Benson Edward Frederic
Edward Frederic Benson (24 July 1867 – 29 February 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer, known professionally as E.F. Benson. His friends called him Fred. E.F. Benson was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, the fifth child of the headmaster, Edward White Benson (later Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, Bishop of Truro and Archbishop of Canterbury), and Mary Sidgwick Benson ("Minnie"), who was described by Gladstone as the 'cleverest woman in Europe' and after her husband's death set up a lesbian household with Lucy Tait, daughter of the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Campbell Tait. Benson was the younger brother of Arthur Christopher Benson, who wrote the words to Land of Hope and Glory, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, author of several novels and Roman Catholic apologetic works, and Margaret Benson (Maggie) an amateur Egyptologist. Two other siblings died young. E. F. Benson never married but there is no evidence that he was homosexual, though thought so by many people. E. F. Benson was an excellent athlete, and represented England at figure skating. He was a precocious and prolific writer, publishing his first book while still a student. Nowadays he is principally known for his Mapp and Lucia series about Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas and Elizabeth Mapp. The principal setting of four of the Mapp and Lucia books is a town called Tilling, which is recognizably based on Rye, East Sussex, where Benson lived for many years and served as mayor from 1934 (he moved there in 1918). Benson's home, Lamb House, served as the model for Mallards, Lucia's home in some of the Tilling series. There really was a handsome 'Garden Room' adjoining the street but, unfortunately, it was destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War. Lamb House attracted writers: it was earlier the home of Henry James, and later of Rumer Godden. In London, Benson also lived at 395 Oxford Street, W1 (now the branch of Russell & Bromley just west of Bond Street Underground Station), 102 Oakley Street, SW3, and 25 Brompton Square, SW3, where much of the action of Lucia in London takes place and where English Heritage placed a Blue Plaque in 1994. Benson died in 1940 of throat cancer in University College Hospital, London. Benson's first book was Sketches from Marlborough. He started his novel writing career with the (then) fashionably controversial Dodo (1893), and he followed it with a variety of satire and romantic melodrama. The Mapp and Lucia series, written relatively late in his career, consists of six novels and two short stories. The novels are: Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp (including the short story The Male Impersonator), Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress (published as The Worshipful Lucia in the U.S.) and Trouble for Lucia. The short stories are "The Male Impersonator" and "Desirable Residences". Both appear in anthologies of Benson's short stories, and the former is also often appended to the end of the novel Miss Mapp. The last three novels were serialized by London Weekend Television for the fledgling Channel 4 in 1985–6 under the series title Mapp and Lucia and starring Prunella Scales, Geraldine McEwan and Nigel Hawthorne; the first four have been adapted for BBC Radio 4 by both Aubrey Woods and (most recently) Ned Sherrin; the fifth, Lucia's Progress, was adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 2008 by John Peacock. During 2007, the television series has had reruns on the British digital channel ITV3. Benson was also known as a writer of ghost stories, which frequently appear in collections, and of a series of biographies/autobiographies and memoirs, including one of Charlotte Brontë. His last book, delivered to his publisher ten days before his death, was an autobiography entitled Final Edition. H. P. Lovecraft spoke highly of Benson's works in his "Supernatural Horror in Literature", most notably of his story "The Man Who Went Too Far" . A critical essay on Benson's ghost stories appears in S. T. Joshi's book The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004). Further "Mapp and Lucia" books have been written by Tom Holt and Guy Fraser-Sampson. Mapp and Lucia books (also known as the Make Way For Lucia series)
This is a nice and funny book describing the life of Miss Mapp who governs a small English village called Tilling. There are not many inhabitants there and the lady who is very intelligent has the power to manipulate them, make them do some expected things. Every character in this village is very bright and easy-to-remember. Among them it is worth to mention the greatest rival of Miss Mapp's Diva and the local artist Irene who does not really like the main character often embarrassing her. We also meet Vicar who is bright for his way of talking as in his speech he mixes Shakespearian English and Burnsian dialect. The novel starts with the description of a bridge party that takes place at Poppit's house. Such parties are often organized in the village and they are the main place of social life. Miss Mapp uses bridge to see other people's weaknesses and to keep in mind the ways of her possible future manipulations. The author Edward Benson does a great job in showing the smallest details of everyday life in Tilling. For example, he describes the opposition of Miss Mapp and Diva who want to be better-dressed. There is also a respected and the most handsome man name Mr. Wyse for whose attention almost all women are struggling. And of course, it is not possible to imagine a small village without gossiping where Miss Mapp takes an active part. The book is wonderfully written with the help of simple and ironic language. It will keep you smiling and laughing when you dive into it.
A peculiar chronicle of the rise and fall of Mrs. Emmeline Lucas of Riseholm, an utter pretentious snob. Her foolish embarrassing antics, in her desire to be the Social Queen of Riseholme, run out event the worst humiliation.
“Queen Lucia” became the first of Benson’s six ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels. The book relates of rivalry and intrigues in a small town life, appearing a satire of shortcomings of provincial middle-class life in Britain in the 1920s and '30s.
An absolutely amazing book written by a talented English novelist, publicist and a master of short stories Edward Frederic Benson. As we can see from the title, the story is focused on the course of life of a certain Michael. The novel is written in a perfect English, with sharp and very accurate vocabulary and will definitely appeal to readers.
"Darling mother," he was saying, "I really was frightened as to whether you would mind. I couldn't help remembering how you received Mr. Taynton's proposal that you should go for a drive in his car. Don't you remember, Mr. Taynton? Mother's nose _did_ go in the air. It's no use denying it. So I thought, perhaps, that she wouldn't like my having one. But I wanted it so dreadfully, and so I bought it without telling her, and drove down in it today, which is my birthday, so that she couldn't be too severe." Mr. Taynton, while Morris was speaking, had picked up the nutcrackers the boy had been using, and was gravely exploding the shells of the nuts he had helped himself to. So Morris cracked the next one with a loud bang between his white even teeth. "Dear Morris," said his mother, "how foolish of you. Give Mr. Morris another nutcracker," she added to the parlor-maid. "What's foolish?" asked he, cracking another. "Oh Morris, your teeth," she said. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
- Previous page
- Next Page