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Lucia in London Part II
 
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E.F. Benson
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Lucia in London Part II (Lucia #3)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  880 ratings  ·  61 reviews
A hilarious and sharply observed satire poking fun at the feuds and foibles of English high society.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1927)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,358)
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mark monday
Darlings, you simply must visit London! The charmed village of Riseholme may be a country seat of unsurpassed delicacy and dignity when compared to the stridently au courant London Town of the 1920s... but with Riseholme's very own Queen Lucia spending her summer season at 25 Brompton Square, that notorious city of faddish layabouts has at last been given a sheen of class and taste. However temporarily that may be! For despite her quick accumulation of Lords and Duchesses and Rich London Eccentr ...more
Roger Pettit
The series of 'Mapp and Lucia' novels written by EF Benson are, for me, the funniest books in the English language. Yes, they really are that good. I accept that they are very much an acquired taste. By no means everyone will enjoy these gentle, kindly satires that poke fun at the lives of the financially independent upper middle classes of provincial England in the 1930s. The principal character throughout the series is Emmeline Lucas, aka 'Lucia'. Lucia is a pretentious, snobbish and domineeri ...more
Nancy
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
Chris
Another fun romp with Lucia, Georgie, and Daisy! A Ouija board that goes by the name Abfou, a small-town museum whose biggest exhibit are a pair of mittens worn by Queen Charlotte, and now a home in London, where Lucia continues to ineptly climb the social ladder, this book is the second in the Mapp and Lucia series and was just as much fun as the first. And I have four more to go!

I'm a stickler for making the edition I have read to be my book photo, but for some reason they didn't have the edi
...more
Jim
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
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
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.
Bob
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
Gaia
Scritto nel 1928, il libro racconta di Mrs Emmeline Lucas, detta Lucia (in italiano nel testo) dagli amici. Lucia è il centro della vita del suo piccolo paese, Riseholme, e in questa avventura tenterà di conquistare anche Londra. Una vera Primadonna, disperatamente bisognosa di essere al centro dell'attenzione e scaltra nell'ottenere ciò che vuole. Ma Lucia è anche ingenua a modo suo e non certo cattiva...
Il libro è una leggera commedia, a mio avviso non particolarmente brillante ma comunque pia
...more
Michael
This go around, I'm reading this series aloud with Donald, and I believe I'm enjoying them even more than the first time I read them! They're just wonderful.

For much of this book, Lucia feels less like the main character, while Georgie takes on a bigger role-- but no matter who's the focus at the moment, there are always plenty of laughs.

Knowing what's coming next (view spoiler)
...more
Ruthiella
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
Spencer
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
Tony
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
Mmyoung
E F Benson – Mapp and Lucia 03 – Lucia in London

1927

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
Katie
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
Linda
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
Kiran
Definitely glad I've been reading all the "Mapp & Lucia" books in order. If I'd picked this one up first before "Queen Lucia" then, firstly I wouldn't have had all the context of the previous Riseholme antics and the arrival of Olga Braceley. But I also wouldn't have had the same view of Lucia - as she's immediately less in control here; Georgie isn't in awe of her but rather sees through her behaviour and plotting. Admittedly things improved as the book went on. I particularly enjoyed that ...more
Jennifer
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
Nancy
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.
Sarah
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!
Nat
Not quite up to the fantastic standard of the previous two books. More detailed review to come.
Eva
Enjoying this series.
Stephanie
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
Jim
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.
Anna
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.
Alex
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.
Joy
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".
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The ending (obviously spoilers) 1 2 Apr 30, 2014 05:36PM  
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  • The Diary of a Provincial Lady
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • Crampton Hodnet
  • Beware of the Trains (Gervase Fen, #9)
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  • The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories
  • Claudine Married
  • Heart of the West
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Other Books in the Series

Lucia (6 books)
  • Queen Lucia
  • Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2)
  • Mapp and Lucia (Lucia, #4)
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)
Queen Lucia Mapp and Lucia (Lucia, #4) Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2) Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6) The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson

