Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Mapp & Lucia Glossary ~ Introduction

Welcome to my Glossary of Mapp and Lucia, a beginner's guide to the worlds of Riseholme and Tilling created by  E.F.Benson.  
I have attempted to cover each material (and often immaterial) character, location and event mentioned in the novels. I have also tried to explain some of the cultural and social references which may have been common-place to a man of Benson's class, education and time but are less familiar to many of us today, to whom Miss Wethered and Sir Sidney Lee may no longer be household names.

To go straight to any particular letter of the alphabet in the Glossary,  please just click on the relevant letter in the Archive to the left of this page and hopefully it will open. Here is a taster:

Although the Glossary blog bears the date of its inception in 2008, it has not lain fallow since then and receives daily attention and the annual addition of many new entries.   On 7th. February 2019 we have reached 208,650 views on this blog : how very encouraging. Thank you, fellow Bensonistas for taking such an interest and everyone who has troubled to dip into the Glossary.   

I am most grateful to the blog’s loyal Followers. Because of your continued enthusiasm for this idiosyncratic glossary, I am encouraged to start this year’s re-reading of the wonderful Mapp and Lucia novels and will shortly add further entries. As ever,  I am very interested to read any comments by readers and try to publish them wherever possible.  

Though I much enjoyed the LWT adaptation of certain of the novels, this Glossary only tries to address the books and not matters only added on the screen such as the drink, gin and French, a chauffeur called "Drake" and the appearance of Beau Brummell in the tableaux at the Tilling hospital charity fete in the garden of  "Mallards."
The glorious history of Elizabeth Mapp and Emmeline Lucas, known as Lucia, is set out in six novels beginning with Queen Lucia concerning Lucia's life in Riseholme and then Lucia in London which moves between a season in London and home in Riseholme.

Miss Mapp introduces us properly to Elizabeth Mapp and the charms of Tilling. Our two heroines are magnificently confronted in Mapp and Lucia and their immortal combat continues throughout Lucia's Progress and Trouble for Lucia.    
As a fan,  I have explored the world of Mapp and Lucia with my own stories set in Tilling. They are intended as a tribute to my favourite works by my favourite comic author.  Starting with "Inspector Morrison and the Sardine Tartlet Poisoner," these tales come together as a year's cases solved by Inspector Herbert Morrison, Tilling's surprisingly capable senior police officer.  
"Inspector Morrison's Casebook" in  http://inspectormorrison.blogspot.co.uk/  is a free blog; if it's not too tarsome, please feel free to click and take a look. Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Nancy Mitford, Alma Cogan, W.H.Auden, Stafford Cripps and the Beverley Sisters all allegedly vouchsafed: "We will pay anything for Inspector Morrison books! "

I can also report that "Inspector Morrison: Another Year in Tilling" is also now completed  in another free blog at http://inspectormorrisonanotheryearintilling.blogspot.co.uk/. which apparently prompted Ivor Novello, Ramsay McDonald, Gracie Fields, Benito Mussolini, T.S.Eliot and Arthur Askey to declare in touching, if surprising, unison, "We love Inspector Morrison stories more than life itself!" How very kind....   
Now, back to the glorious real thing. As well as the main protagonists, each of Benson's locations boasts a plethora of engaging characters ranging from consorts Georgie Pillson and Major Benjamin Flint to supporting cast Daisy Quantock, Olga Bracely, Diva Plaistow, Quaint Irene Coles, the Bartlett's and the Wyses.

Lucia found her new circle in Tilling, "entrancing: they're all being themselves, and all so human and busy." 

Life is a maelstrom of lunches and dinners, bridge and planchette, gossip and snobbery. Lucia's world is a unique one of un po di mu, divino Mozartino, Moonlight Sonata, local politics, yoga, bicycling and any number of thrilling diversions watched by Elizabeth Mapp with narrowed eyes, ever resentful of the gross usurpation of her place at the helm of Tilling society and as chatelaine of Mallards.

Born in 1867 at Wellington College, the author Edward Frederick Benson - known as Fred - was the son of its headmaster Edward White Benson, who was later to become Archbishop of Canterbury. After Marlborough and King's College, Cambridge Benson worked in the British School of Archaeology in Athens.

