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Miss Mapp (The Mapp & Lucia Novels #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,653 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
E. F. Benson's strikingly original comic creation Miss Mapp is an arch-schemer and social climber from the British town of Tilling who spends her days using opera glasses and a notebook to chart her neighbors' affairs. Among her interests are Major Benjamin Flint, whom she has been trying to marry for years, and the underhanded Miss Susan Poppit.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Moyer Bell (first published 1922)
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Kate The lozenges are in the first book of the series, Queen Lucia. I think the character that has them is Mrs Daisy Quantock.

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mark monday
Darlings, you simply must join us for...


We have a scintillating lineup of local dignitaries pitted one against the other, prepared for fierce battle through tea time and perhaps up until a light supper, served buffet style on the sideboard. The stakes are high: losers risk a decided loss of self-esteem, diminished social cachet, quickly extinguished laughter from clusters of villagers idling in front of the market, and a range of droll expressions made at their
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
I've sat around and had discussions with friends about the genius behind the show Seinfeld: how can "a show about nothing" have run for so many seasons, and still manage to maintain its freshness and hilarity to this day?

That's exactly what I asked myself after I finished reading Miss Mapp. This is the third book in a series of six books (Make Way for Lucia) written by E.F. Benson spanning the early 1920s and ending in the late 1930s. A few times when I was asked to describe what I was reading
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Ever since Summer-time had been inaugurated a few years before, it had been one of the chronic dissensions of Tilling. Miss Mapp, Diva and the Padre flatly refused to recognize it, except when they were going by train or tram, when principle must necessarily go to the wall, or they would never have succeeded in getting anywhere, while Miss Mapp, with the halo of martyrdom round her head, had once arrived at a Summer-time party an hour late, in order to bear witness to the truth, and, in conseque ...more
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
In the third of his six "Mapp and Lucia" novels, Benson shifts the scene from the village of Riseholme to that of Tilling. Here the social queen is not the redoubtable Lucia Lucas of the first two books but rather one Elizabeth Mapp, who rules with rather a heavier and more judgemental hand.

Mapp is one of the great unlikeable-but-fascinating characters in all of comic literature. She is nosey, pretentious, mean spirited, and small minded. Yet she's as fascinating as a cobra. Benson, of course,
Terence Manleigh
Book Two of the series, in which the Reader is introduced to Miss Mapp, social dominatrix of the seaside town of Tilling and future arch-rival of the matchless Lucia. Here, she gets a novel all to herself and threatens to chew it to bits with her great, gleaming, hypocritical teeth. Wickedly funny.
Susan in NC
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm in the mood for fun, light reads, so decided to reread Benson's Lucia and Mapp books this year. I read Queen Lucia not long ago and was instantly immersed in the social schemes and vicious gossip of Riseholme; but divine Lucia, charming Georgie and the delightful opera singer Olga Bracely are one thing, Miss Mapp is another!

She is truly one of the most scheming, hypocritical, suspicious and angry characters I've ever read, ruling Tilling with as iron a fist as Lucia rules Riseholme, but wit
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, british, audiobooks
3.5* rounded up for this audiobook edition.

It has been decades since I read the Mapp & Lucia series and I had forgotten much this entry (2nd in publication order but 3rd in the omnibus). I found Miss Mapp meaner than I remembered but the book funnier (so often the way in satires that the nastier characters are the source of most of the humor).

Nadia May does a marvellous narration so I am glad to have listened to this rather than read my Kindle edition.
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miss Elizabeth Mapp -- malicious, snooping, miserly and snobbish -- serves as the social center of Tilling, a thinly veiled portrait of the English town of Rye, Sussex, in the 1920s. Determined to maintain her position and to one-up her neighbors, Godiva Plaistow and Susan Poppit, MBE, Miss Mapp resents others' success and devotes hours to planning how to elevate herself. Aside from social-climbing, bridge parties and gardening, Miss Mapp's only other concern is the long-shot scheme of entrappin ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the Mapp and Lucia series (or third if one goes by a popular re-ordering). While the first book concerned the sprightly Lucia in the town of Riseholme, this one concerns the conniving Miss Mapp in the (I suppose nearby) town of Tilling. There is a passing reference made to Riseholme but otherwise this is a completely separate book only really connected through the later volumes where Lucia and Mapp meet. However both of the first two books are identical in their biting sati ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1920s
3.5 stars

Miss Elizabeth Mapp, who is on the other side of 40, has a view of the entire neighbourhood where she sees and conjectures much. She has her little tiffs with Diva, particularly over clothing, and she secretly wishes one of the gentlemen in the neighbourhood will marry her, although he has been rather naughty and staying up until all hours at home. But there are a myriad of fun characters, little events and things that make one chuckle in this book.

