Queen Lucia

“Something of the consciousness of her sovereignty was in her mind, as she turned the last hot corner of the road and came in sight of the village street that constituted her kingdom.  Indeed it belonged to her, as treasure trove belongs to the Crown, for it was she who had been the first to begin the transformation of this remote Elizabethan village into the palace of culture that was now reared on the spot where ten years ago an agricultural population had led bovine and unilluminated lives in their cottages of grey stone or brick and timber.” (page 5)

It’s not easy to keep a kingdom running smoothly – Lucia can attest to that!  There’s potential problems lurking around every corner in the small, English town she presides over.  But the biggest problem of all?  Neighbors who think they can do a better job of it than you!  There’s a struggle for the throne going on in E.F. Benson’s Queen Lucia, and it’s a lot fun watching it all unfold.


“Lucia had not determined on this declaration of war without anxious consideration.  But it was quite obvious to her that the enemy was daily gaining strength, and therefore the sooner she came to open hostilities, the better; for it was equally obvious to her mind that Olga was a pretender to the throne she had occupied for so long.” (page 234)

It has been a few years since I’ve read the Make Way For Lucia series but I certainly remember them well.  As Lucia and her faithful husband Peppino deal with each new problem in this first book, they find themselves in some pretty interesting situations. And the characters in this are hard to forget (especially with names like Piggy and Goosie Antrobus)! There are a lot of great English satirical series but this one is definitely near the top!

From The Cover: 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 the subdued hushed nature of her class.  With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, she upends the greats of high society: the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Puck; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and all the rest of Riseholme itself, the small English town just outside London that the British rich call their country home.  Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia rules her kingdom from the Hurst, Riseholme’s greatest mansion, bringing culture, the fine arts, and a great deal of excitement and intrigue into this cloistered realm.

Just One More Thing: “The amount of malice, envy, and all uncharitableness which Lucia managed to put into this quite unrehearsed speech was positively amazing.  She had not thought it over beforehand for a moment; it came out with the august spontaneity of lightning leaping from a cloud.” (page 276)

This Edition: Paperback published by Perennial Library (1987)

Other Books In This Series: Lucia In London, Miss Mapp, Mapp And Lucia, The Worshipful Lucia, Trouble For Lucia; Miss Mapp also appears in the title story from Desirable Residences and Other Stories

You Might Also Like: Sam The Sudden by P.G. Wodehouse


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