His first novel Dodo was a great success when published in 1893 and there followed a prolific career of eighty books, including the Mapp and Lucia comedies and many other novels and biographies.

Benson lived in the Sussex town of Rye for many years and was Mayor between 1934 and 1937. He appears to have based Tilling upon Rye and Mallards upon his own home there, Lamb House. Riseholme bears some resemblance to Broadway.

Championed by the likes of Noel Coward, Nancy Mitford and W.H.Auden, the stories of Mapp and Lucia have enjoyed a continued following around the world and owe some of their popularity to Benson's lightness of touch and feeling for the nuances of personality and the way middle class English society worked at this time. It is insightful, arch, amusing and uplifting.
I am aware that not every entry is yet in precisely alphabetical order, but it is close-ish to being in order. The technology of Blogger persists refusing to leave a gap between some paragraphs and in transposing sections U and V - however often I try to correct it: they just keep popping back (as Diva Plaistow might say.)

For these and any other infelicities, I apologise and crave your indulgence.

Autumn 2010 entries:           
  • Although this blog is dated with its initial publication, it has been expanded each year since its inception.  I  have again enjoyed my Summer lease in delicious Riseholme and Tilling by courtesy of the six novels. In consequence most existing entries have been amplified. Now that the main characters and locations have been identified in the Glossary, I have been able to concentrate on more minutiae. I have also tried to focus on explaining some of Benson's wide areas of reference - from the classics, bible, history, music, art and poetry to aspects of everyday life in the late 1920's and the 1930's.

  • The result makes an intentionally eclectic list. Over two hundred new additions  include : August stunt, embroidery, Lucia's greatness, Cut-throat bridge, Broadwood, first call, Marble Arch, Dalston's "Manual of Harmony", mermaid's tail, Diva Dalrymple, spirit of Bolshevism, Stravinski, trains, Royal Hotel in Brinton, Veuve Clicquot, L from L, Lifts of London, London Season, shingled, Giaconda, white soul, Yawning York! Saturday till Monday, Collectedness, Waterloo Bridge, Pemberton's Auction Rooms, Love's lilies lonely, Miss Wethered, Mary, Mr. Dabnet, Ye Smalle House, Miss Mapp's kitten,  Major Benjy's Diaries, Other fish shop, Friendship's Border, Old Mappy, Helen, Outside porter, Doxology, Lobgesang, Passion, Thermogene, Adam, Sargent, Public Garden, trunk calls, "Beethoven's Days of Boyhood", "Maud", Sir Sidney Lee, Samite, dibs, Town-crier, "How you all work me", Grocer's wife, Plato's "Symposium," Pope's "Iliad", Sigmund Freud, Vanderbilt conventions, argle-bargle, "Women Wrestlers", 4th. August 1914, ironmongers, "Esmondi", hanky-panky, "To Autumn", Schwarm, Curate, toy shop, Rembrandt, Raphael's Sybils, Coue, rodomontade, Whistler, Ananais, Sapphira, Lobster a la Riseholme a la Mapp, Adam and Eve and the Sons of God, Tyro, Vegetable marrow jam, Xmas cards, Dinner-lunch, Picture Palace, Artemis, hornbeam, Achilles, Pre-Raphaelites, Jumna, the Institute, "Little kindly remarks", Charles Kingsley, Shining sands, "The Last Rose of Summer", "Just wait until we come back", Nansen, Stanley, Amundsen, Aristotle, Einstein, Edward Lear, Parish Magazine, Aristophanes, Virgil, Horace, Tishbites, Crippen, Culbertson, Mr Montagu Norman, Vandyk, Diane de Poictiers, Eton crop, "Idylls" of Theocritus, Pater, Tom Tiddler's Ground, Stephen Grellet, the Tilling musical face, the second act of The Meistersinger, Disraeli's first speech in the House of Commons, Twilight sleep, "Health in the Home," "Non semper arcum tendit Apollo", Montagus and Capulets, the Carlisle Holbein, Brahms, Aeschylus, Homer, hypocausts, Agamemnon, Cassandra, Socrates, Pericles, Aspasia, Thesmophoriazusae, Lysistrata, Clytemnestra, tessellated pavement, Commination service, Erda, Wotan, Melchizedeck, Hadrian, Queen Victoria, Wilhelm Richard Wagner, Samian ware, Elijah, Witch of Endor, Samuel, Saul, Festina lente, Dame Clara Butt, Agape, Bourdon, Diapason, Vox humana, Cor anglais, Tristan und Isolde, Parry, Milton, "Pretty Fanny's way", Eight thousand pounds, Theophrastus, Charlotte Bronte's wedding, Zingari, William and Mary, The Polish Corridor, Adolf Hitler, the New American President, Goethe, Seignorial manner, Mayor of Tilling, Ford Place, Catherine the Great, Glazonov's "Bacchanal", Queen Mary, Goths and Vandals, Mrs. Grundy, Botticelli, "Wait and see", Stanley Baldwin, Somerset Maugham, Salome, Pythian Oracle,  Conclave of Cardinals, Mayoring Day, Scarlatti, Mussolini, Almack's, League of Nations, Lucullan lunches and dinners, Spartan, Necromancy, Lawrence of Arabia, Battersea Park, the Spice Islands, the Mayoral Banquet, Bicycle picnics, Wigs on the green, Desmond McCarthy, Noel Coward, John Gielgud, Sir Henry Wood, Shikarri, Pyramus and Thisbe, Burlington House, The Chantrey Bequest, the Severn Bore, "Dancing with the daffodils", Lucrezia Borgia, "Kind Hearts and Coronets, " Star Chamber, Sursum Corda,  Cara Sindaca, several additional apophthegms and six, even more shocking, infelicities. I do hope they are of interest.

