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Make Way for Lucia
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Make Way for Lucia (Lucia #1-6)

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  554 ratings  ·  51 reviews
All the Lucia novels in one solid volume of "unflagging delight."- New York Times Book Review
Paperback, 1136 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Harpercollins
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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 cert...more
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...more
Jim Coughenour
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...more
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.
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
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 ....
Denise Hay
"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 underst...more
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.
Nov 13, 2007 Clare rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
This book forever to read, but was worth it. I enjoyed the humour, and it's a very different type of read for me.
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...more
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
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 c...more
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...more
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,...more
One of my five desert-island books. Just had to buy a hardcover copy, as my paperback has been shedding leaves -- too many rereads.
Mar 08, 2010 Barbara rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
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 t...more
fun read every four or five years.
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
My favourite summer reading of all time
I haven't devoured a series of books like that in a loooong time. Almost 1000 pages of deliciously off-handed, effortlessly snarky observations on man's foibles that the Brits do so well. After 6 weeks (including one extension) from the library, this is one I'm going to buy.
Elizabeth Theiss
E.F. Benson is so much fun! I found the main character, Lucia, outrageously funny and the rest of her long-suffering village almost as funny. My mom introduced me to this comedy of manners and we still laugh every once in a while when we meet a Lucia-type poseur.
Apr 22, 2013 Kimberly marked it as to-read
I just received this 1,000+ page volume in the mail today. As I understand it, it contains six novels and a short story. The books in this compilation get rave reviews, and were recommended by a fan of D.E. Stevenson's novels as being in a similar vein.
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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) Lucia in London (Lucia, #2) Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)

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