four pound trade paperback, and although I could replace it with a hardcover I found in a bookstore, I’m sentimentally attached to this copy. I loaned it to a friend once and she reached over to pick it up off the floor, and ripped the cover off like tearing the wing off a bird. She confessed it to me right away, but she had trouble doing so because she found it all so funny. She still finds it very funny and it’s been years. I still do not find it funny. The cover is back on with VERY YELLOW cello tape. Kathy, I’m talking to you. Still not funny.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2018-08-13 21:29

    Mapp and Lucia: The Complete Series contains all six of the Lucia novels, which are also compiled under the title Make Way for Lucia. The novels, needless to say, are excellent -- particularly the first four. You'll laugh out loud.This Kindle anthology contains no table of contents and is otherwise quite difficult to navigate. The font, very difficult to read, is one I haven't seen since the days of IBM Selectric typewriters. Considering Mapp and Lucia: The Complete Series cost a mere 99 cents, it's OK, but don't expect the usual Kindle quality. In fact, every free Kindle book I've gotten has been of higher quality. Caveat emptor.

  • Sonja
    2018-07-31 19:30

    My mom lent me this book last Christmas. It's one of her favorites -- she'd been talking it up to me for a long time. It's a collection of seven novels about a character named Lucia, the town she lives in, and all her wacky friends. Takes place in England in the 1930s (or is it 1940s?). I've read the first two novels, and just started the third. It's a fun read. The characters are vivid and memorable, and their exploits are funny -- very entertaining.

  • Clare
    2018-07-27 23:37

    This is the all-time sure-fire depression cure! Whenever I have the blues, I dip into this book. The War of the Chintz Roses; Mapp's underhanded efforts to steal the recipe for Lobster a la Riseholme, Georgie's beard, and Diva striving to keep her place as Queen of the Fete...A hysterical comedy of manners, set in Britain between the wars.

  • Chris Stanley
    2018-08-10 19:37

    This book forever to read, but was worth it. I enjoyed the humour, and it's a very different type of read for me.

  • An Odd1
    2018-08-10 19:34

    Had to read in few-chapter bits, because scary in an everyday way. The main women are mean, funny until the reader imagines being victim to their bullying. Lucia rules her small village into submission with pretensions to culture and Italian, until opera singer Olga, fluent, humble, kind, falls as a shining star. Elsewhere, Miss Elizabeth Mapp, jolly smiles outside, vengeful mean anger inside, bullies her village with demonic sweetness.1 Queen Lucia2 Miss Mapp3 The Male Impersonator4 Lucia in London5 Mapp and Lucia6 Lucia's Progress7 Trouble for LuciaPartial review for first two books.

  • Sarika
    2018-07-25 22:28

    This is the title, but I think it might also be called Lucia in London. I think it's #2. Such a joy to return to Lucia!

  • Barb Knierim
    2018-07-31 23:21

    Really fun read. Fabulous and hysterical.

  • Jeslyn
    2018-07-22 17:30

    This is the complete collection of E. F. Benson's Lucia stories, and at 900+ pages it makes for some hefty lugging about; however, though one appears to be reading the condensed OED in public (which makes for more than a few raised-eyebrow comments), there are seven novels within these covers and thus far they are laugh-out-loud hilarious - when the reader isn't gasping out loud in horror at the social atrocities being committed, of course...I re-read Queen Lucia, which heads off the series, and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Not to be missed.Then on to Lucia in London - I was horrified for quite a few chapters, to the point where I was beginning to LOATHE Lucia; in this installment, she comes into property in London via the death of her husband's aunt (money, 25 Brompton Square, and "THE PEARLS"), and embarks on the most strenuous social climbing imaginable - it isn't pretty, and she treats her neighbors and friends in Riseholme abominably for nearly the entire novel. Not as much laughter in this one, lots of gasping out loud in horror - but I still love the characters and the conclusion is very well handled, particularly since I didn't want to kill the dubious "heroine" at the end, which was quite a feat in my opinion. Book Three is "Miss Mapp" was begun at 3 a.m. in a fit of insomnia...warning to the reader: Miss Mapp makes Lucia look angelic by comparison. Mapp is malignancy personified, a truly odious woman who nurtures the very worst of intentions and finds her greatest satisfaction when her mean-spirited plans come through (though the reader will experience their greatest satisfaction when her plans go awry - HAH!). Thus far I haven't found a single redeeming quality in this character, but again - Benson manages to craft a story that the reader can't put down. Mapp fancies herself queen of Tilling, HER backwater town, though it is drearier and less prosperous than Riseholme. I can only imagine the explosion when their paths cross in the next book...I'll finish the rest of this review individually, as this one is quite long enough...but one note on this particular edition - the editing is NOT GOOD...I know I harp on editing, but it makes for a jarring read if too many errors are missed.

