Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Make Way for Lucia” as Want to Read:
Make Way for Lucia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Make Way for Lucia (The Mapp & Lucia Novels #1-6)

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  802 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
All the Lucia novels in one volume.
Paperback, 1136 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Harpercollins (first published 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Make Way for Lucia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Make Way for Lucia

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sherwood Smith
E. F. Benson apparently had two obsessions: ghost stories, and high society, with an unrelenting hatred of social climbers. The distant rumbles of Bolshevism and the nearer-at-home threat of Black Shirts and incipient Nazis don't stir him to the heat of indignation that he reserves for middle class people pretending to a rank to which they are not entitled; a great many of his short stories are savage satires of bumptious mushrooms trying to shoulder their way into society, to the extent of ...more
Oct 18, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
I have just finished rereading the complete Mapp and Lucia series and, though I would have thought it beyond the bounds of possibility, I enjoyed it even more second-time around.

There are six books in the series (seven counting the included short story). Whilst each is stand-alone, they are best read in sequence and what pure delight there is in store for those at the start of this hilarious immersion into middle-class, small-town England. Though the Great War is only just behind them, the peop
Jim Coughenour
Mar 23, 2010 Jim Coughenour rated it it was amazing
Shelves: justforfun
I'm adding this book years after I read it, but certain cherished passages inevitably recur in my fading memory, especially as I'm now reading Saki and Sōseki's I Am A Cat.

For years I sniffed at Benson's Lucia novels, somehow imagining that I was above them, that they were the sort of thing old queens who loved Ronald Firbank would read. Well, maybe they are – but I was wrong about myself. When I pick up this doorstop of a book, I can only echo the Foreword by Anne Parrish: "although my copies a
Dec 02, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worth-rereading
These books present a quintessential fishbowl view of early 20th century priveleged English village life. The characters are so well-drawn that they're almost caricatures. They become family; they make you crazy sometimes, but just when you're ready to kick them out, they endear themselves in a way that makes you want to hug them to your chest instead. These are literally (ha! that sounds like a pun) some of my favorite books. I would take them to that proverbial desert island with me.
Feb 14, 2008 Joan rated it really liked it
I absolutely love this book. It is actually a compilation of 7 stories about Lucia and Miss Mapp. The first two stories are about Lucia which I didn't get too much out of. But when Miss Mapp enters the story in book three, it becomes the most hilarious book I've ever read. It takes place in a small British hamlet and covers the lives of certain individuals who live in the town. The busybody Miss Mapp is the center of the story and I have never laughed so much as when I read about her adventures. ...more
Apr 07, 2008 Dmitri rated it it was amazing
My life would have been much sadder had this book (these books, really) not have been in it. Went so far as to go on a pilgrimage to Tilling itself, where I learnt exactly how Mapp was able to spy on Lucia from the church steeple ....
Ivonne Rovira
Mapp and Lucia: The Complete Series contains all six of the Lucia novels, which are also compiled under the title Make Way for Lucia. The novels, needless to say, are excellent -- particularly the first four. You'll laugh out loud.

This Kindle anthology contains no table of contents and is otherwise quite difficult to navigate. The font, very difficult to read, is one I haven't seen since the days of IBM Selectric typewriters. Considering Mapp and Lucia: The Complete Series cost a mere 99 cents,
Nov 13, 2007 Clare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
This is the all-time sure-fire depression cure! Whenever I have the blues, I dip into this book. The War of the Chintz Roses; Mapp's underhanded efforts to steal the recipe for Lobster a la Riseholme, Georgie's beard, and Diva striving to keep her place as Queen of the Fete...

A hysterical comedy of manners, set in Britain between the wars.
Chris Stanley
Dec 07, 2012 Chris Stanley rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, library, humour
This book forever to read, but was worth it. I enjoyed the humour, and it's a very different type of read for me.
Denise Hay
May 22, 2014 Denise Hay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
"Georgie held her hand a moment longer than was usual, and gave it a little extra pressure for the conveyance of sympathy. Lucia, to acknowledge that, pressed a little more, and Georgie tightened his grip again to show that he understood, until their respective fingernails grew white with the conveyance and reception of sympathy. It was rather agonizing, because a bit of skin on his little finger had got caught between two of the rings on his third finger, and he was glad when they quite ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Jeslyn added it
This is the complete collection of E. F. Benson's Lucia stories, and at 900+ pages it makes for some hefty lugging about; however, though one appears to be reading the condensed OED in public (which makes for more than a few raised-eyebrow comments), there are seven novels within these covers and thus far they are laugh-out-loud hilarious - when the reader isn't gasping out loud in horror at the social atrocities being committed, of course...

