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Publisher's Summary

England between the wars was a paradise of calm and leisure for the very, very rich. 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 subdued formality of her class.

With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, Lucia upends the greats of high society: 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 all the rest of the small English town that the British rich call their country home.

Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, fine arts, excitement, and intrigue into this cloistered realm.

©1920 E F Benson (P)2011 Hachette Digital

What listeners say about Queen Lucia

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  • Steve M
  • 03-08-2017

Brilliant and Charming

The Mapp and Lucia series by EF Benson comprises some of the most silly, charming, and utterly delightful novels in the English language. It's hard to know why they're so appealing. The characters are venal, unimaginably petty and spiteful, and their activities are mainly gossiping and plotting against each other for low stakes status. Still, Benson's authorial voice is shrewd and witty, and his awful, appalling fools have a warmth and underlying psychological truthfulness that raises all of this to the level of art. Almost a century after their first publication, they still feel fresh. Within a few paragraphs, you find yourself anticipating the nutty antics ahead with the same delight you might feel upon catching a mouthwatering whiff of the meal you're about to be served at someone's house.

The novels don't have plots, but incidents that unfold over several chapters. Think of them as episode in a very sophisticated sitcom.

Miriam Margolyes is so good at voices, you almost can't believe there's only one narrator. On the other hand, her astonishingly precise articulation is unmistakable throughout. And with all of that, she manages to make each character a real person.

Having read this novel on the page, it was a little alarming to hear the abridgment. Around half of the book was trimmed. The events are all here, but phrases and whole sentences have been clipped from every paragraph. Too bad, but the pruning was so artfully done, it never sounds as if you're missing anything. And if you plan to listen to the whole series, these versions might be a more realistic time commitment.

If you (or you and a friend) are going on a long drive, you can't find much better light (but not pointless) entertainment than this series.

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  • Brian in Lexington KY
  • 21-09-2020

Introduce yourself to Lucia

This book is the first in a series that has been beloved for a century now -- "Queen Lucia" appeared in 1920. The books are English-village comic froth about which of the (mostly) well-to-do village neighbors is socially on top at any moment. It's usually Lucia. The third book (in which Lucia does not appear) introduces Miss Mapp, who becomes Lucia's primary challenger. There is a world of light entertainment here, to be wallowed in over and over. Miriam Margolyes is an excellent reader. This audiobook is unfortunately abridged. You can experience it as a quick sampler to decide if you're interested in reading the whole thing, or you can read the real book first and then enjoy hearing it come to life.

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  • Grace K
  • 21-09-2020

such gullible ppl

rarely have I met a cast of characters I dislike as much. but I think they are supposed to be like that, spoilt and attention seeking and gullible and fake. and we are suppose to laugh at their misfortunes. excellent performance by Miriam margolyes though

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  • Aapjebaapje
  • 23-04-2020

Not quite as I remember it...

I remember fondly having read the Mapp & Lucia books when I was younger and, with time on my hands, I decided to listen to the first book in the M&L series. I didn't realise that this version is half the length of another Audible version so I guess this must be the abridged version. I think I'll buy the longer version and see whether there's a noticeable difference. I like Miriam Margolyes and enjoy her narration (and acting) but I'd rather hear the whole book. I wasn't so entertained by the book this time around. It may be that the abridged version lost something in the abridgement or that I've grown older or that listening rather than reading the book made a difference. I'm willing to give the unabridged version another shot but it may be that I've moved on and EF Benson's masterpiece is no longer for me.

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