Winter 2011/2012 entries:

  • Rather later than usual, I have begun my annual visit to Riseholme and Tilling. I hope this time round to include yet more of the the references previously omitted. As previously, any apercus or suggested additions or corrections stemming from the novels are most welcome.

  • As well as some amplifications to existing entries, as at 1st March 2012 there are two hundred and seventy five new entries including the following: 
From "Queen Lucia" ~ Christian Science, Mrs Mary Baker Eddy, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Rubens, Antonio Caporelli,  the Venetian School, Torcello, Elzevir Horace, Desipere in loco, Ophelia, Perdita, Walt Whitman, "Loneliness", Nietzche, Weimar, Leipzig, Chippendale, Copenhagen china, River Avon, Benares, Delhi, Beethoven, Contadina's umbrella, Riseholme Literary Society, Bach, Goethe,  Rudyard Kipling, otter hunting, clear white soul, Ganges, burning ghaut, Saint Francis, Bayreuth, Tiffin, Pepys, Darwin,  spectacles, Bartlett,  stocks,  ducking pond,  epiphany,  Hermes, Gamaliel,  Hyperion,  laudanum, General  Confession, Belshazzar's Feast,  Mary Queen of Scots,  "How happy could I be with either were t'other dear charmer away",  Vermouth, "The Voice that breathed o'er Eden",  "I attempt from Love's sickness to fly",  "Sally in our Alley", "Come, live with me",  "A few more years shall roll",  Bohemian, Clumps, Cock-fighting,  Smoking, "Fidelio",  Debussy,  Faust and Marguerite and Mephistophelese and Martha,  Madame Blavatski,  Cabalistic, Gnosticism,  Rosicrucian, Moses,  Athene,  Zeus,  Dante,  Inverted fifths and submerged tenths, Sibyls, 15 Gerald Street and Church Road. 

