Major Benjy

A sequel to the series written by Guy Fraser-Sampson in 2008. It is set just before the arrival of Lucia in Tilling, indeed it ends as Lucia and Georgie first arrive, as told in Mapp and Lucia.

It focuses more on the peripheral characters than EF Benson does and it suggests an explanation the mysterious and unexplained departure of Irene's maid Lucy between Miss Mapp and Mapp and Lucia.

It is good to see an addition to the Mapp and Lucia saga. It's been a long wait since Tom Holt's sequels Lucia in Wartime and Lucia Triumphant back in 1985 and 1986.

And the news is mixed. The good news is that Fraser-Sampson understands the characters very well and how to construct a very Benson-esque plot. He also fleshes out the peripheral characters in a way which neither Benson nor Holt did. A particular fine example is a small scene between Mrs Wyse and Diva where their individual tragedies arising from the Great War are revealed.

The bad news is that the author's voice is unmistakeably contemporary which I think is a shame as it jars a bit. For example he is explicit about the lesbian relationship which was only hinted at by Benson and some of the goings on are definitely of the sort of which Benson would never have written.

But on balance it is good to have a new story about Tilling.

major_benjy.txt · Last modified: 2012-09-23 23:58 by pkoldham
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