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If ever 21st Century life gets a little 'tarsome' (as Lucia's stalwart escort, 'Georgie', would put it), I turn time and time again to the little village of Tilling, East Sussex, where E.F Benson has created his 'world' of tea shops, dinner parties, amateur art societies and, most importantly, PEOPLE - for it is within the realms of PEOPLE and their most hateful foibles that Benson's genius lay. The autocratic 'Lucia' and her arch rival, the dastardly 'Miss Mapp', battle it out over a series of rich and wonderful books, and there is not a page which does not have me crying tears of laughter into my cucumber sandwhiches and India tea! Marvellous escapism and unbelievably suspensful (WHAT'S going to happen when Georgie and Mr Wyse BOTH wear their new velvet suits to Lucia's dinner party! ), Benson turns his caustic, playful eye on British society of the 1920s with such pure delight that there is only one word for these books; DELICIOUS!
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Posted October 25, 2008
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