Lucia In London
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Lucia In London (Lucia #3)

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  673 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A hilarious and sharply observed satire poking fun at the feuds and foibles of English high society.
Paperback, 266 pages
Published February 24th 1984 by Black Swan Books (first published 1927)
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When contemporary fiction fails me, and I am searching for something to read, the road inevitably leads back to E. F. Benson's Lucia novels.
And, Lucia in London is one of my favorites.

I have probably read the book five or six times and it never fails to amuse and entertain me, but since moving to a small town I think I appreciate it even more.

Lucia has enjoyed life at the center of her small-town social circle for years. A generous inheritance enables her to live in luxury in one of London's nic...more
David Corvine
Camp world where the most "Tarsome" eventuality that has to be contended with is having to run your own bath when your maid has been given the afternoon off.
There are some authors whose works are so delicious to me that I dole them out slowly, so that I do not gorge myself on their riches. The Lucia and Mapp novels of E. F. Benson are one such series of books. Thus far, I have read only the first two novels in the series, Queen Lucia and Lucia in London. Both were priceless.

Lucia is Mrs. Philip Lucas of Riseholme, a rural community in the South of England which she dominates like Queen Victoria dominated her court. It is the 1920s that Evelyn Waugh...more
Just found Volume 2 - had all the others but determined to read them in order. In this one, the queen bee of a small southern English country town inherits some money and attempts to take London by storm in a tour de force of overt social climbing that earns her a society of Luciaphils, enthusiastic admirers of her naked audacity. In the course of contrasting city and country life, satirizing popular culture of the 1920s, as well as the encroachment of modernism on traditional aesthetics, a numb...more
Pepino's 83 year old Aunt Amy has just died after being bed-ridden for the past 7 years in a "lunatic asylum". She leaves a 7 bedroom house at Brompton Square in London, capital sufficient to sustain a 3000 pound per year income, some great furniture and a string of pearls. Lucia will take her place center stage, in London to rule her new "queendom". She rapidly acquires a following of "Luciaphils", plus a few enemies. And she has greatly disappointed her old followers in Riseholme. They retalia...more
For the first 50 pages or so I felt like Georgie when he says, “how taresome!” Hadn’t we already trodden this ground in the first book? But then it picked up. Maybe I am becoming more used to Benson’s style or maybe it is the introduction of London characters that breathe new life into the reader’s perceptions of Lucia, but this one made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. I mean, really laugh. Lucia and Peppino inherit a house in London and Lucia sets her sights on ingratiating herself in...more
Ivonne Rovira
Emmeline Lucas is a snob of the first order. And so hilariously affected. How affected? She insists that all of her friends and acquaintances call her "Lucia," with the Italian pronunciation, and invariably refers to her husband Philip as "Pepino." (The joke, of course, is that Lucia's Italian is so bad that she doesn't realize that it's spelled Peppino, and that it's a nickname for Giuseppe -- that is, Joseph. Philip would be Filippo, and the nickname would be Pippo.)

At first, I was simply inf...more
Benson, E. F. LUCIA IN LONDON. (1928). ***.
This is the second book in the author’s series about his heroine, Mrs. Emmeline Lucas, or Lucia (pronounced a l’italienne) to her friends. Lucia is a master at one-upmanship, whether it is in her native town of Riseholme, or in her new circumstances in the big city of London. She knows no other way than to be the leader of any program and the center of attention of any group of people, and does what she has to do to make these things happen. When her...more
E F Benson – Mapp and Lucia 03 – Lucia in London


As I mentioned in my review of Miss Mapp Lucia in London was originally published 5 years after Miss Mapp and, were the modern day reader not guided by the order in which the books are placed in the Make Way For Lucia compendium, would be read as the third, rather than the second, of the Mapp and Lucia books. Indeed, from the point of view of publication order and such internal evidence as can be derived from the books themselves at the moment...more
As the title suggests, in Lucia in London Lucia and Pepino inherit a house in London after his aunt dies. Despite all her protestations of finding London dull and unimaginative compared to Riseholme, it doesn’t take Lucia long to abandon the quiet village and move up to town where she is soon unashamedly engaged in worming her way into London society, assuming familiarity on the slightest of acquaintances and inviting herself to other people’s dinner parties. However, Riseholme does not take kin...more
This is the second of the Lucia novels - there are, I think, six in total plus a further two written by Tom Holt. I would recommend each and every one of them, including those written by Holt. This novel, like the others, is sharply observed and a very funny comedy of manners. There is no cruelty in Benson's development of his characters - although we find them rather absurd and amusing, they remain endearing and surprisingly sympathetic.

I particularly like this book. In it, Lucia invades the "b...more
Lucia takes London by storm and every page is a delight. She fills her day with Duchesses and Opera and a lover who is just for show. The London crowd enjoys watching her as much as I do and even has secret groupie fan club (Luciaphiles) who watch her maneuver every rung of the social ladder and find it all delicious. Meanwhile, back in Riseholme the town pretends to not miss her while they watch the gossip column for the slightest update on her antics, even summoning a spirit from beyond to cal...more
One of my favorite Lucia novels. The heroine is triumphant as she enters London society. It is a delicious romp. But not for folks who don't enjoy silly stuff.