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“It was getting very clear then (and during this week Riseholme naturally thought of nothing else) that Lucia designed a longer residence in the garish metropolis than she had admitted. Since she chose to give no information on the subject, mere pride and scorn of vulgar curiosity forebade anyone to ask her, though of course it was quite proper (indeed a matter of duty) to probe the matter to the bottom by every other means in your power, and as these bits of evidence pieced themselves together, Riseholme began to take a very gloomy view of Lucia's real nature. On the whole it was felt that Mrs. Boucher, when she paused in her bath-chair as it was being wheeled round the green, nodding her head very emphatically, and bawling into Mrs. Antrobus's ear-trumpet, reflected public opinion.

"She's deserting Riseholme and all her friends," said Mrs. Boucher, "that's what she's doing. She means to cut a dash in London, and lead London by the nose. There'll be fashionable parties, you'll see, there'll be paragraphs, and then when the season's over she'll come back and swagger about them. For my part I shall take no interest in them. Perhaps she'll bring down some of her smart friends for a Saturday till Monday. There'll be Dukes and Duchesses at The Hurst. That's what she's meaning to do, I tell you, and I don't care who hears it."

That was lucky, as anyone within the radius of a quarter of a mile could have heard it.”
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“The news that she had gone of course now spread rapidly, and by lunch time Riseholme had made up its mind what to do, and that was hermetically to close its lips for ever on the subject of Lucia. You might think what you pleased, for it was a free country, but silence was best. But this counsel of perfection was not easy to practice next day when the evening paper came. There, for all the world to read were two quite long paragraphs, in "Five o'clock Chit-Chat," over the renowned signature of Hermione, entirely about Lucia and 25 Brompton Square, and there for all the world to see was the reproduction of one of her most elegant photographs, in which she gazed dreamily outwards and a little upwards, with her fingers still pressed on the last chord of (probably) the Moonlight Sonata. . . . She had come up, so Hermione told countless readers, from her Elizabethan country seat at Riseholme (where she was a neighbour of Miss Olga Bracely) and was settling for the season in the beautiful little house in Brompton Square, which was the freehold property of her husband, and had just come to him on the death of his aunt. It was a veritable treasure house of exquisite furniture, with a charming music-room where Lucia had given Hermione a cup of tea from her marvellous Worcester tea service. . . . (At this point Daisy, whose hands were trembling with passion, exclaimed in a loud and injured voice, "The very day she arrived!") Mrs. Lucas (one of the Warwickshire Smythes by birth) was, as all the world knew, a most accomplished musician and Shakespearean scholar, and had made Riseholme a centre of culture and art. But nobody would suspect the blue stocking in the brilliant, beautiful and witty hostess whose presence would lend an added gaiety to the London season.

Daisy was beginning to feel physically unwell. She hurried over the few remaining lines, and then ejaculating "Witty! Beautiful!" sent de Vere across to Georgie's with the paper, bidding him to return it, as she hadn't finished with it. But she thought he ought to know. . . . Georgie read it through, and with admirable self restraint, sent Foljambe back with it and a message of thanks--nothing more--to Mrs. Quantock for the loan of it. Daisy, by this time feeling better, memorised the whole of it.

Life under the new conditions was not easy, for a mere glance at the paper might send any true Riseholmite into a paroxysm of chattering rage or a deep disgusted melancholy. The Times again recorded the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had arrived at 25 Brompton Square, there was another terrible paragraph headed 'Dinner,' stating that Mrs. Sandeman entertained the following to dinner. There was an Ambassador, a Marquis, a Countess (dowager), two Viscounts with wives, a Baronet, a quantity of Honourables and Knights, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas. Every single person except Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had a title. The list was too much for Mrs. Boucher, who, reading it at breakfast, suddenly exclaimed:

"I didn't think it of them. And it's a poor consolation to know that they must have gone in last."

Then she hermetically sealed her lips again on this painful subject, and when she had finished her breakfast (her appetite had quite gone) she looked up every member of that degrading party in Colonel Boucher's "Who's Who.”
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