ISIS Audio Books
CS ISBN 69.95 Eight cassettes
CD ISBN 84.95 Nine CDs
Class lurks in varying degrees behind every great English comedy, its ineffable code being so endlessly conducive to ironic subtlety. QUEEN LUCIA, the first of the great Lucia novels of E.F. Benson, is imbued with it. Nonetheless, social striving rather than class per se gives the novel its real comic force. At its center is Lucia, the regnant, self-appointed social and cultural leader of a genteel, middle-class circle. She’s a schemer and poser of awesome theatricality and self-delusion. Although the narrative is conducted in the third person, the characters’ doings, most especially Lucia’s, are as often as not reported in the light in which the perpetrators hope to be viewed. Still, the true facts and motivations, usually base, shine luminously through. Geraldine McEwen’s reading truly enhances the work, being a model of cultivated discretion and ironic pacing. K.A.P. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB 96]
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