I confess, I am still occasionally guilty of being a book snob. I’ll read anything, any genre, any era, but at times I take a quiet pride in differing from the crowd. I’m only a very lukewarm fan of Harry Potter, for instance, and I have no intention of reading the Twilight series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer fulfilled my needs for sexy vampires, thank you very much.) So when I saw the Mapp and Lucia series making the rounds of the blogs recently, I thought I would try them, but I had a sneaking suspicion I wouldn’t like them much. I mean, everyone likes them. Not my style.
And thus are the mighty fallen. I read E.F. Benson’s Queen Lucia with huge enjoyment, with laughter, and with the sense that P.G. Wodehouse had somehow met Agatha Christie and produced a love-child. Each character was an absolute joy. I can’t decide if I love Daisy Quantock best, or Georgie and his toupet, or the magnificent diva Olga Braceley, or Queen Lucia herself, with her dreadful Italian and — worse, far worse — her baby-talk. I am thrilled to the marrow that the doings of small Riseholme are mine for another five books. Small goings-on, maybe, but full of wickedness and pleasure, generosity and greediness, love and ambition. It’s the world in a teacup.
Have you read these books? Could you resist them? I can’t help thinking they’re utterly irresistible. Let me know what you thought if you’ve read them, and let me know which are your favorites!
(Incidentally — I note that Benson was hugely prolific, and wrote, in addition to his many novels, a number of well-respected ghost stories. I’ve now got those on my TBR list, too.)