Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson

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Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson

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Category: Humour
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: An omnibus containing Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, and Mapp and Lucia from the Mapp and Lucia series, this omnibus is a nice enough edition featuring E F Benson's wonderfully funny creations, and the stories are very much still funny, relevant and charming today
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 736 Date: November 2014
Publisher: BBC Books

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Miss Elizabeth Mapp rules the town of Tilling - she is the centre of the social life, and spends her days enjoying bridge, polite conversation and civilised painting. When Mrs Emmeline Lucas arrives in town (known to all as Lucia), Miss Mapp finds her life truly shaken up, as the cultured, fashionable and progressive Lucia makes her home in the town, and swiftly rises to the top of the ranks amongst the social scene in Tilling.

The squabbles, one upmanship and general fun that unfolds between the two is both hilarious and incredibly polite, and these books have lost none of their bite or wit, despite the fact that they were written almost a century ago.

By all accounts, Benson based Tilling on his hometown of Rye - the gossiping women in the street giving inspiration to Benson and providing us with Mapp and Lucia, and for that reason they feel very real indeed - anyone who grew up a small town will still know characters exactly like these two.

Benson himself is a very interesting character - a prolific writer, he published over 100 books in his life time, and really dipped his toe into various genres, writing horror, biography, and comedy. It's a shame he's not better known, like P G Wodehouse - as Mapp and Lucia are easily on a comedy level with Jeeves and Wooster.

Whilst all three books contained in the omnibus are marvellous - the only reason I have put this as a 'maybe' is that the edition itself is rather humdrum - if you already own the Mapp and Lucia books, I wouldn't bother adding this to the shelf. However, if you have yet to read them, pick this up and enjoy some very hearty laughs.

This publication has been released to tie in with a new BBC Mapp and Lucia series - which appears to be excellently cast - Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor taking on the roles of Mapp and Lucia, with the show's writer Steve Pemberton in the role of Georgie.

All in all - wonderful books, and definitely worth a read if you haven't read them before. Benson creates vivid characters whose daily interactions are hugely funny -Mapp and Lucia are remarkable comedy creations, and also hugely real.

Big thanks to the publishers for the copy.

As mentioned, Jeeves and Wooster are on a par with Mapp and Lucia for comedy genius - we have a great review of Thank You, Jeeves by P G Wodehouse on the site.

Sebastian Faulks has also written a thoroughly convincing Jeeves and Wooster - Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks"

Buy Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson at

Buy Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mapp and Lucia Omnibus by E F Benson at


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