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Major Benjy by Guy Fraser-Sampson

Major Benjy

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April 2013 Book of the Month.

The delightful reinvention of E F Benson’s world of Mapp and Lucia continues with the trials and tribulations faced by Major Benjy when his irascible nature leaves him servantless and Miss Mapp making much out of the seemingly simple task of finding a summer tenant. Light, frothy and delicious with a satisfying sharp bite - any fan of the original novels simply won’t be able to resist.

A ‘Piece of Passion’ from the publisher Elliott & Thompson...
'Guy and I met when we published a book he had written on cricket and racial and class tensions in the 1960s and 70s; a fascinating subject, but not one I had known much about beforehand. We bonded over a mutual love of EF Benson’s classic Mapp and Lucia novels when I discovered Guy had written his own sequel – with another in the pipeline. Like me, Guy came across the originals as a child and has been hooked ever since.

Although we were largely focusing on non-fiction I just couldn’t resist, and I’m so glad I didn’t. Both Lucia on Holiday and Major Benjy have been a joy to edit: the brilliance of Benson’s books is in the writing – full of nuanced and exquisitely funny observations – and Guy brings the same joyously jaded eye and fantastic turn of phrase to his sequels.

Tilling (a fictional Rye) is the archetypal timeless English village: in Major Benjy, as with Benson’s novels, the plot revolves around ordinary life in the 1920s. There’s skulduggery at a cake-making competition, a disastrous dinner party and a housekeeper with designs on her employer. All so seemingly minor and yet Tilling is a hotbed of strategic alliances, fiendish plotting and one-upmanship. It’s the perfect anecdote to the stresses of the modern world; more refreshing than a gin and tonic.''
Olivia Bays, Publisher at Elliott & Thompson

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Major Benjy a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'The atmosphere of a small town and its gossipy characters are convincing and endlessly entertaining - Sue Broom' Scroll down to read more reviews.

If you like Guy Fraser-Sampson you might also like to read books by Simon Brett, M. C. Beaton and E. F. Benson.

Win tickets to Chiddingstone Castle Lit Fest

We have four pairs of tickets to give away to hear Alison Weir at the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Sunday 30 April 4 - 5 pm. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on Friday 17 April. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 20 April 2017.

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 17/04/2017


Major Benjy by Guy Fraser-Sampson

This welcome addition to EF Benson's hugely popular Mapp and Lucia series finds Major Flint in need of a new servant, Miss Mapp in need of a summer tenant, and Quaint Irene in need of a pint of bitter. Romantic entanglements stir the still waters of Tilling. Who is doing what to whom with a bottle of sesame oil? What is the truth behind the great Tilling chocolate cake mystery? Why does Major Flint need a loaded elephant gun? Did Miss Mapp really poison the Padre? Are Diva Plaistow's days as a single woman numbered? How will Mr Wyse measure up as a man of action? Oh yes, and what really happened to Lucy? Find the answers to these and much more in Major Benjy, the latest addition to the Mapp and Lucia canon by best-selling author Guy Fraser-Sampson. society, cunning plots are laid, and unforeseen complications ensue. Perfect reading for followers of Benson's original novels and sure to be equally loved by P.G. Wodehouse fans, this is a pitch-perfect and deliciously enjoyable social satire of an England long gone but not forgotten.


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review Major Benjy. You can read their reviews below.

Sue Broom - 'The atmosphere of a small town and its gossipy characters are convincing and endlessly entertaining. Major Benjy himself is particularly well drawn - a colonial buffer of the old school whose collection of military hardware and a tendency to partake of too many snifters of whisky combine to comic effect.' Click here to read the full review.

Edel Waugh
- 'I am a huge fan of the Mapp and Lucia series so I was thrilled to be going back to the village of Tilling...you can expect hilarious situations...and in this book the odd mystery ... that is sure to have you chuckling away to yourself as relief washes over you that you don't have friends like these.' Click here to read the full review.

Kath Thornton - 'This book takes you through everyday life in the little village of Tilling. It is an amusing and satisfying read...What a wonderful mixture of goings on in this sleepy English village.' Click here to read the full review.


Praise for Guy Fraser-Sampson:

'Lucia is back! This is a wonderful new adventure for our magnificent heroine, written with all the style and humour of Benson himself. A triumph. Uno, due, tres ... read it!' -- Alexander McCall Smith

Praise for 'Major Benjy by Guy Fraser-Sampson:

'More Mapp and Lucia - what bliss! Major Benjy on the rampage - what joy!' -- Gyles Brandreth

'As you read Guy Fraser-Sampson's sinuous narrative and needle-sharp dialogue, Tilling suddenly takes shape all around you ... Benson himself would have loved this book, and so will you.' -- Tom Holt

'An agreeable romp, with at least one treat for the Benson aficionado' -- The Spectator

'Brilliant, quite quite brilliantly wonderful...This is a simply delicious book and I loved every single word...I hope this sells in millions and trillions as it deserves to do so.' -- Random Jottings

About the Author

Guy Fraser-Sampson

Guy Fraser-Sampson is a well-known best-selling non-fiction author, and a longstanding Mapp and Lucia fan. His first Tilling novel, Major Benjy, was published to much acclaim from Benson devotees, including Gyles Brandreth (“More Mapp and Lucia – what bliss! Major Benjy on the rampage – what joy!”) and Tom Holt (“As you read Guy Fraser-Sampson's sinuous narrative and needle-sharp dialogue, Tilling suddenly takes shape all around you … Benson himself would have loved this book, and so will you”).

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Book Info

Publication date

14th March 2013


Guy Fraser-Sampson

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Elliott & Thompson Limited


224 pages


Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

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