  • Lynda
    2018-08-03 21:36

    I have completed rereading...for the fifth time...that which I refer to as THE LUCIA ANTHOLOGY (all stories are contained in MAKE WAY FOR LUCIA). With each reading, I laugh, I enjoy, and I continue to discover something new as to the wonderful world created for us by E.F. Benson. Lucia, Miss Mapp, Daisy Quantock, Quaint Irene, Diva, Peppino...and of course...Mr. Georgie...bring to us a slice of England as it perhaps never was but certainly could have been. The characters are completely "over the top". Mrs. Mapp-Flint (married to Major Benjy-Boy Flint) is Lucia's nemesis, and it be a fair "fight". The story begins in Riseholme (where we first hear of the gourmet wonder known as Lobster a la Riseholme, a saga unto itself). By all means, read the series in order as the early years provide the background for the characters. Any who are Anglophiles and any who will allow themselves the time to escape into a "good read" should jump into the world of "Luciaphiles" and just enjoy. Lucia & Company...they are a treat.

  • Martha Bratton
    2018-08-13 20:34

    Finally finished the 913 pages of delightful malice and I will miss my daily sessions with it. It was *7* books published as one too-heavy book. But as Nancy Mitford says in the introduction, it will keep your friends from borrowing it. You get a better insight into the malicious and petty, but entertaining habits of Mapp and Lucia as they compete to be the "queen" of their villages. What I love is that when they take it too far, they know that there's no game if you don't let your adversary salvage some dignity. What's hard for me to believe is that E.F. Benson was apparently such a serious person and that he could tell the story of such trivial issues in a warm and entertaining way. I definitely want to watch the PBS series again. Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwan follow the book descriptions very faithfully--like a "smile with lips pulled back over the upper teeth" that isn't a smile at all.

  • Rebecca
    2018-08-12 16:25

    Long before the word "frenemies" was coined, there was Mrs. Emmeline Lucas and Miss Elizabeth Mapp. E.F. Benson's tales of the vicious schemes these two ladies--and their assorted hangers-on--engage in to maintain their social prominence (schemes that almost always go hilariously awry) are a must for any fans of Saki, Wodehouse, or that wonderful dry, sarcastic English sense of humor. First time readers should tackle the novels in order because the inside jokes and daffy reoccurring characters carry on until the very last chapter of the last book. Even though the omnibus took me six months to read I never got tired of the parvenus of Riseholme and Tilling; the biting satire in Benson's stories of English village life between the World Wars teach us that social climbing could be as perilous as anything on the battlefield.

  • R R
    2018-08-07 22:42

    This had to be where "Keeping up Appearances" came from. Lovingl it.Just finished all 7 of the novels involved in Make Way for Lucia. This is a book I will keep in my library, usually pass books along since I have so many but this one is a keeper. So well written and the characters are unforgettable. When Lucia and Miss Mapp finally end up in the same village it gets even better and I was rooting for Lucia which I never suspected I would when I read the first couple of novels. I have ordered the DVDs for Mapp & Lucia which was broadcast in England in the 80's I think. At least 12 or more episodes, can't wait. The actors must have loved these characters!!!!!!!! These villagers are so self=absorbed that the world could fall down around them and they would not notice.