As someone who has enjoyed watching acquaintances climb (or trip) on the social ladder, I find Lucia's adventures timeless. The social trappings have changed but the game remains the same. Perhaps the most delightful part of this book is that Lucia's exploits aren't fooling anyone---yet her acquaintances support her because they are having...more
Laurie Notaro
Love the Lucia series. Laughed out loud. 1927 is so much funnier that 2014. Highly recc'd. HIGHLY. Start with Queen Lucia first, though.
Frances Sawaya
Perfect for light readings. Lots of fun watching Lucia try to extricate herself from her escapades that go awry.
July 6th, finished Lucia in London by E. F. Benson. I enjoy the Lucia series because of Benson’s masterly character sketches: by the time one has finished the book, it is as if you actually knew the characters in real life. The developments in Lucia Lucas are specially interesting: in the first book one learns how she conducts herself in her hometown, and now it was fascinating to see how she changes in London, yet remains the same in essentials. I was pleased with the ending in this book, since...more
Connor Mcneill
One thought Queen Lucia was sublime and this was just as good!
Sep 02, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All anglophiles
Recommended to Stephanie by: my friend Susi Snyder
What can one say about Lucia and all the rest of the wonderful EF Benson characters? Benson was without question a most ardent observer of people and their foibles. However, it is the humerous way in which the characters and their foibles are presented that makes his observations most marvelous......will anyone EVER forget Lucia entering "darling Marcia's ball" ? I certianly will not. I would say I am a huge Luciaphile but perhaps it would be more correct to call me a Bensonphile! Hooray for Que...more
As usual the plot feels like patched together short stories which makes you wonder if it was originally serialized. The fascination is seeing how this pretentious woman gives life to those around her. In this case, she goes off to win over London society, which she does with some success, and returns to Risholme to deal with the everyday village issues. Perhaps it is the intense focus of those issues like the donation of the dog to the local museum that makes the series more than a satire.
Made me simultaneously want to read faster, to see what happens next, and read slower, so that it'll never end. It's amazing how a book about, essentially, nothing, can get one so wound up. Word to the wise, however: do not read this in public, or while drinking any sort of beverage. Embarrassment, and, respectively, accidents, are bound to occur. It's ridiculously funny.
I'm embarrassed to admit that for all these years I've only been familiar with E.F. Benson's wonderful ghost stories and all the while, I could have been acquainting myself with the wonderful, headstrong, queen bee, know-it-all Lucia! (Although, once acquainted, I would've had to resign myself to the rank of lowly subject.) The daffy plots and schemes of Lucia and her friends and erstwhile upsmen (and women) are a delight.
This is a book I have read and will read again when I have time. I also have a copy in German. E.F. Benson pokes fun at Lucia in a rather Jane Austen like "comedy of manners". An abbreviated version has also been serialized on Radio 4 or Radio 4 Extra. This is a story which can be enjoyed again and again. Lucia is a much nicer snob than, say, Miss Bingley in "Pride and Prejudice".
Juliane Schneider
May 29, 2008 Juliane Schneider rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody
The most deliciously wicked social novels ever written. This is my favorite of the series, where Lucia, after her husband inherits a house in London, puts aside Beethoven and bad Italian to take up the heretofore vulgar Stravinsky and the cubists. The rest of the series is really just as good. It's like Jane Austin after a century of really good drugs.
Pure British fluff, but sometimes you need fluff. Part of a larger series, that I first discovered years ago. Not so fabulous that I want to run out and read every single one, but mildly amusing. Plus, it's set in that great period between the wars. I heart British social nonsense.
Christopher H.
Apr 27, 2010 Christopher H. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christopher by:
Absolutely hysterical! E. F. Benson's 'Lucia & Mapp' books are like your favorite dessert; one simply must indulge, but not in excess! This was a priceless read, and my very first introduction to the series. I look forward to acquiring and reading the rest of Benson's work.
If it weren't for the ending, I would have given this book five stars. Lucia's adventures in London and her fall from power in Risehome were hilarious and kept me wanting to read more. Seeing Londoners reaction to Lucia's antics brought a whole new perspective to the books.
This and Queen Lucia are my favorite of the Lucia/Mapp books, though be warned if you have a soft spot for Lucia that her dignity is in tatters by the end of this book. At least she doesn't know it!
Gemma Williams
Another splendid book about the social climbing, deceitful, pretentious but magnificent Lucia, in this case living it up in London society post-inheritance. Magnificently good fun as ever.
If possible, Lucia is even more odious in this book than she is in "Queen Lucia."

It'll almost be a relief to get her to Tilling, where she becomes much more sympathetic.
Really very good, have been reading these a little out of sequence and some are much better than others, this was brilliantly gossipy and bitchy and quite close to perfect.
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The ending (obviously spoilers) 1 2 Apr 30, 2014 05:36PM  
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  • Claudine in Paris
  • Wasps (Clarendon Paperbacks)
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  • The Egoist
  • The Levant Trilogy
  • The Four Million
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Edward Frederic Benson wrote comic novels, ghost stories, novels of manners, memoirs and reminiscences, and informal biographies -- almost 100 books in total.
More about E.F. Benson...
Queen Lucia (Lucia, #1) Mapp and Lucia (Lucia, #4) Miss Mapp (Lucia, #3) Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6) Make Way for Lucia

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