E.F. Benson’s Rye

I’ve actually spent quite a lot of time in East Sussex over the years as I had an aunt who lived there but for some reason I never got around to visiting Rye. Mind you, way back then I hadn’t read E.F. Benson‘s Mapp and Lucia books, but Lisa May at TBR 313 has been discussing E.F. Benson’s writing and the upshot is that I’m adding Rye to my list of places to visit. Although Benson’s fictional town is called Tilling, it was based on Rye where he was the town mayor for years.

I had a wee look on You Tube to see if there were any excerpts from the Mapp and Lucia TV series – and there were but what I really liked was this Thascales ‘album’ of a visit to Rye which s/he has uploaded onto You Tube. The TV series was filmed in Rye and the buildings are all very recognisable.

If you like a twee 1930s setting and a bit of a laugh then you’ll enjoy the series, I wonder if it’s available on Netflix. Geraldine McEwan as Lucia in particular has lovely outfits to wear, it’s a feast for the eyes if you like vintage clothes.

6 thoughts on “E.F. Benson’s Rye

    • Lisa,
      I haven’t been to Hastings because my aunt said it had gone right downhill! I have been to Battle though which is where the Battle of Hastings actually took place.

      The US Netflix seems to have just about everything. I’m told that the UK version is rubbish but it has just been launched here so it might get better. Luckily I have the DVDs but I think a lot of people missed seeing Mapp and Lucia when it first came on TV.

  1. I haven’t read any of E F Benson’s books and I didn’t watch the Mapp and Lucia TV series, but I do love Rye. We’ve visited several times and it’s a fascinating place – also Hastings and particularly Winchelsea. Definitely well worth a visit, Katrina.

    • Margaret,
      Mapp and Lucia is very funny, well worth reading and watching if you can. I mainly know Hailsham (not very exciting) Brighton, Eastbourne, Alfriston and Pevensey. For some reason we never got to Lewes either, so that’s going on the list, as well as Winchelsea.

  2. I’ve very much enjoyed the Mapp and Lucia books. I thought the TV series with Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwan a very faithful interpretation.
    And, if anyone remembers the girls’ pony stories about Tamzin and Rissa, by Monica Edwards [‘Wish for a Pony’, ‘The Summer of the Great Secret’ etc.] – her “Dunsford” is Rye, and “Westling” is down-river from there. Lovely to find story-book landscapes that are real!

    • Valerie,
      Yes they did stick closely to the books and the actors all seemed to be having a whale of a time playing those quite eccentric characters. All good fun!
      I don’t remember the Monica Edwards books although the name rings a bell. It is nice tracking down locations of books, I fell in love with Cornwall long before I ever got there. Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and then of course Daphne du Maurier’s books made me want to visit the places mentioned.

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