From "Lucia in London"  ~  scalloped,  Sympathy,  Queen Anne,  William III,  Beau Nash, "All the perfumes of Arabia,"  Aldebaran,  pyorrhea, "Patens of bright gold," Putney Vale,  Praxiteles,  "The Funeral March of a Marionette",  "unavailing woe," "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song", Auction Bridge,  "The Winter's Tale",  "Long unlovely streets", Joseph,  "The very pulse of the machine,"  William Wordsworth,  Chaldean astrologer, King Nebuchadnezzar,  Henley,   Hurlingham,  Marius among the ruins of Carthage,  Schubert,  Schumann,  stertorous,  "Henry VIII",  Chekov/Tchekov,  Lot's wife,  Rousseau, George Sand, Frederic Chopin,  Lady Emma Hamilton,  Lord Horatio Nelson,  "So very little longer",  Robert Browning,  Galahad,  Artemis,  "See how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid" ,  Shylock,  Nemesis,  "Stars in their courses,"  Snobbery, Mondaine,  Chequers,  Dropmore Borage,  ScotlandBlue Train,   Queen Charlotte,  Gall and wormwood,  Carlyle  and  Mr Robert Montgomery.     
From "Miss Mapp" ~  Weekly books,  Tea,  Dinner,  King  John's treasures,  Martha,  "Disgrace of Tilling",  Italian Renaissance,  "Cherry lips",  Telephone,  Mignonette,  Titania, "Methinks thou art forsworn!",  Marconi installations,  Euclidian postulate, Twemlows,  George Bernard Shaw, Clement Shorter,  "The Garden of Sleep" (somewhere in Norfolk),  Lucifer, son of the morning,  Aphasia,  Chocolate cakes,  Mendelssohn,  "Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,"   "The roseate morn has passed away,"   Housewife of Anak,  Epistle to the Hebrews,  Wars of the Roses,  Washout,  Elysian fields,  "stale and unprofitable,"  "Children dear, was it yesterday?" ,  Villeggiatura,  "Stained the white radiance of eternity",  Infidel poet,  "What is true will prevail",  Shirley poppy, Ancient Lights, St. Stephen,  Mr Stevenson,  "Undying coquetry awoke",  Odontoglossum,  "Tinkling cymbal",  "Thinketh no evil, you know! Charity!"  Recondite,  Rubiconned and  The Portland Club.     
From "Mapp and Lucia"  ~  Stunts,  Walter Raleigh,  Francis Drake,  Suttee,   "Come thou north wind, and blow thou south..."   Consequences,  Palfrey,  Anne Hathaway's Cottage,  Plato,  Salamis,  Pentelicus,  Addison,  Pope,  Pope's "Rape of the Lock,"   George I,  Della Robbia,  Quixotism,  "There comes a tide in the affairs of men..." ,  Browning Society,   Ebullitions,  "O, for the Wings of a Dove",   "The violet crowned.."  (Athens), "The hounds of Spring...",   Oberammergau,  "As from a cup of hemlock...",  Running,  Bismarck,  Coruscations,  Medusa,   Breakfast,  Crystal Palace , "It may be better to have loved and lost..."   "Home is the sailor, home from the sea..."  Yahoo,  Peccavi,  Via Dolorosa,  Mozart,  Kitchen table,  "La ci darem" ,  "Pussie,"  "Fierce raged the tempest o'er the deep,"  "They were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their death they were not divided," Tennyson and "And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark..."      
From "Lucia's Progress"  ~  Polyanthuses/Polyanthi,  Cod,  "Tendencies of Modern Fiction,"  "Monumentum oere perennius,"  Mapp-Flint,  the Tower of Babel,   Petit point, Gros point,   the Neopolitan Narcissus,  Mashies,  Hydrophobia,  Genus omne,  "The Ancient Mariner,"    "Could not choose but hear..."  Boyikins,  Versy-visa,  Roguey-poguey-Romeo!   The Churching of Women,  "Behold how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity.."   Blake,  Cedars of Lebanon,  Richborough,  Echo,  Duse,  Bodleian Library,  Baptism of  Those of Riper Years, Branguene, Slums,  Fourth round of the Inferno,   As full of plans as an egg of meat  and Connubialities.     
From "Trouble for Lucia" ~   Hatred,  Heaven fits the back to the burden,  Bumpus's buildings,  Messuage,  Beethoven's famous Fifth Symphony,  Lending library,  "Out, damned spot!"  Ellen Terry,  Royal Zoological Society,  Clematis Montana,  The Ritz,  That Hole,  The hand of time,  Car of Juggernaut,  Molyneux,  Hornbridge,  Le Touquet,  Andromeda,  Incubus and "The hosts of Midian 'who prowled and prowled around'"   

Winter/Spring 2013 entries

Even later than usual, I have begun this year's Winter Tour to revisit Riseholme and Tilling. I will try to amplify existing entries and cover more references and quotations with one hundred and eighty-five or so new entries.

