Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $30.72

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The fascinating story of the village of Riseholme's reigning queen of high society: the indomitable Lucia!

England between the wars was a paradise of utter calm and leisure for the very, very rich. But into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the pomp and subdued nature of her class. With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, she upends the greats of high society, including the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and everyone else in the small English town that the wealthy Britons call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, the fine arts, and a great deal of excitement and intrigue into this cloistered realm.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A] delicious satire of the pretensions and foibles of provincial middle-class life in Britain in the 1920s and '30s...[with] droll send-ups of the bitter battles waged by matrons desperate to live out their fantastical versions of upper-class elegance and wit, and...shrewd readings of the ways in which our longings can make us both bizarre and sometimes appealing." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Queen Lucia

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining

Nadia May does a fantastic job of bringing all the characters in this story to life. While a scathing criticism of the rising middle classes in the 1920s, this is also great fun. There is both criticism and affection expressed, even for the worst of them at their worst. A very entertaining listen. Be warned the "N" word crops up out of the blue; an artefact of different, less enlightened times.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Meg
  • Meg
  • 16-04-2009

A delight

A little slow to get into but well worth it! Funny characters and situations, well narrated.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Customer o  Kindle
  • Customer o Kindle
  • 27-06-2019

Satire and escapism at their best

No bodices ripped, no politics to speak of, and nothing important to anyone outside a village the size of at most three city blocks. But, the Guru! The Princess! The Diva! And a half dozen village snobs, all social schemers and climbers and pretenders and people I would walk a mile out of my way to avoid in real life, and the ridiculous pretentious social crises they create ... I just cannot get enough of them as told by EF Benson and performed by Nadia May, archaic colonialisms and all. Satirical mountain upon mountain -- dizzying heights and stupendous social crashes narrowly averted again and again. George Pilson, acolyte and occasional private critic, brings the only suggestion of self-awareness to the (dinner, tea, garden) party. He momentarily wonders at the thrill as he is towed along in the Queen's social wake. "And why do I say it in Italian?" But Georgie is as happy and busy with his selfish little concerns as any of the social elite, and Benson makes me love him for it. This book and this reading of it give my soul a rest.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 02-10-2020

The Gentlest of Social Satires

It’s easy to poke fun of the leisured classes. It’s hard to do it without malice, without sounding as silly, self-satisfied and smug as the people you’re writing about. In my experience, only two authors pull this trick off: P. G. Wodehouse and E. F. Benson. Each succeed in their own unique, delightful way. And Nadia May’s pitch-perfect performance faithfully reflects Benson’s tone and intentions.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suea
  • Suea
  • 08-11-2016

Wonderful characters and interactions

Would you consider the audio edition of Queen Lucia to be better than the print version?

Not this audio edition - it is read way too fast for me to truly enjoy and savor it.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters and their motivations seem authentic.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

SLOW DOWN!!!!!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Jilted, replaced and reclaimed

Any additional comments?

Beautifully written and intricate enough to hold my attention. I get so tired of mystery novels and prefer stories involving understanding of human relationships which can vary from culture to culture but still contain the common thread of humanity. "Make new friends and keep the old ones..." I like the book so much I will try another reader.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for McSusie
  • McSusie
  • 15-11-2020

Oh, those poor poor rich people!

This book (or at least the 15 minutes I listened) is a total bore! It’s much ado about nothing as far as I can tell. I had to stop listening. Pass on this one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Meri
  • Meri
  • 08-08-2018

Maybe I was looking for Wodehouse

I think I expected funnier. And Lucia is a woman I don't think I'd want to spent any time with in real life. Control-freak, anyone? But the full cast of characters are charming (and not in the snotty, backhanded way). I might read the next in the series. Nadia May made the reading worth finishing. A few laugh out loud moments.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for reader of French books
  • reader of French books
  • 16-06-2015

Always irresistible.

Nadia May is superb, which suits Lucia just fine. The story as narrated by miss May is never tarsome

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gloria
  • Gloria
  • 02-01-2016

If you like the television show, Frasier, you'll love this book

The story is full of the absurdities of the self involved. The characters and situations will give you a chuckle.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mitzi
  • Mitzi
  • 25-09-2020

We all need more E.F. Benson in our life!

