Monday, July 27, 2015

Lucia's Progress: Classics 2015 Challenge

I read this book to complete the category of “Humorous or Satirical Classic” for the Back to the Classics 2015 challenge hosted at Books and Chocolate. As I stated in my December 16, 2014 post, this was by far the easiest choice out of all the challenge categories, as I have come to love this series; these books make me laugh out loud…frequently.
Lucia’s Progress by E.F. Benson is number five in the publishing order of a series of six books, so I only have one more left, but I suspect that these books will be excellent re-reads which I hope will help lessen the pain of good-bye. I have no intention to continue on and read any of the modern day, estate approved follow up books by Tom Holt or Guy Fraser-Sampson. Not that I think they would be bad, but if it isn’t the original author, I am just not interested.  Also, while the 6th book is still unread by me, the series on the whole has been consistently good; if anything the books get better as they go on, so why mess with perfection?  There are two short stories by Benson featuring the same characters, however, that I might have to get my hands on.
In Lucia’s Progress, the Mapp and Lucia rivalry continues as Lucia and Mapp (now married) compete for a council seat, Lucia pretends to have found Roman ruins in her back garden, Mapp pretends to be pregnant and everyone one who is anyone in Tilling is thoroughly entertained by the ensuing gossip and backbiting. I don’t want to go any further in to the story  (1)  divulging the story line in book five would contain slight spoilers for those who had not read the previous 4 books and (2) I feel that these books are best read in order, so the reader comes to know Emmeline Lucas aka Lucia et al gradually. She really is an acquired taste.   Basically all of the books are satires on upper middle class village life in 1930’s England.  If that sounds like it might be up your alley (and if you like P.G. Wodehouse apparently) then try Queen Lucia and see how you get on.
The image above is from the Moyer Bell edition that I read. I have the entire set in these editions (sturdy trade paperbacks). Some have introductions, some don’t. Lucia’s Progress did have a brief introduction, but it wasn’t particularly edifying.

No comments:

Post a Comment