E. F. Benson, best known for his irresistible Mapp and Lucia novels set in the fictional town of Tilling, England, was a prolific and beloved novelist. Though the Mapp and Lucia books remain popular to this day, this kindred book will be back in print for the first time since its initial publication.
The son of E. W. Benson, archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 to 1896, the
The story went in a direction I didn't expect and was deeper than the Mapp and Lucia series, but it lacks the sparkle an charm of those books. It is very good all the same, and I think anyone who enjoyed those will like this one too.
That said--why did ...more
Who was at whose party last night with whom? For the residents of Riseborough, the answer to that question and other gossipy tidbits like it is their prime preoccupation during days spent in the relatively otherwise unexciting little town. Chief among the participants are the women who vie for social superiority, engaging in small social battles to ensure their standing. (My favorite example of this is the feud that occurs between Mrs. Altham and Mrs. Ames on the subject of punctuality. "About ...more
At times, Bensons descriptions can be rather blunt in their franknessand quite evil. Take this description of Mrs. Ames: In appearance, she was like a small, good-looking toad in half-mourning  she was small for a woman, ...more
There are an abundance of double entendres. I have not laughed out ...more
I am glad I re-read this book. I shall probably make a post of it on my blog and link it here.
When I first read this novel, I was enthralled by ...more
I only laughed out loud once, but I was amused through the entire read.
More surprising than my amusement, though, (since the author clearly intended to be amusing) is how deftly the characters are drawn and how ...more
ETA...02/08/2011. I have really enjoyed this book. I am wrapping it up today and all I can say is that it reminds me of an early 1900's Desperate Housewives, but better! For some reason, and I am not sure why..I also keep thinking of the townfolk in the 1950's version of The Music Man, but I couldn't tell you why...something about the interactions.
An amusing story about social oneupmanship in a British village. The humor is really on the "comedy of manners" side. I might check out Benson's more well-known Mapp & Lucia novels, but from Mrs. Ames I didn't feel as satisfied with the ha-has as I do when I read Wodehouse.
As with the Mapp and Lucia books Benson began to write in the 1920s, Mrs. Ames (1912) deals with the struggle of two women to be the dominant social maven in their little town. Millie Evans and Amy Ames are cousins and rivals for the title of supreme ...more
The story itself is about the society of a town called Riseborough in England. The title character, Mrs. Ames, is married to Major Ames and he soon begins to flirt with Mrs. Ames' ...more
Alas, where is the wit?
Where are the witticisms?
Where happened to the clever social one-upsmanship?
The snarkiness was there (in Mrs. Ames), but without the good-natured fun. Mrs. Ames was published 10-20 years earlier ...more
The started off so slow for me. I just couldn't get into it! The story started heating up in the middle. The ending was so-so. I don't understand why didn't Mrs. Ames let her husband just go off with Mrs. Evans and be done with a husband who didn't love her. He would have been to one in ruins not her. He ran off not her. Why hold onto him?
E. F. Benson was the younger brother of A.C. Benson, who wrote the words to "Land of Hope and Glory", Robert Hugh Benson, author of several novels and Roman Catholic apologetic works, and Margaret Benson, an author and amateur Egyptologist.