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Summary

Sharply observant and wickedly funny, E.F. Benson's six Mapp and Lucia novels satirize the upper-middle-class social climbers in 1920s and '30s rural England. Games of bridge and cups of tea fuel hilarious gossip and vindictive plots a-plenty. It is a masterfully sustained spotlight on the minutiae of village life - a clever and ultimately heart-warming series that seems tailor-made for audio. Volume 1 contains the first three books.

©1927 E.F. Benson (P)2021 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Complete Mapp and Lucia, Volume 1

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Mispronouncing Riseholme? How tarsome!

I've loved Mapp & Lucia for many years, and these narrated versions of their stories are generally excellent. But the narrator pronounces Lucia's home town variously as "Rise Home", "Rise Holme" or "Raise Holme". I'm afraid I've taken to shouting "RIZZUM!!!" at her each time I hear it mispronounced. How tarsome, as dear Georgie Pillson would say.

6 people found this helpful

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Binge-worthy and masterfully read

Such a surprise to suddenly find the M&L unabridged collections on Audible - volume 2 is also now available.

I have long loved the stories and the sly, clever writing. And I knew I would like them being read to me, in full. But the narration is absolutely faultless, and added so much to the enjoyment. I will have to ration myself when I start volume 2, because I know I will be sad when they are finished.

This really is a treat and great value, as they are very long, so you get completely immersed. Bliss. I would now probably buy a recording of Georgina Sutton reading IKEA assembly instructions or anything, faultless.

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great narration

in my opinion, this is the best narration. has Part Two been completed by the same narrator?

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Wonderful, and with superb narration.

I love the Mapp and Lucia novels and have read them many, many times. They’re hilariously funny and brilliantly well-observed. I was a bit worried that the audio book would be a disappointment, but the narration of this version is so good that listening to it has been an absolute joy.

Each character has a totally credible, distinct and consistent voice, perfect suited to their individual character traits, but the narration isn’t overdone and doesn’t draw attention to itself by being too stagey.

Probably the best narration of any audio book I have ever listened to, so highly recommended.

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Great stories, let down by pronunciation

It should be Rizzum NOT Rise-home! But that's a small complaint. It did have my inner Mapp cringing though!

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A great listen

This audiobook is a great listen, and read beautifully (even though I prefer “Rizzum” to “Rise Home”). Highly recommended

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Utter joy

An unabridged, beautifully narrated performance of an English Classic, long waited for. Sharply observant and divinely witty

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Narrator needs coaching

The stories deserve ten stars - my go-to in any spare moment or needing to cheer myself up. Witty, affectionate and wicked, they have entertained me for forty years and will continue to entertain for the rest of my days.

The narrator is ok, but mispronounces Riseholme 😱Lucia would have swiftly and diplomatically corrected this by pronouncing it correctly several times in one sentence, whilst apparently utterly unconscious of the narrator’s grievous error. I’m amazed that no other Luciaphiles have picked up this fundamental error and demanded a public flogging on the Green. It jars all the way through the book.

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glorious

I think if I had to choose a mastermind specialist subject it would be the Mapp and Lucia novels; that's how much I adore them, know them and cherish them. Fred Benson was an excellent observer and storyteller and his (in my mind) M&L novels (along with his ghost stories) are his crowning glory. you can imagine my joy to find these volumes unabridged and Georgina's narration is perfect: thank you. I'll enjoy these talking books for years to come x

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disappointed

brilliant stories completely ruined by awful joyless reading. Absolutely failed to deliver any of the energy or humour written by E F Benson.

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  • Grace M-T
  • 15-06-21

At last!

I have been waiting for unabridged recordings of the Lucia novels for years. Every so often I would search “EF Benson” for them, and at last they are here. The narration is absolutely perfect, with just enough (but not too much) acid. Perfect lockdown listening, equally enjoyable now, as we renew acquaintanceship with the outside world and all its follies.

Yes, as one observer notes, both Mapp and Lucia are no better than they should be, but the discomfort arises bc we too aren’t much better, inside, even if we would need truth serum to admit it. While social norms have changed (!) since the 1920s, human nature has not, and the only sure remedy is to laugh. Bravo to Edward Frederic Benson and Georgina Sutton (Now if audible will only release EF’s Dodo books…)

Note: the chapters have no headings so for your reference, the three books start at the following chapters respectively
1: Book 1: Queen Lucia
42: Book 2: Miss Mapp. Preface
85: Book 3: Lucia in London

A pdf with complete contents can be downloaded at Naxos Audiobooks

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  • ElsieEmcee
  • 23-02-21

PLEASE release the next volume!

PLEASE release the next volume! The reader is wonderful and the series is too. Just a little bit too acid to be twee, perfect lockdown listening. We've got to get to the next book, when Mapp and Lucia meet!

10 people found this helpful

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  • D.W.
  • 05-08-21

Grateful for an unabridged reading, bad narration.

Georgina Sutton did such a great job with "Diary of a Provincial Lady" that I was thrilled to see she was doing my favorite series. Sadly the narration is flat, and rather monotonous. She either didn't understand the stories are satirical, or didn't get the jokes, because this was a joyless rendition. Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwen both did SO much better.

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  • Customer o Kindle
  • 03-09-21

Love Mapping and Lucia

Thank you Audible for at last providing the complete set unabridged. it took me a few listens to start enjoying the new narrator but she does a great job. I revisit Riseholme and Tilling frequently as I play solitaire or fidget around the house and I find it soothing. Then when I pay attention I always hear some scene that entertains me. Truly a classic set of polite comedies and very well done!

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  • Gee
  • 12-03-21

Vicious liars

There were times when I laughed out loud, but there were more times when I had to make myself finish it because those women are such vicious, self-absorbed, narcissistic, liars. Most of the people they squashed didn't deserve it.
Nope, they are too awful and I won't do the 2nd volume.

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  • Mosky
  • 20-06-22

Totally excellent!

What a bargain...hours and hours of entertainment. A wry and humourous account of times gone by, recalling the delightful PBS series. Brilliant narration.

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  • AR
  • 18-06-22

Is it a pronounced Reezom or Ryezom?

Mapp and Lucia is one of my favorite works. I was so thrilled to find this audiobook on Audible. I’ve watched and rewatched the televised series. I was aghast therefore to hear the narrator pronouncing Rhisolme as Rye-zome instead of Reezome ( pronounced thus in the televised series). So which one is right?

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  • Pinxit
  • 09-06-22

Terrific rendition!

Finding this excellent rendition of these enjoyable stories was a happy surprise! These books are old favorites, and there are some readers of them I don’t enjoy, but this reader is superb! On to Volume 2!