I lingered at the window of the garden-room from which Miss Mapp so often and so ominously looked forth. To the left was the front of her house, straight ahead the steep cobbled way, with a glimpse of the High Street at the end, to the right the crooked chimney and the church.The street was populous with passengers, but search as I might, I could see none who ever so remotely resembled the objects of her vigilance.
istow was almost certain to be visiting the other. Rapidly Miss Mapp remembered that at Mrs. Bartlett's bridge party yesterday Mrs. Plaistow had selected soft chocolates for consumption instead of those stuffed with nougat or almonds. That furnished additional evidence for the dentist, for generally you could not get a nougat chocolate at all if Godiva Plaistow had been in the room for more than a minute or two.... As she crossed the narrow cobbled roadway, with the grass growing luxuriantly between the rounded pebbles, she stumbled and recovered herself with a swift little forward run, and the circular feet twinkled with the rapidity of those of a thrush scudding over the lawn.
By this time Isabel Poppit had advanced as far as the fish shop three doors below the turning down which Mrs. Plaistow had vanished. Her prancing progress paused there for a moment, and she waited with one knee highly elevated, like a statue of a curveting horse, before she finally decided to pass on. But she passed no further
Totally amusing. I have read all of the books in the Lucia series three times to date. They never pall - i am engrossed in the doings of Riseholme and Tilling every time. The writing is wonderful.
The amazing and terrible Miss Mapp queens it over society in her litte town of Tilling. Hilarious. Miss Mapp may be Benson's finest character, more potent than Lucia because she's so much more real.
Miss Mapp is the second* in E.F. Benson's set of six Mapp & Lucia books, which introduces you to the world of Tilling and Elizabeth Mapp.
The book, and indeed the set, take you on a journey through 1920's and 30's high society, along with its false politeness and cutting sarcasm.
This book, rather like Queen Lucia, starts off rather slow, with E.F. Benson providing the descriptive canvas that the rest of the book builds on. This makes the rest of the book much more enjoyable in my mind, and is well worth investment, so don't let it put you off.
Mapp & Lucia is arguably E.F. Benson's best work, and certainly his most reknown. The whole set are thoroughly enjoyable and I found myself reading jumping from one book to the next instantly.
As I mentioned, there are six books, but only two available on ManyBooks, due to copyright issues with Gutenberg Australia. However:
**You can get the rest of the books directly from gutenberg.net.au free.**
* Although some say this is the second book, you may find it referenced as the third. In reprints with Miss Mapp as the third book the set of six possibly flow slightly better. I read it second, and it didn't feel I lost out because of it.