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Queen Lucia

Queen Lucia by Edwin F. Benson
By: (1867-1940)

E. F. Benson (1867-1940) was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, where his father, who later went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first Headmaster. He wrote 105 books in all.

Queen Lucia (first published in 1920) was the first of Benson’s ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels of which there were six. This first book is a comedy of manners based in the provincial village of Riseholme, where Emmeline Lucas (the Queen Lucia of the title) presides over the social and artistic universe of the gullible residents. Her aide-de-camp in these matters is the somewhat effete Georgie Pillson and the chief competitor for her ‘crown’ is Daisy Quantock. The scandal of the Guru, the psychical goings on with Princess Popoffski and the arrival into the sleepy village of a famous Prima Donna all conspire to threaten her supremacy…

First Page:

Queen Lucia

by E. F. Benson

Chapter ONE

Though the sun was hot on this July morning Mrs Lucas preferred to cover the half mile that lay between the station and her house on her own brisk feet, and sent on her maid and her luggage in the fly that her husband had ordered to meet her. After those four hours in the train a short walk would be pleasant, but, though she veiled it from her conscious mind, another motive, sub consciously engineered, prompted her action. It would, of course, be universally known to all her friends in Riseholme that she was arriving today by the 12.26, and at that hour the village street would be sure to be full of them. They would see the fly with luggage draw up at the door of The Hurst, and nobody except her maid would get out.

That would be an interesting thing for them: it would cause one of those little thrills of pleasant excitement and conjectural exercise which supplied Riseholme with its emotional daily bread. They would all wonder what had happened to her, whether she had been taken ill at the very last moment before leaving town and with her well known fortitude and consideration for the feelings of others, had sent her maid on to assure her husband that he need not be anxious... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - March 25, 2013
Subject: Superb humour
A brilliant author illuminated by a reading that was so good it made the listening experience a total joy.

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