Mapp and Lucia

Mapp and Lucia

4.5 4
by E F Benson
     
 

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Though it was nearly a year since her husband's death, Emmeline
Lucas (universally known to her friends as Lucia) still wore the
deepest and most uncompromising mourning. Black certainly suited
her very well, but that had nothing to do with this continued use
of it, whatever anybody said. Pepino and she had been the most
devoted couple for over…  See more details below

Overview

Though it was nearly a year since her husband's death, Emmeline
Lucas (universally known to her friends as Lucia) still wore the
deepest and most uncompromising mourning. Black certainly suited
her very well, but that had nothing to do with this continued use
of it, whatever anybody said. Pepino and she had been the most
devoted couple for over twenty-five years, and her grief at his
loss was heart-felt: she missed him constantly and keenly. But
months ago now, she, with her very vital and active personality,
had felt a most natural craving to immerse herself again in all
those thrilling interests which made life at this Elizabethan
village of Riseholme so exciting a business, and she had not yet
been able to make up her mind to take the plunge she longed for.
Though she had not made a luxury out of the tokens of grief, she
had perhaps made, ever so slightly, a stunt of them.

For instance. There was that book-shop on the green, 'Ye Signe of
ye Daffodille', under the imprint of which Pepino had published his
severely limited edition of Fugitive Lyrics and Pensieri Persi. A
full six months after his death Lucia had been walking past it with
Georgie Pillson, and had seen in the window a book she would have
liked to purchase. But next to it, on the shelf, was the thin
volume of Pepino's Pensieri Persi, and, frankly, it had been rather
stuntish of her to falter on the threshold and, with eyes that were
doing their best to swim, to say to Georgie:

'I can't quite face going in, Georgie. Weak of me, I know, but
there it is. Will you please just pop in, caro, and ask them to
send me Beethoven's Days of Boyhood? I will stroll on.'

So Georgie had pressed her hand and done this errand for her, and
of course he had repeated this pathetic little incident to others.
Tasteful embroideries had been tacked on to it, and it was soon
known all over Riseholme that poor Lucia had gone into 'Ye Signe of
ye Daffodille' to buy the book about Beethoven's boyhood, and had
been so sadly affected by the sight of Pepino's poems in their
rough brown linen cover with dark-green tape to tie them up with
(although she constantly saw the same volume in her own house),
that she had quite broken down. Some said that sal volatile had
been administered.

Similarly, she had never been able to bring herself to have a game
of golf, or to resume her Dante-readings, and having thus
established the impression that her life had been completely
smashed up it had been hard to decide that on Tuesday or Wednesday
next she would begin to glue it together again. In consequence she
had remained in as many pieces as before. Like a sensible woman
she was very careful of her physical health, and since this stunt
of mourning made it impossible for her to play golf or take brisk
walks, she sent for a very illuminating little book, called An
Ideal System of Callisthenics for those no longer Young, and in a
secluded glade of her garden she exposed as much of herself as was
proper to the invigorating action of the sun, when there was any,
and had long bouts of skipping, and kicked, and jerked, and swayed
her trunk, gracefully and vigorously, in accordance with the
instructions laid down. The effect was most satisfactory, and at
the very, very back of her mind she conceived it possible that some
day she might conduct callisthenic classes for those ladies of
Riseholme who were no longer young.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013663121
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/16/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
276 KB

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Mapp and Lucia (10 Cassettes) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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