7.03.2017

Mapp & Lucia Book Club | Part 2 | Miss Mapp



Part two of our Mapp & Lucia book club continues today, with Miss Mapp by E.F. Benson. In today's video I explain why this is my favorite book of the two we have discussed and many of my observations comparing life in the 1920s to modern day.

Here are some of the key characters in Miss Mapp:

Elizabeth Mapp- loves to peer out her garden window and spy on the inhabitants of Tilling. Much like Lucia, she thinks very highly of herself and often gets into trouble because of this

Major Benjy- A bachelor, retired military man and Miss Mapp's love interest

Captain Puffin- Major Benjy's best friend

Diva Plaistow- Miss Mapp's friend, the Ethel to Miss Mapp's Lucy

Miss Susan Poppit- Miss Mapp's rival

Today, I discuss several of my favorite episodes in the book, including the red currant fool debacle, the Diva dress mess, Major Benjy's duel and Susan Poppit's elaborate (and according to Miss Mapp, vulgar) bridge buffet.

I hope you enjoy my observations in today's video. I look forward to discussing your comments in the next installment of the book club!

News

A PARIS ALL YOUR OWN: BESTSELLING WOMEN WRITERS ON THE CITY OF LIGHT comes out tomorrow, July 4th from Putnam Books! I feel honored to be included in this anthology along with such esteemed writers.


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... Madame Chic is spotted in Librarie Galignani


Comment of the Week
Katrin writes:
There are four things that I love about this book club:
First of all, the books themselves. As Viola Schneider said, I love the slow pace and how the characters and stories unfold. Secondly, your videos really provide food for thought, for example the connection to our modern celebrity culture. Thirdly, your readers' comments are so interesting that I want to enter a discussion with each one of them.
Last but not least, through the books, the videos, and the comments, I really slow down. After that I always feel relaxed and energized at the same time. So thank you for that, especially now that I know that it is a "frenzy" for you.


Hi Katrin, I'm so happy you like the format of the book club. I love to read the comment section too. Honestly, the comments are my favorite part! :)

See you on Thursday for a "shop with me" video and see you for part 3 of the book club next Monday!

I hope you have a wonderful independence day celebration tomorrow!



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7 comments:

Katrin said...

Does anyone else have the feeling that the ending was written by a different author?
The plot evolves pleasantly and at a slow pace and then suddenly - oxtail soup, then a dead butterfly, then some golf - and that was it.
I finished the book two days ago and I am still confused.

CuriousVillage.Com said...

Great Blog!! That was amazing. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you tell the thing is awesome.

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Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,
Thank you for the book discussion. I read 2/3 of Queen Lucia and only a few pages of Miss Mapp; so, I will comment on another book that you reviewed recently. "Goodbye, Things" by Fumio Sasaki has been earth-shattering for me. I'm so grateful to you for reviewing it; otherwise, I never would have known about it. It goes above and beyond Marie Kondo's books in a few different ways. First of all, the word "minimizing" feels less judgmental than tidying or de-cluttering, which words imply that one's belongings are clutter or that one is untidy. Secondly, Marie Kondo doesn't describe minimizing furniture. Furniture is not one of her categories. That is an enormous omission, literally! Thirdly, the concepts of minimalist colors, the weight of objects, and creating a soothing, peaceful environment are intriguing to me~ Finally, the idea that my "overwhelmed" feeling about housecleaning could be dissolved by minimizing my belongings really hit home. I've read Sasaki's book a few times now, trying to make his ideas stick in my psyche. It may be the most influential book I read this year. I've made the most progress ever after reading his book. Thanks to you again,
Alexandra

Ellen said...

Hello Jennifer, My name is Ellen and I came across your books in January of 2016 and have been a fan since. In anticipation of participating in your book discussion, I went to the local library and the only book available was "Make Way for Lucia" which included seven stories. Anyway, in one of them, I was very taken with a self analysis that Lucia made about their lives. To quote her, she said, "Keep on the boil! That's what we all ought to be, with 1,000 things to do that seem immensely important and which are important because they seem so." This so seemed to echo the Daily Connoisseur's philosophy of making the best of what you have and who you are. Thank you for so much inspiration in your blog.
Sincerely,
Ellen

Edna Grace Cubillos said...

Hi Jennifer,

I have to say that Miss Mapp was my least favorite of the two novels, because of the character of Miss Mapp herself. True, both she and Lucia strive to be the first or the best in anything among their circle, but Mapp, in my opinion, is the worst of the two. She's a terrible snoop (pretending to mail a letter in the middle of the night just to see what the Major and the Captain are doing) that wouldn't hesitate stealing the original idea of a "friend" to make herself appear more fashionable (seeing Diva's chintz flowers float out the window and deciding she would make the dress first). Her food hoard shows her to be greedy and thinking only of herself, and her lie to cover it makes her even more unlikable to me. Her assumption that Isabel wanted to out-do Mapp's red currant fool recipe only supports Mapp's narcissism, and her jealousy of just about every female in Tilling (except perhaps of Irene) is absurd.

On the other hand, Lucia, doesn't necessarily stoop to the Miss Mapp level of competition, and Lucia doesn't appear to pursue intelligence with the same fervor as Mapp. True, Lucia wants to take credit for Daisy's Guru, and she wants to be the first to have the "Bracelys" to her home, but she doesn't succeed in discovering that Olga is the Bracely, and her husband is Shuttleworth. Lucia is very calculating, but she seems to give her people a little more space, and she doesn't seem to be mean-spirited in the way that Miss Mapp does. Perhaps the fact that Lucia has a husband might have something to do with that? Maybe Mapp is just lonely, trying to fill her day with things she thinks are exciting...

I know I sound harsh in my view of Miss Mapp, but maybe that was Benson's goal? Since the two women are to meet in a later book, he's certainly setting up something fun and exciting for us. Maybe a Team Lucia/Team Mapp kind of rivalry?

In the end, I did enjoy reading both books, and I look forward to the next one. I hope there's a book club for that one in the near future!

eg

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