5 Dec 2010

Review: "Mapp and Lucia" - Girlfight!

Thanks to Simon from Stuck in a Book - http://www.stuck-in-a-book.blogspot.com - I became interested in reading the Mapp and Lucia seris by E.F. Benson. However, I didn't do my homework properly and thus ended up starting with the fourth book in the series! This happened because I bought a used edition of "Lucia Victrix" which contains the last three books in the series, something I only discovered when I was almost done reading the last book... Well done!

However, I must say that it doesn't really matter because it was very easy to get into the books and the scenery - not prequels ever struck me as missing, the books worked fine as they were. Here I will write a bit about the first one I read: "Mapp and Lucia".

The story centers on Lucia - Mrs. Emmeline Lucas as her real name is - who rents a house in the small seaside town of Tilling for a couple of months over the summer. Along with her, her best friend Georgie Pillson also rents a house in the town and these two friends prepare to take on the social scene of Tilling - they for some reason reminded me of a sophisticated 1930s version of Batman and Robin. This, however, is not what Elizabeth Mapp has in mind. It is her house Mallards that Lucia has rented and Mapp has made plans to introduce Lucia as her protege. Lucia is not one to be condescended and soon the two ladies are heading for collision. No weapons are sacred in this fight for social power and tea parties, bridge games and dinner parties are all part of the war. One battle in particular is over Lucia's recipe for lobster a la Riseholme - a secret that Mapp will do anything to get her hands on.

Again and again these ladies wage war, competing for power and the role as queen of Tilling and it is really really entertaining to read about. There is no real action, no mystery, no love story line - just a description of the lengths these go to in order to have one up on each other. The characters are perfectly created with a lot of depth - they all have flaws and vanities but it is impossible not to care for them because they are so incredibly human.

Just like so many of the other books that Simon has recommended, I loved this one. Absolutely loved it and within the next few days, I will review the other two Mapp and Lucia books that I have read - hope you will pop by my blog to read them!


  1. Hi! I'm a new follower. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. The Fever series is AMAZING! I hope you read and love them :)
    Have a great week.
    Caroline @ Bon Bons and Reveries

  2. Thanks Caroline, have to say I really like your blog! Will stop by soon again.

  3. I've not heard of this series before but it sounds delightful -- for some reason, the premise of this book might fit perfectly amongst the selections that I have for the rest of December. Might need to look this series up!

    And I love the cover of this book -- illustrations such as these make me feel a bit nostalgic for a time period I never lived through!

  4. Delightful is the perfect word to describe this book actually. It is such a pleasure to read.

  5. I like the sound of this book and what a great cover, so simple and yet so beautiful.

  6. So pleased that you liked the book! I re-read them all a year or two ago, and loved them all over again.

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  8. I rented the DVD of this TV series and although charming, found the actors accents a little hard work to follow. Sounds like I should have read the books rather than watched the TV adaptation.