I re-read Queen Lucia, which heads off the series, and
Oct 01, 2011 Lynda rated it it was amazing
I have completed rereading...for the fifth time...that which I refer to as THE LUCIA ANTHOLOGY (all stories are contained in MAKE WAY FOR LUCIA). With each reading, I laugh, I enjoy, and I continue to discover something new as to the wonderful world created for us by E.F. Benson. Lucia, Miss Mapp, Daisy Quantock, Quaint Irene, Diva, Peppino...and of course...Mr. Georgie...bring to us a slice of England as it perhaps never was but certainly could have been. The characters are completely "over the ...more
Martha Bratton
Sep 24, 2015 Martha Bratton rated it really liked it
Finally finished the 913 pages of delightful malice and I will miss my daily sessions with it. It was *7* books published as one too-heavy book. But as Nancy Mitford says in the introduction, it will keep your friends from borrowing it. You get a better insight into the malicious and petty, but entertaining habits of Mapp and Lucia as they compete to be the "queen" of their villages. What I love is that when they take it too far, they know that there's no game if you don't let your adversary ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Long before the word "frenemies" was coined, there was Mrs. Emmeline Lucas and Miss Elizabeth Mapp. E.F. Benson's tales of the vicious schemes these two ladies--and their assorted hangers-on--engage in to maintain their social prominence (schemes that almost always go hilariously awry) are a must for any fans of Saki, Wodehouse, or that wonderful dry, sarcastic English sense of humor. First time readers should tackle the novels in order because the inside jokes and daffy reoccurring characters ...more
Sep 30, 2010 R R rated it it was amazing
This had to be where "Keeping up Appearances" came from. Lovingl it.

Just finished all 7 of the novels involved in Make Way for Lucia. This is a book I will keep in my library, usually pass books along since I have so many but this one is a keeper. So well written and the characters are unforgettable. When Lucia and Miss Mapp finally end up in the same village it gets even better and I was rooting for Lucia which I never suspected I would when I read the first couple of novels. I have ordered the
Jun 24, 2016 Al rated it it was amazing
I've read it, and read it again, and again, and again. Now I'm reading it again. This is likely the only book I have read as many times. I can predict the dialogue and narrative as it happens. And yet I keep wanting to read it again. Can you tell I love all of the Lucia and Mapp books? One of the things that happens every time for me is that my opinion of Lucia changes from bad to good every time as I meet Miss Mapp. Benson does a fine job of creating a society where the main characters have ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it
Recommended to Barbara by: Anne JP
Nancy Mitford wrote the forward to my copy, so it makes me wonder if I will like it.

Started over on this book and now I am beginning to enjoy it --- it is amusing so far.

AJP recommended this series, and now I see why. The characters are very well developed and entertaining. The author, E.F. Benson, uses the technique of letting the reader know what is going on, while the characters are clueless and deep in interpretation and analysis of their little society --- and that technique is quite entert
Aug 13, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series from the Mapp and Lucia books onwards was my big find of out-of-copyright (almost) ebooks. Social satire about shallow, petty-minded snobs in an English village. Some of the books have a slightly odd rambling structure, but the comic timing and phrasing is spot on. I suspect the satire is more biting than it appears reading it 80 years later in New Zealand, as my English grandmother was a bridge-playing, organ-playing personality in an English village and I don't quite dare suggest ...more
Jun 11, 2009 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compilation of 7 novels, so I'm taking my time with it, reading one between other books, sort of as a palate cleanser. Benson's tales of village snobbery in 1920s England are like a cross between P.G. Wodehouse's hilarious stories and the TV show Keeping Up Appearances. Hilarious, in my opinion, if a bit much read one right after the other.

