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Queen Lucia

E. F. Benson

Book Overview: 

Queen Lucia was the first of Benson’s ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels of which there were six. This first book is a comedy of manners based in the provincial village of Riseholme, where Emmeline Lucas (the Queen Lucia of the title) presides over the social and artistic universe of the gullible residents. Her aide-de-camp in these matters is the somewhat effete Georgie Pillson and the chief competitor for her ‘crown’ is Daisy Quantock. The scandal of the Guru, the psychical goings on with Princess Popoffski and the arrival into the sleepy village of a famous Prima Donna all conspire to threaten her supremacy…

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .reathing came steadily from next door, and she murmured "Om, Om," in time with them.

The hours of the morning between breakfast and lunch were the time which the inhabitants of Riseholme chiefly devoted to spying on each other. They went about from shop to shop on household businesses, occasionally making purchases which they carried away with them in little paper parcels with convenient loops of string, but the real object of these excursions was to see what everybody else was doing, and learn what fresh interests had sprung up like mushrooms during the night. Georgie would be matching silks at the draper's, and very naturally he would carry them from the obscurity of the interior to the door in order to be certain about the shades, and keep his eye on the comings and goings in the street, and very naturally Mr Lucas on his way to the market gardener's to enquire whether he had yet received the bulbs from Holland, would tell him that Lucia had recei. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Darlings, you simply must visit Riseholme. It's just the most precious 1920s English village that you ever could see. Delightful! Decadent! Devious! Demented! Delicious!

Riseholme is ruled by its very own doyenne of style and taste and class, one Emmeline Lucia Lucas. She utterly commands the village

I’m not quite sure how I have managed to make it to my advanced age without ever having read any of E F Benson’s Mapp and Lucia books - but there it is. I am now delightedly anticipating the remaining books I have to look forward to. I actually read this first book in Volume one of the Wordsworth cl

This book is my cure for the doldrums -- a comic masterpiece. Granted, it helps to be an anglophile and a bit of a misanthrope to boot, but the antics of the villagers of Riseholme, led (or dominated) by the immortal Lucia always make me realize just how absurdly delicious life can be.

Once a Luciap

Queen Lucia, the first of Edward Frederic Benson’s Mapp and Lucia books, turns a 100 this year, and so I thought I should revisit. The stories centre around Emmeline Lucas (‘Lucia’) and Miss Elizabeth Mapp who battle for social supremacy in the village of Tilling (based on Rye where Benson himself l

Here on GR, DaytimeRiot told me this:

“I think the Mapp and Lucia series by E.F Benson is the best humorous literature Britain produced in the 20th century. They mock class in very different ways, but Benson's humor is far more subtle and understated: it lovingly, surgically eviscerates British villa

What a horror of a main character, and what a charming book! Lucia is a pretentious, posing, preening, self-aggrandizing petty tyrant, who cannot bear to let anyone else share an inch of spotlight that she does not arrange and grant to them with royal magnanimity. And following her determined rivalr

A wickedly funny & entertaining read.

"Mrs Lucas amused herself, in the intervals of her pursuit of Art for Art's sake, with being not only an ambassador but a monarch. Riseholme might perhaps according to the crude materialism of maps, be included in the kingdom of Great Britain, but in a more r

These days, most of us (ahem, myself included) can only imagine what a lotus-eating life of indolence and leisure, with days spent eating, reading, playing cards and listening to music, must be like. But thanks to E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia books, we have a good idea of what such an existence must

I read all of the Lucia books when I was 13 and thought they were so funny. I remember laughing out loud quite a bit. This time around I still enjoyed Queen Lucia, but not as much, and I'm not sure why. It was all very witty and amusing, but I found myself a little bored. Also, the silly factor, whi

My introduction to the world of E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia novels was via the BBC TV adaptation broadcast in the UK in late December 2014. E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia novels were also recommended to me on GoodReads.

I am writing this review having just finished Queen Lucia, the first book in the Mapp

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