Mapp and Lucia


Welcome to - a home for all things Mapp and Lucia related. Be warned that this site reveals the plots of all the books and so if you've yet to read the books you may want to proceed with caution, however the Mapp and Lucia novels are far more novels of style than of plot and if you're like me you'll end up reading them again and again so don't be too worried.

This is a work in progress so apologies for any holes. They will be filled in slowly, a bit like the ones in Tilling high street.

The Books

EF Benson wrote six books about Mapp and Lucia:

If you are thinking of buying the books the best deal currently, and again a reflection of the fact that they are no longer in copyright, is the Wordsworths Classics editions. They are selling all six books in two volumes.

Alternatively the BBC, as a tie in to their new TV series, have a new paperback collection out with the title Mapp and Lucia, which isn't what it says on the tin but is actually an omnibus edition of Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp and Mapp and Lucia. As it misses out Lucia in London and indeed the final two volumes we find it hard to recommend. Better to go for the Wordsworths Classics editions. Cheaper too!

The text of some of the original six books can be found on the Internet as the books are no longer in copyright (EF Benson died in 1940) and they can also be purchased as e-books, for example Amazon has Mapp and Lucia: The Complete Series in Kindle format and if you have an EPUB reader all six books can be found in together in one volume here for free download.

Benson also wrote one additional Miss Mapp short story Desirable Residences which can be found in a book of Benson short stories Desirable Residences and Other Stories edited by Jack Adrian but we have the story online here.

Books by Other Authors

Tom Holt wrote two sequels both of which are now back in print after a long hiatus and are also available as e-books:

In 2013 Tom's Tilling short story Lucia and the Diplomatic Incident, which had previously only had very limited publication, was published as an e-book.

More recently Guy Fraser-Sampson has written three more novels:

These are all available in paperback and as e-books.

Fan Fiction

If this isn't enough Mapp and Lucia for you there is quite a lot of fan fiction out there. For example Deryck Solomon (whose Glossary is mentioned below) also writes stories under the heading of Inspector Morrison's Case Book which are set in Tilling.

And now that self publishing is becoming easier, especially for e-books, these are starting to pop up in places like Amazon too, Lucia's Crusades by Rob Shelsky for example.

Talking Books

Prunella Scales, who played Mapp in the commercial television version, recorded an abridged version of Mapp and Lucia as a talking book on audio cassette which is still available to purchase.

Miriam Margolyes has recorded abridged versions of all the EF Benson books as audio CDs all of which are available from Amazon:

LibriVox have a complete an unabridged version of both Queen Lucia and Miss Mapp available for free download. No doubt the others will follow as the works are now out of copyright.

The Commercial Television Series

This TV series based on the last three of EF Benson's books was produced by London Weekend Television in the 1980s. Filmed in Rye and Winchelsea it starred Prunella Scales as Mapp, Geraldine McEwan as Lucia, and Nigel Hawthorne as Georgie.

There were ten episodes in two series of five episodes. It was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1985 and 1986 and is now available on DVD.

You can find out lots more about the television series on the web site Tilling on Television which includes photos taken on set during filming and a plot summary of each episode.

The BBC Television Series

This TV series based on the last three of EF Benson's books was first broadcast on BBC1 beginning with three episodes on 29th-31st December 2014. Filmed in Rye it starred Miranda Richardson as Mapp, Anna Chancellor as Lucia, and Steve Pemberton as Georgie. The plot summaries for the three episodes were as follows:

Episode First Broadcast Summary
1 29/12/14 Miss Elizabeth Mapp is thrown by the arrival of Mrs Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas.
2 30/12/14 The Tilling Summer Exhibition provides Lucia with a new battlefield to conquer.
3 31/12/14 The arrival of an Italian contessa gives Mapp a chance to expose Lucia as a fraud.

Other Sites

  • The Mapp & Lucia Glossary is a remarkable alphabetical beginner's guide to the worlds of Riseholme and Tilling
  • The EF Benson web page which includes many resources including a page showing some of the many covers over the years (although not including my favourite Black Swan edition)
  • The E.F. Benson Society is interested in all of Fred's work, not just his Mapp and Lucia novels. If you are thinking of visiting Rye they run guided walks twice a month.
  • The Friends of Tilling keep going a tradition started by the now sadly defunct Tilling Society of organising an annual Gathering bringing together all Mapp & Lucia devotees to revel in the world of Tilling and remember the life of its creator.
  • EF Benson's web site … maybe. Some interesting snippets to be found there including a set of MP3s of the BBC radio dramatisation of Queen Lucia1).
There's some interesting copyright issues here. They're copyright material and they're not currently available from the BBC, even if you're a UK licence holder, so you really shouldn't be listening to them but then, in truth, the site owner really shouldn't have put them up there in the first place.
home.txt · Last modified: 2014-12-28 18:53 by pkoldham
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