While I can't say that I like the char
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anglophile
I love reading about Miss Mapp! Adding to the fun is that in January I was very fortunate to get to visit the lovely village of Rye with my dear friend/fellow anglophile and stroll the streets where these books are set. It is not a must, of course, but the fact that I know exactly where Miss Mapp spied on the neighbors from her garden, watched the cars rounding the bend in front of the church, and her view down the cobblestone streets, adds to my extreme enjoyment & delight.

I look forward to
Nov 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
14 January 2008: I finished the book last night, finally! I've been so busy it was hard to devote any consistent time to the novel, though I did enjoy it immensley.

I wavered between awarding it four or five stars, because some aspects were truly outstanding and others were only slightly lacking--and it may just have been because I didn't read it daily, but it was a bit hard to keep the characters (except Miss Mapp) straight in the beginning, and the first 1/3 or so of the book were more unrelat
Lindley Walter-smith
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Miss Mapp all on her own is a bit exhausting - so much evil and malice and spite in one plump and dimpled spinster, and none of Lucia's generous nature to lighten the mixture a bit. Miss Mapp's nasty plottings and the social jostlings of Tilling are still enthralling, and Diva is quite lovable. Acidly witty and all too perceptive.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2017
Oh my goodness, how snooty, how nosey, how absolutely delightful. A cup of tea solves everything especially drinking it while looking out the window and observing everyone. This was such fun.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
My introduction to the world of E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia novels was via the BBC TV adaptation broadcast in the UK in late December 2014. E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia novels were also recommended to me on GoodReads.

This is the second book in the Mapp and Lucia series, and the second one I have read. The novels, in chronological order, are:

Queen Lucia (1920)
Miss Mapp (1922)
Lucia in London (1927)
Mapp and Lucia (1931)
Lucia's Progress (1935) (published in the US as Trouble for Lucia (1939))

Robert Stewart
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book has one of my favorite opening paragraphs of all time:

Miss Elizabeth Mapp might have been forty, and she had taken advantage of this opportunity by being just a year or two older. Her face was of high vivid colour and was corrugated by chronic rage and curiosity; but these vivifying emotions had preserved to her an astonishing activity of mind and body, which fully accounted for the comparative adolescence with which she would have been credited anywhere except in the charming little t
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another reread that I know already is five stars!

Paragraphs like this one are why I adore E.F. Benson:

"Peace on earth and mercy mild," sang Miss Mapp, holding her head back with her uvula clearly visible. She sat in her usual seat close below the pulpit, and the sun streaming in through a stained glass window opposite made her face of all colours, like Joseph's coat. Not knowing how it looked from outside, she pictured to herself a sort of celestial radiance coming from within, though Diva, sitt
Lady Drinkwell
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although I did love this book it is probably my least favourite in the series. Miss Mapp is as maddening and Lucia but without her saving graces. There is also a lot of discussing of bridge which I could not follow not being a bridge placers myself. This does continue in the other books but not to the same extent. I really started to enjoy the second half with the tale of the two military gentlemen which is extremely funny
Laurel Hicks
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-02
Jamie Collins
This is pure comedy, of course, and it was amusing, but as with the first book I was bothered at times by the intense social anxiety.

Miss Mapp occupies herself with playing bridge and spying on her neighbors in the apparently tiny village of Tilling. There isn’t much of a plot; this is rather a series of vignettes.

I enjoyed watching the whole village pretend they didn’t care that the Prince of Wales’s train was stopping by the village. “She was quite determined to see him, but more inflexible
Agnieszka Małgorzata
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Mapp and Lucia series, based on the first two novels, seems to be a badly executed satire on aspiring English high society. It's especially painful as the author
1) clearly thinks there is a "true" high society, of which the described characters are poor imitations literally as well as figuratively, as evidenced by an inclusion in each of the books of a truly interesting, well-living, amiable member of the former;
2) believes that no subject is boring enough as long as it showcases the shortco
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tending to the hoard
dragon in a crimson gown
no gold, just gossip.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having very recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Queen Lucia by E F Benson, it was a pretty safe bet that I would be reading the next Mapp and Lucia book in the Wordsworth collection soon after.
In Miss Mapp, we are introduced to a new set of characters who reside in another village – there is no connection (as yet) between Elizabeth Mapp and Mrs (Lucia) Lucas. Miss Mapp lives in Tilling, and like Mrs Lucas in her village of Riseholme she is very much at the centre of life there. Here Miss Mapp
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Benson, E. F. (Edward Frederic) (1867-1940). MISS MAPP. (1922). ****.
Benson was a very popular novelist, essayist and biographer. In addition to his large output of novels, he wrote biographies of Sir Francis Drake, Ferdinand Magellan, Charlotte Bronte, Alcibiades, and Queen Victoria. He was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury. His most popular novels were those that featured Miss Mapp and/or Lucia. This one, obviously, featured Miss Mapp. Mapp lived in the village of Tilling, and was a spi
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
I am now giggling through this next novel in Benson's series, which takes us to the even more backwater town of Tilling, and its resident "Queen", Elizabeth Mapp...