  • Al
    2018-08-11 17:36

    I've read it, and read it again, and again, and again. Now I'm reading it again. This is likely the only book I have read as many times. I can predict the dialogue and narrative as it happens. And yet I keep wanting to read it again. Can you tell I love all of the Lucia and Mapp books? One of the things that happens every time for me is that my opinion of Lucia changes from bad to good every time as I meet Miss Mapp. Benson does a fine job of creating a society where the main characters have nothing to do but entertain themselves and each other. No actor will every be able to fully portray them as well as the author does.

  • Barbara
    2018-07-21 17:34

    Nancy Mitford wrote the forward to my copy, so it makes me wonder if I will like it.Started over on this book and now I am beginning to enjoy it --- it is amusing so far.AJP recommended this series, and now I see why. The characters are very well developed and entertaining. The author, E.F. Benson, uses the technique of letting the reader know what is going on, while the characters are clueless and deep in interpretation and analysis of their little society --- and that technique is quite entertaining to the reader.Now I need to find the second book in the series, so I can continue to follow

  • Anne
    2018-08-09 19:25

    This series from the Mapp and Lucia books onwards was my big find of out-of-copyright (almost) ebooks. Social satire about shallow, petty-minded snobs in an English village. Some of the books have a slightly odd rambling structure, but the comic timing and phrasing is spot on. I suspect the satire is more biting than it appears reading it 80 years later in New Zealand, as my English grandmother was a bridge-playing, organ-playing personality in an English village and I don't quite dare suggest to my mother she might read the books; I think she'll just get cross!

  • Alison
    2018-07-24 19:24

    This is a compilation of 7 novels, so I'm taking my time with it, reading one between other books, sort of as a palate cleanser. Benson's tales of village snobbery in 1920s England are like a cross between P.G. Wodehouse's hilarious stories and the TV show Keeping Up Appearances. Hilarious, in my opinion, if a bit much read one right after the other.By the end I was tired of the characters. I would have liked to read the books further apart.

  • Leila Klaiss
    2018-08-14 15:49

    It took me years, starting way back in the 70s, to find all the Mapp & Lucia books! If my house caught on fire, they would probably be the first things I would grab to save, that's how much I love them. I can pick one up...any one of them, and just open it to any page and start reading! I have never tired of them. They are about the time and places in England I want to visit. My copies are all beat up from so much use!

  • Nancy Wyland
    2018-08-11 20:28

    This is the most fun a person can have with a book. The characters are delightful, timeless, and the writing is some of the best I've read. It can't be recommended strongly enough. For some readers, you have to devote yourself to the first couple of chapters to familiarize yourself with everyone, but stick with it - once you're sucked into the wonderful microcosm of Riseholme, you will never be the same.

  • Vivian
    2018-07-27 19:42

    I re-read this series every few years because it's so delightful and howlingly funny. The pretentious Lucia, her best friend Georgie, and Lucia's nemesis, the practical and plodding Miss Mapp are just hilarious. It makes you want to move to their little English 1930s village and see what they're up to...Highly recommended.

  • Andrea
    2018-08-04 20:22

    I was totally engrossed in this series of novels -- the stories are absolutely delightful. They are absurd in much the same way as P.G. Wodehouse's books are, but as the reader is drawn into the tiny but massively significant world of Lucia and her cohorts the sense of absurdity seems to fade. This book collecting all the adventures of Lucia and Miss Mapp is a treasure!

  • K.
    2018-08-07 17:36

    Looking at the reviews on goodreads I think it possible that I didn't give this book enough of a chance, but it was just too boring. I got so sick of everyone's eavesdropping, one-upping each other, completely foolish past times and obsessions. I love a nearly pointless British book with lots of quirks and wit, this one just didn't fit the bill somehow.

  • Marge
    2018-08-01 17:27

    A friend who knows how much I've enjoyed reading Alexander McCall Smith's novels, recommended this series to me, and I am so grateful! I enjoyed every delicious bite of the social satire, every laugh, every character. These books were very good company for the last eight weeks, and I already feel I want to start re-reading them. Pure pleasure!