From  "Queen Lucia" ~ there are now addressed, the following:         fly, Steinway Grand, "Art for Art's sake," black letter volumes, virginal, "Solemn gladness," South Kensington, "Much have I travelled..",  Cromwellian,  Om, Prana, Pranayama, Louis XVI, Karl Huth, Faberge, Bow, Mars, Athenian, the Way, colloquies, cavaliere, treasure trove, the General Rule in Riseholme,  Guides, quaintnesses, "Too ill-advised, too sudden,"  Lady Macbeth, True Statement of Being,  Rhine-maiden,  True Path,  Uric acid,  chromagens, toxins,  troppo caldo, cuirass, Persius, Juvenal, Haw, hum, "The labourer is worthy of his hire,"  "Best sort of Claude",  Domani,  stymie, lauresinus, "Hamlet,"  "Othello,"  "Midsummer Night's Dream",  October,  "Terrible as an army with banners,Portia,  The Psychical Research,  "Thy kingdom is divided,"  Pentecostal,  "Lingua Toscana in bocca Romana,"   Margherita,  accidentals,  promesso,  "A bow drawn at a venture,"    Riseholme Instinct, Prima vera and Piccolo libro.     
From "Lucia in London" ~ there are now added :       Slaughter of the innocents, slugs, Pied Piper, "The Importance of Being Ernest,"  Cortez,  the death of Queen Victoria, "Any news?" ,  Kit-cat, Lord Haldane and Germany,  Counsel of perfection,  finials, crockets, moraine, ammonites, spar, talc,  fibula, humble pie,  Don Juan,  Gargantuan,  the Red Queen in 'Alice in Wonderland,'  Aix, anchorite,  Yahoo,   "Land of Hope and Glory,"  Charles II,  Scotland, mulberry tree, mah jong, "Fervent desire",  "Time is money,"  "Non e vero carissimo," "Pride did not oust shame", "It's a mad world, my masters" Charles II and clock golf.      
From "Miss Mapp" ~ there are now added the following:     curveting,"Emotion is the Salt of Life,"  Spoonerism,  Love-in-a-mist,  Groundsel,  Bluthner,  Newton,  Hoarding,  Misogynist,  " the birthday of her life,"  Miss Rossetti ,  Sporting challenges,  "Hittopopamus!" "Called awayWhitchurch,  Maidstone, Scarves, Cup,  Snapdragon,  Smiles,  Sisters, "Weary of earth,"    Macedoine,  Demi-monde,  Lies and (from "The Male Impersonator") "sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. "         
From "Mapp and Lucia" ~ there are now added the following:       secluded glade,  Deptford,  Tilbury,  "before the swallow dared and took the winds,"  "confused noise within,"   Cattivo ragazzo,  Ladder of lessors and lessees,  Che curiose scalpe!  Magic casement,  Queen  of  Sheba,  Calmness of despair,  Victorian eyes, Manoeuvres of Mapp,  Sunday- evening smile,  Paperknife,  "That Mapp",  Deus ex machina,  Wills, Popinjay, "Thank God I live on a hill!",   "Sad narcotic exercise", Faculty, Jaeger pyjamas, Padre of the Roman Catholic Church, "Monarch of the Glen"  and "The Soul's Awakening".      
From "Lucia's Progress"   ~ there are now added the following:      "I wonder..."   Swimming,  Sybaritic,  Gay audacities,  Gold Standard,  Jeune premier,  Distant blue hills,  Hastings,  Flying,  Madly cast away,    "That",  Apple-green,  Biscuit-colour, the Pankhursts, Calomel,  Ark of the Covenant,  Shakespeare Folios, Cricket, Football, Castello Faraglione, Co-option,  Menseful, "La domestica e molto contenta"  and Perambulators.

