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Mapp and Lucia (1931)

by E. F. Benson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mapp and Lucia (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9132619,298 (4.21)175
Meet Mapp and Lucia—two of the most unpleasant, disgraceful women you're ever likely to encounter, in E.F. Benson's carefully observed tale of 1930s village life and social ranking Emmeline Lucas (known as Lucia to her friends) is emerging from mourning following the death of her husband. Pretentious, snobbish, and down-right devious, she feels her hometown of Riseholme offers no challenges and decides to vacation in the town of Tilling. She rents "Mallards" from Miss Mapp. The two women clash immediately. Miss Mapp is used to being top of the social ranking in Tilling, and there is no way she is going to let a vulgar outsider claim her position. So begins a battle of one-upmanship, peppered with queenly airs, ghastly tea parties, and unnerving bridge evenings as the two combatants attempt to out-do each other to win social supremacy. The pompous Lucia and malignant Mapp are characters you will love to hate, wonderfully penned by E.F. Benson. Darkly comic and witty, it is soon to be a new BBC series written by Steve Pemberton.… (more)
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» See also 175 mentions

English (25)  Italian (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Had to return to the library before I'd really got into this book, as people had requested it after the first episode of the series was shown on TV. I did end up watching the TV series but like the book I thought "Who cares about these people and their irritating contortions over insignificant social standings?" ( )
  Stephen.Lawton | Aug 7, 2021 |
This is a fun read however the machinations of two dueling divas isn't strictly everyone's cuppa. While it's enjoyable it's also certain that we can be glad that life is hopefully less like this or it is for me. Or perhaps I'm quaint Irene? I'd fancy that. This book is worth a go, definitely.

Just realized that this trifle was written by a man. Suddenly, it's gotten about 25% better. Just assumed that "E. F." was a way of hiding a female author. Won't Mapp just love correcting me now? ( )
  ednasilrak | Jun 17, 2021 |
Like reading a camp, bitchy version of Wodehouse in which every single character is a frightful, parochial snob. Delightful. ( )
1 vote siriaeve | Jul 9, 2018 |
I don't understand why I love the residents of Riseholme and Tilling so much. They really are the most vapid, conniving, hidebound, silly snobs you could ever imagine, and Lucia and Miss Mapp are the worst of the bunch. And yet, when they do occasionally get their comeuppance, I can't help but feel a pang. And I'm always eager to read more. ( )
2 vote rosalita | Mar 14, 2018 |
Delightful; amusing; gentle comedy of manners: while accurate descriptors of Mapp and Lucia, these words also make it sound twee and, perhaps, dated, which is far from the truth. Gossipy, waspish and, at times, malignant are also accurate, and go more to the heart of the humour.

Elizabeth Mapp hates Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas with a passion; Lucia despises and pities Mapp in equal measure. Each scheming and plotting to be the centre of their social circle, their machinations against each other must always be concealed (barely and, usually, ineffectually) by the appropriate observances of the middle and upper-middle class conventions of a "between-the-wars" England at its most parochially self-absorbed.

The other villagers are by turns allies, pawns and antagonists in the war between Mapp and Lucia. Loyalties shift and turn as first one, then the other appears to have the upper hand. However, Mapp's malevolence usually causes her to overplay her hand and, just when she seems about to trump her opponent, she makes some awful gaff that Lucia turns to her advantage.

There is a well-observed cast of satellite characters, notably Lucia's best friend and companion, the effeminate and endearing Georgie Pilling, the only person of steadfast and unwavering loyalty amongst the two main combatants' followers.

I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it too highly. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Dec 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. F. Bensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Riess, LyndaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Cordially dedicated to the
Marquess of Carisbrooke.
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H.V.M
First words
Though it was nearly a year since her husband's death, Emmeline Lucas (universally known to her friends as Lucia) still wore the deepest and most uncompromising mourning.
It is a sad comment on the English nation, no doubt, that it persists in regarding many narratives of humiliation, shame and cruelty as delightful and amusing entertainments, suitable to be given to children. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Mapp and Lucia" is one of the works making up Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels. Please do not combine this single work with any of the multi-work (omnibus) editions, such as "The Mapp and Lucia Novels".
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Meet Mapp and Lucia—two of the most unpleasant, disgraceful women you're ever likely to encounter, in E.F. Benson's carefully observed tale of 1930s village life and social ranking Emmeline Lucas (known as Lucia to her friends) is emerging from mourning following the death of her husband. Pretentious, snobbish, and down-right devious, she feels her hometown of Riseholme offers no challenges and decides to vacation in the town of Tilling. She rents "Mallards" from Miss Mapp. The two women clash immediately. Miss Mapp is used to being top of the social ranking in Tilling, and there is no way she is going to let a vulgar outsider claim her position. So begins a battle of one-upmanship, peppered with queenly airs, ghastly tea parties, and unnerving bridge evenings as the two combatants attempt to out-do each other to win social supremacy. The pompous Lucia and malignant Mapp are characters you will love to hate, wonderfully penned by E.F. Benson. Darkly comic and witty, it is soon to be a new BBC series written by Steve Pemberton.

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