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Mapp and Lucia (The Mapp & Lucia Novels #4)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  1,841 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
Two queens of trivia and respectable (yet shamelessly inquisitive) scheming are brought together with the inevitable result -- war to the last knife and fork.
Paperback, 196 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Echo Library (first published 1931)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,842)
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Laurie Notaro
Feb 23, 2016 Laurie Notaro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Lucia series so much that I only permit myself to read one book from it a year. I have two left after this one, and then I suppose I will start over again. If you're a fan of Cranston, Barbara Pym or Nancy Mitford, the Lucia series is like finding pure gold. If Dowager Violet Crawley is up your alley, then please help yourself to these books. Set in the English proper countryside mid-wars, Lucia aims to be the queen of every world she enters, aided and abetted by her "confirmed bachel ...more
Jan 31, 2010 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Perhaps my favorite series of all that I try to reread once a year. Endlessly hilarious and engrossing, even though all the jokes are frequently repeated (however, they become exponentially funnier each time they pop up) and nothing much happens. But because everyone in the book finds the minutia of their everyday (wealthy and rather pampered) existence so fascinating, it becomes of immense import to the reader as well.

I remember how upset I originally was when Lucia and Georgie left Riseholme
I have always liked the Britcom "Keeping Up Appearances". But it is a constant distraction to wonder why no one has ever murdered Hyacinth Bucket ("It's boo-KAY!"). She's amusing, but mostly because she is surrounded by family and … friends who recognize the fact that she's unchangeably outrageous, and they're stuck with her. (Unless they kill her, and since it's a sitcom they never do.) These other characters, the neighbors and her sisters and their families, and of course her poor bedeviled hu ...more
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 a
Elisha Condie
I expected a little more from this book, but that's not to say I didn't like it. These books are really well known and loved, but I'm totally new to them. (Reminds me of a friend who as a child thought she had discovered a very unknown and small band called "The Beatles" of which she must be one of a few elite fans).

It centers around Emmeline Lucas (Lucia) and Elizabeth Mapp. Lucia is new in town and Mapp can't stand for her to become the center of social life in small town Tilling. These two la
Jaina Bee
Jun 06, 2008 Jaina Bee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: Uncle Kaz
I'm midway through the series, and I'm totally hooked! It's hard to explain why the conniving social sparring amongst snobbish pretentious idle rich Brits in the '20s & '30s is so fascinating— but I've always enjoyed a Jeeves & Wooster romp. This is how Bertie's Aunt Agatha lives.
Terence Carlisle
Book Four of the series, in which these two indomitable ladies meet for the first time and square off like King Kong versus Godzilla at a garden party. Hilarity ensues…. If you could only keep one book of the series, this is it.

If these genteel ladies were heads of state, there would be tens of thousands dead. The Wars of the Garden Produce, The Tilling Art Club Exhibition, the Italian Contessa and Lobster a la Riseholme … these epic conflicts have all the complexity and intrigue of Robert Grav
Aug 28, 2008 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
Battle of the titans! This is probably my favorite book in the Mapp and Lucia series. When Lucia moves in to Mapp's "territory," sparks are bound to fly -- and they do, spectacularly, but of course overlaid with a layer of civility that masks true feeling. Benson is better at dissecting (to hilarious effect) the petty jealousies and need for societal approval that drive us all. He does it in a way that leaves no doubt that he's fonder of people with these flaws than those with aspirations to be ...more
Sep 29, 2016 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, bookclub
Meh. No stakes, no characters to love/love to hate, and only moderate joke quality and density. In theory, this has my name written all over it, but turned out to be kind of a slog.
Maria Thermann
Apr 21, 2012 Maria Thermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite of all the Lucia books. Two upper crust ladies floating away on an upturned kitchen table, out to sea during a storm? An intriguing story already, but when you know the two ladies are arch enemies and would do anything to outsmart their rival, you have a great book that will make you chuckle from start to finish.