From "Trouble for Lucia" ~  there are now added the following:      Moujik,  Yarmouth, Omen,   Metier,  Doctrine of Free Will,  Riband developments, Sheffield Bottom, Mr James Joyce, Cyanosis, "the splendour falls on castle walls" and "shadows of life's eventide"

As an esoteric tea-time diversion, I have prepared several Mapp and Lucia Reference Quizes . They were all set out in the Introduction but are a little unwieldy and so I have transferred all but the latest them to the end of section "Q," in  this Glossary, the home of Quaint Irene.   If you click on "Q" in the Archive and the top of this page and scroll down, hopefully you will find them!  
For convenience, ANSWERS are shown in abbreviated form as Appendices One to Nine at the end of the Epilogue in this Glossary: to go there just click on Epilogue in the Archive on the left of this page.

Bona fortuna a tutti!

Welcome to the world of Mapp and Lucia!

 As Lucia might say "Now,  let us breathe harmony and loveliness again.  We begin together.  Now...Uno, due, TRE!"


Guy Fraser-Sampson said...

What a wonderful blog! I discovered it about 24 hours ago and have already read it right through twice. Thank you so much, Deryck, for putting this together.

My new Mapp and Lucia book "Major Benjy" is published by Troubador on 1 September, but I have already been reminded of a few classic incidents to refer to with affection in the next one!

Siriami said...

as a HUGE E F Benson fan, and a collector of anything to do with M & L, can I congratulate you on an excellent, fascinating and well-written blog!

Tiffin said...

Oh this is fun! I shall be back to explore again and again. Thank you!

Erwin said...

Thank you for the enormous amount of work and thought, and most of all for sharing it with us. Erwin (American Benson fan)

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H. E. said...

Excellent! We need more fans, and more UNABRIDGED audiobooks!

Susan Clizbe said...

Hi there - just read the first two of Inspector Morrison's cases, very nice! Thanks for the effort on those and especially on the glossary. I've read the whole thing and come back to in occasionally. And will read the rest of the cases and move on to "Another Year." Happy new year!

Deryck Solomon said...

Thank you for your encouraging comments. I am just starting my winter re-read of all the novels and will be posting some new entries in the Glossary shortly. Also "Inspector Morrison and the Tilling Slasher" is nearly finished and will be available on the " Another Year in Tilling" blog soon. Au reservoir!

Erica said...

Thank you so much for compiling this exhaustive list of Tillingisms. I just found your blog and will look forward to perusing it further.

What led me to it was looking up "choaterpeg" or however you spell Major Benjy's favorite post-prandial tipple. I don't have the books in front of me, and can only HEAR him saying it. Just wondered about the etymology of such an intriguing word. Do you have any insight on that?


Deryck Solomon said...

Hi Erica,
I'm glad you have found the Glossary blog and hope you enjoy it.
As I understand it, a "chota-peg" is a miniature jug used for individual servings of alcohol, dating from British colonial India at the end of the 19thC. "chota" is the Hindi word for "small measure". I imagine Major Benjy had many a chota peg of pre-war whisky in the mess in Poona after playing polo. Au reservoir, Deryck

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Marie inKingston said...

I just now got on a machine that can play your enchanting M&L Alphabet. What a treat! Thank you.

Deryck Solomon said...

Thank you for taking the trouble to comment, Marie-Anne. You may be the only person to have actually viewed the little video - so glad you liked it!

Personal Trainer bloke St John's Wood said...

You've clearly put so much care and thought into this guide, it's absolutely wonderful to see.

Deryck Solomon said...

Thank you for taking the trouble to give positive feedback. Very encouraging and much appreciated. You might be surprised how many of the comments are just critical and disapproving. I just wanted this blog to be a resource for Fred's admirers like me.

fawcetts_python said...

Excellent blog. I have only just discovered E.F. Benson after seeing the recent BBC adaptation, I have devoured the books and your blog at equal speed!

Jane said...

I've only recently discovered the Mapp and Lucia books, and they are an absolute delight and joy to read. The use of alliteration seems to bring the characters to life so beautifully. I've not yet finished the books- MandL have just returned from their sea adventure-and almost don't want the books to finish. Lovely of you to have put all this info together and so pleased to find that others thoroughly enjoy these lovely stories...thank you.