Benson still delivers the story in his masterful satirical style, but I have to admit that this is a town I would avoid if I contemplated travels to fictional places; Tilling seems to be inhabited by barely enough people to populate two bridge tables, nearly all of whom are miserly and constantly obsess about the cost of things, which
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Third book in the series introduces a whole new set of characters who will meet the main ones in the next volume.
Along with the amusing descriptions of Machiavellian maneuvering in small town social circles are other sources of pleasure, one of which is that the characters' dialog (or the narration about them) spins an elegant web of allusion and quotation that reinforces the (mythical?) notion that people were once better educated - following the references in this one led me to Shelley, the "S
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Another excellent reading! And unabridged, which made me very happy. Nadia May is a first-class narrator with a real feel for Benson's writing - her prissy Miss Mapp is sheer joy.

I'm endlessly diverted by the way that Benson can make me loathe Miss Mapp one minute and feel for her the next, though I think I can say quite definitely that I would hate to know her in real life. And this book sets the scene ready for the arrival of the divine Lucia, soon to become Miss Mapp's arch-rival.

Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, humor
Spotted this on Bettie's list and thought I'd check it out - and it was worth it all right! Amazing cattiness and one-upmanship leads to hilarious consequences. I am definitely looking out for more of this series. My thanks to Bettie!
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
All books by E.F. Benson are worth reading. The Mapp and Lucia books deal with the minutae of daily life in Tilling, actually Rye, where Benson lived. It is social comedy at it's best.
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read a second or third time in April 2016. Good reading for during chemo.
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Edward Frederic "E. F." Benson was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, archaeologist and short story writer.
More about E.F. Benson...

Other Books in the Series

The Mapp & Lucia Novels (8 books)
  • Queen Lucia (Lucia, #1)
  • 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)
“Miss Elizabeth Mapp might have been forty, and she had taken advantage of this opportunity by being just a year or two older. Her face was of high vivid colour and was corrugated by chronic rage and curiosity; but these vivifying emotions had preserved to her an astonishing activity of mind and body, which fully accounted for the comparative adolescence with which she would have been credited anywhere except in the charming little town which she had inhabited so long. Anger and the gravest suspicions about everybody had kept her young and on the boil.” 5 likes
“The Major's laughter boomed out again.

"And I never kept a diary in my life!" he cried. "Why there's enough cream in this situation to make a dishful of meringues. You and I, you know, the students of Tilling! The serious-minded students who do a hard day's work when all the pretty ladies have gone to bed. Often and often has old--I mean has that fine woman, Miss Mapp, told me that I work too hard at night! Recommended me to get earlier to bed, and do my work between six and eight in the morning! Six and eight in the morning! That's a queer time of day to recommend an old campaigner to be awake at! Often she's talked to you, too, I bet my hat, about sitting up late and exhausting the nervous faculties."

Major Flint choked and laughed and inhaled tobacco smoke till he got purple in the face.

"And you sitting up one side of the street," he gasped, "pretending to be interested in Roman roads, and me on the other pulling a long face over my diaries, and neither of us with a Roman road or a diary to our names. Let's have an end to such unsociable arrangements, old friend; you lining your Roman roads and the bottle to lay the dust over to me one night, and I'll bring my diaries and my peg over to you the next. Never drink alone--one of my maxims in life--if you can find someone to drink with you. And there were you within a few yards of me all the time sitting by your old solitary self, and there was I sitting by my old solitary self, and we each thought the other a serious-minded old buffer, busy on his life-work. I'm blessed if I ever heard of two such pompous old frauds as you and I, Captain! What a sight of hypocrisy there is in the world, to be sure! No offence--mind: I'm as bad as you, and you're as bad as me, and we're both as bad as each other. But no more solitary confinement of an evening for Benjamin Flint, as long as you're agreeable.”
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