The two arch rivals of a small seaside town filled with snobbery certainly out-do each other in this one, going to war over recipes, water colour paintings and prett
Katy Noyes
Mar 21, 2015 Katy Noyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shame on me... for only discovering this book because of a BBC mini-series. How did I never hear of this 20th century classic? Every bit as witty and nuanced as my favourite classics, this is readable, relatable and a read to relish (to continue the alliteration).

A comedy of manners, of gossip and of one-up-womanship, it concerns a small English village in the 1930s and its residents. And a new addition to the town who stirs up interest and tension as her rivalry with the current social Queen i
One of my favorite series of all times, perhaps the absolute favorite. I read it every year, in the bathtub, and my copies are a wrinkled mess.

I love the characters in this book and the look into life how it was imagined to be (and maybe was) between the Wars for the well to do with no reason to earn a living. Life was a series of tea parties, bridge parties, garden parties (sometimes), church, etc. And don't forget the daily trip to the market.

This particular volume concerns the relationship b
Gemma Williams
Mar 19, 2008 Gemma Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Mrs Emmeline Lucas, aka Lucia, used to being queen of her society in the village of Riseholme. When she moves to Tilling, a pretty village by the sea, she tries to wrest social control from the hideous Miss Mapp and a battle for social supremacy ensues.
This is a very funny book indeed, and elegantly written. Mapp is a dreadful snob, and it's quite nice to see her get her comeuppance, but pretentious Lucia, who pretends falsely that she can speak Italian and nearly comes a c
Lindley Walter-smith
It is so hard to explain why I love this 1931 novel about two middle-aged ladies wielding bridge and dinner parties in a bid for social supremacy over a country village SO MUCH, but I adore it and can reread it over and over. It's so utterly delicious, and laced with poison.

There is no doubt that while the sickly sweet and petty Elizabeth Mapp and the pretentious pseudo-intellectual Lucia are fun alone in the 1920s novels, they don't really fizz and bang until they're in the same book. "Mapp an
Zen Cho
Quick, fun read; pretty much what I expected from the description on the back. You can see at the same time why Auden was a fan and why it isn't that famous any more. It's sharp and clever and occasionally kind, but the characters aren't really vivid or lovable enough, or the prose quite brilliant enough, for it to be a really lasting classic. (Compare Saki, whose every sentence is a perfectly-constructed delight; Wodehouse ditto. Wodehouse's characters aren't any more well-rounded, but his writ ...more
I adore these books - absolutely love Georgie and his bibelots. You just get lost in this tiny world of pugs, flowers, Queen this and that and just queens. You'll never hear Beethoven the same way again and Lucia is just perfect. These are period pieces, but they are filled with the quaint images of a splendidly underplayed hand. When "modern life" gets just too Blackberried, MSNed, and poked into a neat package of downloads, I just escape and read these over and over. These are NOT high brow. T ...more
Mar 12, 2008 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is as close to a perfect comic novel as I've ever read. Of course, it helps that I'm a fan of the small-English-village genre. (Why yes, I used to watch those English comedies on PBS on Sunday nights!) Benson brings together the two women who rule their respective villages and the result is a clash of the Titans on a small scale. Both Mapp and Lucia want to be the Queen bee, but of necessity they both have to pretend that they have perfect manners and no hard feelings toward one another. I' ...more
Dec 03, 2007 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK - this book is LOL funny. It is also the volume of the series in which one hears... wait for it... the wryly compassionate voice of... still waiting? Alexander McCall Smith. I came by this author because Smith mentioned him in an interview (still online at Powells, I think).