I am ashamed to say that I did not know this author before stumbling by mere chance on "Queen Lucia." What a find! Absolutely hilarious. Well written, witty, entertaining and just plain good (humorous) literature. I will look for more audiobooks from this author. As far as Nadia May is concerned: BRAVA! I bought a few Audibles read by Nadia May and hated them all. As I indicated in my reviews, I couldn't tell if it was because of the reader's lack of talent or because the novels themselves were not well written. But finally, for this book, this reader was ideal!! Absolutely unbeatable! I highly recommend this Audible.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Salsonero
  • Salsonero
  • 12-07-2012

Excellent reading

Which character – as performed by Nadia May – was your favorite?

Ms May does a delightful job with the male voices.

Any additional comments?

Nadia May does a fine job at bringing this charming story to life.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs
  • Mrs
  • 22-04-2014

Love Lucia, would like more unabridged Lucia pls

I'd love to hear the other Mapp and Lucia books unabridged, they are such a delightful treat to return to again and again. Delicious characters in a small community set in the 1920's, wicked and gossipy and fun, fun, fun!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 01-03-2015

scintillating

What made the experience of listening to Queen Lucia the most enjoyable?

the fact that it was so culturally alien to my life and the fact that some of the snobbery was so easy to understand. I could see why in such a tiny world as Tilling that so many small mishaps have such large consequences. Funny and brutal

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

too rich for just one sitting

Any additional comments?

Listen to Miss Mapp first then both stories will make better sense.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jon
  • Jon
  • 08-01-2015

Before North Shore High - there was Risholm

Having been in hysterics watching the "Mapp and Lucia" adaption on BBC recently, I thought I'd get a bit more familiar with the original 1920's series. And I'm so glad I did.

If you find the Blair Waldorfs of this world bit lacking in substance - then this is for you. These deco gossip girls (and boys) are the original "mean girls".

Kept having to remind myself these were written in the 1920s. They are so pithy and quick they could have appeared in the last decade, were it not for the lack of iPhones and Facebook references.

I found it hard not to contain my laughter and horror on the train to work as Lucia's true grasp of the "bella lingua" inevitably gets uncovered.

The Wagnerian and piano references are a secondary plus (to anyone with a classical music bent) and I continued to chuckle at Lucias avoidance of the last two movements of the Moonlight Sonata. Delicious.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for G. Walton
  • G. Walton
  • 17-02-2015

Brilliant, tiny world

I love the Mapp and Lucia books and this one was beautifully read. The life and death import of tiny matters of etiquette in the village of Riseholme is beautifully sketched. The complete absence of children and young men in this contrived but all consuming world must have given some respite to readers in the 20's, many of whom would be struggling with the loss of sons or lovers. Well worth the money.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Vicuña
  • Vicuña
  • 16-09-2014

Perfect portrayal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Excellent narration captures the innuendo and arch idiocy of every character.

What other book might you compare Queen Lucia to, and why?

Others in the Mapp and Lucia series, but Benson is a one off.

What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?

Distinct voice for each character which captured the humour, manners and satire all at the same time.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I spread it over a few sittings. Virtually every line is a gem and it's worth savouring.

Any additional comments?

I've read the books and listened to a couple of radio adaptations of Mapp and Lucia. I've watched the 1980s TV series and never tire of the humour and satire. The characters are so filled with their own importance and place and they interlock with panache. It's a wonderful portrayal of a particular inter war period which will never be seen again. The pretensions, class distinction and daily one puma ship is priceless.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emma
  • Emma
  • 12-04-2010

Charming

This is a charming reading of the light and amusing activities of Lucia and all the delightful characters who live in her village. A pleasant and entirely soothing accompaniment to the day's activities.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cogito Ergo Sometimes
  • Cogito Ergo Sometimes
  • 20-09-2020

old favourite, well read

So nice to hear my old friends so well looked after by Nadia May. I'll listen again for sure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for The Aardvark
  • The Aardvark
  • 26-11-2017

You will laugh!

The highlights are the marvellous narration by Nadia May and the wonderfully understated satirical comedy.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hazel
  • Hazel
  • 13-11-2012

So boring blah blah blah

I read 2/3 books a week an tried to get into this book on 5 different days. Never read anything so boring. Could not get interested at all worst book I have bought in years Blah blah blah. Money back please!,,

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.