E. F. Benson, best known for his irresistible Mapp and Lucia novels set in the fictional town of Tilling, England, was a prolific and beloved novelist. Though the Mapp and Lucia books remain popular to this day, this kindred book will be back in print for the first time since its initial publication.
The son of E. W. Benson, archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 to 1896, the young E. F. Benson was educated at Marlborough School and at King's College, Cambridge. After graduation he worked in Athens for the British School of Archaeology from 1892 to 1895, and later in Egypt for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. In 1893 he published Dodo, a novel that attracted wide attention. It was followed by a number of other successful novels, including his hugely popular Mapp and Lucia series. In 1938 he was made an honorary fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He died in February 1940.
"An extraordinary study in comedy and quite the best thing artistically that Mr. Benson has done." (New York Times)
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If you like the comedy of manners
Jane Austin fans will love this
I prefer audio.
Mrs Ames was intriguing because she was the opinion leader yet not the prettiest nor the richest woman in town. She obviously had charisma, dared to be different and to bring new interest to the village. People wanted to see what she does next. Her lack of interest in gossip and the fact that she was impervious to nasty criticsm made her a bit of a heroin to me.
I knew who each character was and she doesn't speed through the story needlessly as some readers will do.
No, but I was surprised at how she handled the situation with her husband when she became the effect of one of her social experiments.
There was some complexity to the characters and especially Mrs Ames when she dares to stand up for women's rights at one point. I liked the twist that she suffered from one of her own creations and I especially loved how she handled it. She definitely knew who she was and didn't rely on good looks or riches to maintain her status.