|09-05-2010, 12:41 PM||#1|
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Benson, E.F.: Paying Guests V1. 05 Sep 2010
Edward Frederic Benson (24 July 1867 – 29 February 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer, known professionally as E.F. Benson. His friends called him Fred.
E.F. Benson was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, the fifth child of the headmaster, Edward White Benson (later Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, Bishop of Truro and Archbishop of Canterbury), and Mary Sidgwick Benson ("Minnie"), who was described by Gladstone as the 'cleverest woman in Europe' and after her husband's death set up a lesbian household with Lucy Tait, daughter of the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Campbell Tait.
Benson was educated at Marlborough College where he wrote some of his earliest works, and upon which he based his novel David Blaize.
Benson was the younger brother of Arthur Christopher Benson, who wrote the words to "Land of Hope and Glory", Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, author of several novels and Roman Catholic apologetic works, and Margaret Benson (Maggie) an amateur Egyptologist. Two other siblings died young.
Benson's first book was Sketches from Marlborough. He started his novel writing career with the (then) fashionably controversial Dodo (1893), and he followed it with a variety of satire and romantic melodrama. The Mapp and Lucia series, written relatively late in his career, consists of six novels and two short stories. The novels are: Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp (including the short story The Male Impersonator), Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress (published as The Worshipful Lucia in the U.S.) and Trouble for Lucia. The short stories are "The Male Impersonator" and "Desirable Residences". Both appear in anthologies of the novel Miss Mapp.
Benson was also known as a writer of ghost stories, which frequently appear in collections, and of a series of biographies/autobiographies and memoirs, including one of Charlotte Brontë. His last book, delivered to his publisher ten days before his death, was an autobiography entitled Final Edition.
About the book: Hypochondriacs and vacationers visit the Bolton Spa, but despite their petty lies the truth about each character comes to light.
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