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Lucia in London (The Mapp & Lucia Novels #3)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,149 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
A hilarious and sharply observed satire poking fun at the feuds and foibles of English high society. After her husband's Auntie Amy dies and leaves her London home to Lucia and her sweet but dull husband, Peppino, the Queen of English provincial society attempts to conquer London. Using her best social climbing instincts, nerves of steel, and an absolute inability to be em ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 28th 1987 by Harper Perennial (first published 1927)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
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
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Leslie
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, british
August 2017 reread: 3.5* Lucia's social climbing in London wasn't as amusing as the reactions of the people in Riseholme. Lucia's ambitions and disregard of her husband made her less sympathetic than I found her in the first book, Queen Lucia. However she is back to her previous good form in the last few chapters so I look forward to reading the next book sometime soon.
Karin
3.5 stars

Lucia is back to her ways again in this installment of the Lucia series; I have to say that I like this better than the first book.

Peppino (Lucia's husband) has just inherited a house in London and some income from an aunt. It doesn't take long until Lucia is working her way up the social ladder in London while the residents of Riseholme are reading about Lucia's activities in the social column of the newspaper. No doubt about it, Lucia is a brilliant climber, but Riseholme is irked and
...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
David Corvine
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Clarke
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucia does London: clever chap, that Benson. Recognising the limitations of a provincial milieu, he partially transplants his most shameless creation to London where she can run amuck in society whilst retaining one foot in the other camp [sic] of Riseholme. The touch is surer, defter than in Queen Lucia as there are infinitely more foils for the Lynda Snell of her day's pretension, condescension and scheming, though when she trips, it's further - and funnier - to fall. Ouija boards, pretend aff ...more
Nancy
May 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Lady Drinkwell
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucia behaves very badly in this book, abandoning her friends for london society, however with exquisite manipulation both they and we forgive her in the end.
Mmyoung
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
Ann
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bob-s-books
The second in the series "Make Way for Lucia" Self-absorbed, social-climbing Lucia and her husband inherit a house in London and move there. Despite her snobbery and social-climbing, Lucia is an likeable main character. (Side Note: The novel was written in 1927, and, although multiple versions were listed on Goodreads, not my 1978 paperback. I was able to add my addition, including a picture of the cover...so fun)
Lydia
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Jane Austen wrote the BBC sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances", it would have turned out something like the Lucia novels. Great fun!
Corey
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Droll, delightful.
Katie
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, 1920s
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
ParloDaIgnorante
A quanto pare questo è un romanzo che fa parte di una serie. Si immagini Londra, si scelgano gli anni Venti, si capisca che il libro è umoristico, e questo è tutto ciò che vi serve per godervi le avventure di Lucia.

Pregi.
Pregio uno:
è umoristico, perbacco! Ogni tanto i libri devono anche far sorridere (e non con malignità per via della cattiva scrittura). Non ci si può sempre occupare di dialoghi sopra i massimi sistemi.

Pregio due: avviso i lettori della recensione che questo è un pregio strano.
...more
Spencer
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed the first two books in the Mapp & Lucia series and jumped at the chance to read the third book "Lucia in London".

When I first became acquainted with Lucia in "Queen Lucia", I found her to be quirky, brazen, and a bit haughty. In "Lucia in London", however, she's downright imperious, snobby, and terribly overbearing. She thrives on being the center of attention in her small town and tries her darnedest to become the centerpiece of London as well. Her behavior reminds me of Hyacinth
...more
Linda
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Gaia
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
When Peppino’s aunt dies leaving him a quite substantial inheritance including a house at Brompton Square, Lucia’s (so far, a little scornful) opinion of London life and society suddenly reverses and she sets out to conquer. Riseholme in the meanwhile misses her but attempts to prove to themselves and her that they can get along quite well on their own setting up a museum, communing with spirits, and even going golfing, but at the same time keenly following Lucia’s pursuits. Lucia is in her elem ...more
Michael
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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
Jennifer
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-classic, 2009
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
Verity W
Lucia is on the loose in London. Will the capital survive her onslaught as she tries to inveigle her way into high society? And what will Riseholme do about it? I've read these out of order so this is the last book before Lucia and Mapp finally meet and merry hell breaks out. This is fun and clever and a little bit meta in its own way. I like Lucia more than I like Mapp - possibly because she's less malicious. She's trampling all over you, but mostly because she wants to be at the top of the pil ...more
Ruthiella
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
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Play Book Tag: Lucia in London by E.F. Benson 3.5 stars 1 6 Dec 28, 2016 05:21PM  
The ending (obviously spoilers) 1 3 Apr 30, 2014 05:36PM  
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13479797
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)
  • Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2)
  • Mapp and Lucia (Lucia, #4)
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • Trouble for Lucia (Lucia, #6)
  • Lucia in Wartime (Lucia, #7)
  • Lucia Triumphant (Lucia, #8)

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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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