Miss Mapp

I know that exam season has come when I can knock off a book in a single day rather than study.  Allergies and a rainy day had me feeling a little under the weather, so I curled up on the couch with Miss Mapp and indulged in more of E. F. Benson’s social satire.

The village or Tilling seems to prize gossip even more than Riseholme, and battle lines in the quest for social supremacy more clearly drawn. I’m shocked at how few residents there seem to be–or rather, how few that matter, as there certainly seem to be enough people to work in houses and shops. Tilling claims to have only three males (Major Flint, Captain Puffin, Padre, and the mysterious Mr. Wyse), and oddly enough most of the women of staus are single or widowed. It almost reminds me of Cranford, though certainly not as extreme.

Tilling seems to have more actual events occuring than Riseholme, such as the almost duel and the visit of the Prince of Wales. Miss Mapp, too, is different from Lucia. Lucia is the acknowledged social queen and seems to act as such almost without effort, so that even Londoners are amazed by her climbing. Miss Mapp believes herself superior but is much more susceptible to adversity or amusement from her peers, especially Diva. She makes a more conscious effort to make an impression, and has a remarkable mind for sniffing out the truth which would give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

I wish Amazon had a copy of the edition  I read; it’s Moyer Bell, like the rest, and the cover is a lovely contrast to the picture of Lucia. While I prefer hardbacks in general, these books are a good quality, with laminated covers and thick creamy pages. They are also responsible for the Angela Thirkell reprints, I believe.

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Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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