By the end I was tired of the characters. I would have liked to read the books further apart.
Leila Klaiss
Feb 03, 2014 Leila Klaiss rated it it was amazing
It took me years, starting way back in the 70s, to find all the Mapp & Lucia books! If my house caught on fire, they would probably be the first things I would grab to save, that's how much I love them. I can pick one up...any one of them, and just open it to any page and start reading! I have never tired of them. They are about the time and places in England I want to visit. My copies are all beat up from so much use!
Nancy Wyland
Jun 01, 2012 Nancy Wyland rated it it was amazing
This is the most fun a person can have with a book. The characters are delightful, timeless, and the writing is some of the best I've read. It can't be recommended strongly enough. For some readers, you have to devote yourself to the first couple of chapters to familiarize yourself with everyone, but stick with it - once you're sucked into the wonderful microcosm of Riseholme, you will never be the same.
Jan 04, 2009 Sonja rated it it was amazing
My mom lent me this book last Christmas. It's one of her favorites -- she'd been talking it up to me for a long time. It's a collection of seven novels about a character named Lucia, the town she lives in, and all her wacky friends. Takes place in England in the 1930s (or is it 1940s?). I've read the first two novels, and just started the third. It's a fun read. The characters are vivid and memorable, and their exploits are funny -- very entertaining.
I re-read this series every few years because it's so delightful and howlingly funny. The pretentious Lucia, her best friend Georgie, and Lucia's nemesis, the practical and plodding Miss Mapp are just hilarious. It makes you want to move to their little English 1930s village and see what they're up to...Highly recommended.
Sep 01, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it
I was totally engrossed in this series of novels -- the stories are absolutely delightful. They are absurd in much the same way as P.G. Wodehouse's books are, but as the reader is drawn into the tiny but massively significant world of Lucia and her cohorts the sense of absurdity seems to fade. This book collecting all the adventures of Lucia and Miss Mapp is a treasure!
Looking at the reviews on goodreads I think it possible that I didn't give this book enough of a chance, but it was just too boring. I got so sick of everyone's eavesdropping, one-upping each other, completely foolish past times and obsessions. I love a nearly pointless British book with lots of quirks and wit, this one just didn't fit the bill somehow.
Jul 25, 2011 Marge rated it it was amazing
A friend who knows how much I've enjoyed reading Alexander McCall Smith's novels, recommended this series to me, and I am so grateful! I enjoyed every delicious bite of the social satire, every laugh, every character. These books were very good company for the last eight weeks, and I already feel I want to start re-reading them. Pure pleasure!
Jun 29, 2011 Carrol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love all the Mapp and Lucia books. The only books I pull out and re-read from time to time. Delightfully light and funny. Not to everyone's taste, I find. In my enthusiasm upon discovering these books I loaned them to several people. Some just didn't "get" the humor. One or two of Benson's other books are almost as good, but most fall short for me. Long live Lucia!
Apr 07, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
This book is the complete collection of all seven of E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia books, plus one short story.

It is laugh-out-loud funny, but I would shoot myself if I had real neighbors like these.
May 15, 2013 Eugenia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I'd get bored going through all of them,but I didn't -- village life and its petty spites reminds me of life as a long-timer in an English department in a small-ish city. The petty snobberies ring particularly true. It's hilarious.
Aug 20, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this is my third time reading the 1500 pages of Mapp and Lucia stories. And I still adore them. Once again I didn't want them to end and want to know more of what goes on in Tilling. Sigh. sorry it's finished.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jeeves, Jeeves, Jeeves
  • The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection
  • Claudine And Annie
  • The Demon in the House
  • Plutus
  • Father of the Bride (Classic Edition)
  • Great Detectives: A Century of the Best Mysteries from England and America
  • The Trimmed Lamp and Other Stories of the Four Million
  • Kiss, Kiss / Switch Bitch / My Uncle Oswald
  • St. Mawr/The Man Who Died
  • The Scandal of Father Brown (Father Brown, #5)
  • Nightmare Abbey; Crotchet Castle

Other Books in the Series

The Mapp & Lucia Novels (8 books)
  • Queen Lucia (Lucia, #1)
  • Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2)
  • Lucia in London (Lucia, #3)
  • Mapp and Lucia (Lucia, #4)
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)
  • Lucia in Wartime (Lucia, #7)
  • Lucia Triumphant (Lucia, #8)

Share This Book