Some folks seem to compare him to Jane Austen, whom I don't enjoy simply because I'm not one for anachronistic language, for the most part. This guy is more fun, anyway.
Nov 29, 2013 Lise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After watching the really rather fantastic series, the thought of reading the book it was based on had me a bit dubious as to whether it'd ruin one or the other for me. How wrong I was, if ever there was a perfect adaption to television from such a well written, witty and charming book, this is it. Mapp & Lucia is sorely under appreciated in both forms, and I honestly couldn't recommend it more, especially to those who enjoy other similar series in the genre such as Jeeves & Wooster.
Dec 02, 2008 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Lucia serie some years ago, and in French (which means I probably lacked a lot of the subtleties of Benson's writing), but I remember laughing out loud and being utterly charmed by his characters. It's hilarious, very British, and it says a lot about British society in a humorous, ironic, delightful way. All of the books are equally good, and filled with the same sense of humor. Lucia is a great heroine, and her adventures are quite a treat.
Aug 17, 2013 Eleanor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, 2013-books
Delicious! How did I get through life without knowing Lucia until last year? And still two of her adventures left to savour.
El humor británico siempre me hace reír, y esta novela está muy bien escrita, los personajes principales son tan encantadores como detestables.
Oct 19, 2016 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretentious. Shallow. Boring.

I was so exited to read this series. This book was such a disappointment! I need to care about the characters I read. I disliked every single character in this book. There isn't any real depth to them, and the story was a bit over the top and silly. Some moments of humor, but a waste of time for me. For some reason I really want to love this series but nope. Not for me.
Jul 10, 2016 DGT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lobster à la Riseholme
These are the funny but sometimes quite sharp episodes in a vicious, if genteel and therefore bloodless, social and cultural feud. The anatginists are Elizabeth Mapp, the star, in her own eyes, at least, of the small East Sussex town of Tilling (Rye) and newcomer, Lucia (Emmeline Lucas), from Riseholme (Broadway), where she, too, was so superior that she lacked any worthwhile rival. Both characters appear, separately, in earlier novels but “Mapp and Lucia” (1931) tells of
Tommy Baker
Sep 20, 2016 Tommy Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miss Mapp is a bit of a boorish character so the book devoted to her (and rambling around with the thoughts in her head) could be occasionally a bit of a slough but set her up as a comic foil for Lucia and it's pretty consistently funny. Her increasingly desperate and bizarre choices to usurp Lucia make for a great escape from the real world. Major Benjy also really shines.
Amanda Grange
Aug 21, 2011 Amanda Grange rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Mapp and Lucia books, they're very funny comedies. In some ways they remind me of Jane Austen's novels, although they're set in the 1930s and they don't have any romantic elements. In fact nearly all the characters are middle aged. But, like Austen's novels, the books are set in small villages and they are wonderfully observed. Lucia reminds me of Mrs Elton, with her fake Italian and her social climbing, and Miss Mapp on occasion reminds me of Mrs John Dashwood. But despite echoes of ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the funniest and most delightful books I have ever read. We all know people who make martyrs of themselves, and Lucia is the prime example. Always scheming and quite determined to be top of the pile, she loves to blame others for inflicting all the hard work on her. "How you all work me so!" If she's not starring in a play, she's running for some political position. If she's not hosting a lofty aristocrat, she's opening an art gallery. Lucia will stop at nothing to be the most imp ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful little view into the social world of upper-middle class Edwardian village dwellers. Although written in the 1930s the atmosphere it breaths is distinctly pre-WWI. Two ladies are waging a personal war to be the centre of social life in their little town, one obviously superior to the other.

None of the characters have any depth, they are all amusing stereotypes, but that doesn't matter one bit. The book is very a-sexual, although some characters are definitely gay. The best thing abou
Jan 02, 2016 Haylie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To not beat around the bush, this book took a while for me to get into which is probably due to the writing style - a lot more polished and refined to reflect the 20/30s than other books I've read. Having said that once you've got through the first couple of chapters and Lucia is firmly residing in Tilling, the story picks up. There is a pointed humour in the actions of the characters and it's enjoyable to read about the social battles between Mapp and Lucia - while a lot of jokes are repeated, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Mapp & Lucia Novels (8 books)
  • Queen Lucia (Lucia, #1)
  • Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2)
  • Lucia in London (Lucia, #3)
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)
  • Lucia in Wartime (Lucia, #7)
  • Lucia Triumphant (Lucia, #8)

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“There is a certain amount which I shan't mention publicly," Elizabeth said. "Things about Lucia which I should never dream of stating openly."
"Those are just the ones I should like to hear about most," said Diva. "Just a few little titbits.”
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