5.25.2011

A Trio of Discoveries (And My Latest Video)

Before this special Thursday post begins make sure to check out my latest video on A New Dress for my Capsule Wardrobe. In the video I describe the thought process I use before purchasing anything to add to my capsule wardrobe. You can see the video by clicking here, looking in the sidebar of this post or by visiting: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.

And now for this special Thursday post...


Today I am sharing with you a trio of discoveries that recently came across my desk… so to speak.

Mapp & Lucia DVD



While in The Continental Shop in Santa Monica recently (to buy Royal wedding paraphernalia) I asked the proprietors if they had any good British DVDs to recommend to me. I told them how much I love Poirot and any English story set in the art deco period. They readily offered me advice on several series… the first of which was Mapp & Lucia. I can’t tell you how happy I am I asked for their advice because I rented the Mapp & Lucia disc on Netflix (to see if I liked them) and have found the series to be such a little gem!

The Mapp & Lucia series is from the mid 1980s and stars Geraldine McEwan (recently known as Miss Marple) and Prunella Scales (from Fawlty Towers fame) as two middle aged ladies who reside in the fictional town of Tilling on Sea in the late 20s and 30s. It is a comedy of manners, of social climbing and of cattiness, but one with tremendous heart. Also the heroine Lucia, played by McEwan, is a woman after my own heart as she lives life as a formal affair, plays the piano and is an obsessive patron of the arts. I loved the DVDs so much I plan on returning to The Continental Shop and purchasing the collection for my library. They really don’t make television like that any more!

(As an aside, be patient with the series. The first episode is a little bizarre, especially if you are not familiar with the story of Lucia. I promise after you get through the first episode the rest that follow are nothing less than delicious and if you are like me you'll wish the series were longer than just two seasons!)


Lucia books by E.F. Benson



Because I loved the DVDs so much you know I just had to read the books. The Mapp & Lucia series is based on the books by E.F. Benson. I started to search for the books on the kindle and was delighted to find that they are either offered for free or for a very low price (another reason to love my beloved kindle). The story of Lucia actually starts long before she moves to Tilling on Sea and meets Elizabeth Mapp. Some of the earlier books are called Queen Lucia and Lucia in London where we are introduced to Lucia’s life in Riseholme with her trusty sidekick Georgie as they battle various adventures. Some involving a mysterious guru, an operatic newcomer and a prophetic princess.

The order of the books are as follows:

* Queen Lucia (1920)
* Miss Mapp (1922)
* Lucia in London (1927)
* Mapp and Lucia (1931)
* Lucia's Progress (1935, also known as The Worshipful Lucia)
* Trouble for Lucia (1939)

I’m so happy to have discovered E.F. Benson’s books as I’m always looking for new authors’ works to devour from that particular time period in England. Delightful.

The Case for Falling in Love by Mari Ruti, PhD


On a completely unrelated note, Mr. Connoisseur and I recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. How time flies! I feel very grateful to be married to such a wonderful man. Recently the publishers from the book The Case for Falling in Love by Mari Ruti, PhD sent me a copy of the book to review on my blog. I know many of you readers are married or are otherwise in happy relationships, but for those of you who aren’t (and wish to be) this is a refreshing and highly interesting book written for single women who wish to find love. It is written from Dr. Ruti’s unique perspective with regards to gender studies and debunks many myths related to dating and romance. Plus, Dr. Ruti studied at the University of Paris… so you know she has some decidedly French influences in her technique! For more information on the book or to read more reviews, please visit: www.mariruti.com


The Mapp & Lucia and E.F. Benson images are from amazon.com and The Case for Falling in Love is from mariruti.com

The Daily Connoisseur is now available on Amazon Kindle

21 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jennifer:
Although we have not ourselves owned a television for more than 30 years, we can recall Mapp and Lucia when first televised in the 1980s and have much enjoyed E.F. Benson's books. The series is indeed great fun, although as you say, it does reflect a particularly British sense of humour and so takes some time to tune into.

You may perhaps find The Bright Young Things of Evelyn Waugh amusing. We can recommend 'Vile Bodies' and 'Black Mischief to start you off.

steppingmywaytobliss said...

I am very excited to learn of these books and TV series. I have been yearning for English/European TV lately (as evidenced by my Netflix queue). I will check these out! (I also love that time period as well). xxBliss

pasunejeunefille said...

Mapp and Lucia!!! I love those books. I have all of them and I usually read them once a year. I may get them on kindle as these poor, well loved books are falling apart.

Joni said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to check out E.F. Benson's books; they sound really good.

Have you ever watched the movie "Enchanted April"? I think you'd love it. It's set in the 1920s in London and Italy. It stars Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, and Alfred Molina. It's one of my all-time favorite movies.

Fonty said...

I'm clueless about this stuff but thanks for sharing these resources. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer! You are so lovely. I enjoy your blog and youtube videos so much :) -Berenice

Vicki said...

Hi Jennifer,
I, too love the Art Deco/Poirot style and tone of writing so will be searching for the Mapp and Lucia books. You write as I am sure you speak, in a very gentle, polite and educated manner.
Have a lovely day,
Vickixx

LR said...

Those books sound awesome! I will try to find them.

I enjoy watching your videos, keep them coming! :)

LKafka said...

Jennifer,
Am SO excited to begin reading the Lucia and Mapp series! And since you love English authors too, one I'd love to share (if you haven't found her already) is Rosamunde Pilcher. Her most well-read is the Shell Seekers, which flashes back to the WWII era. Have read all her books to date. Sadly she retired in 2000, and really miss her, but find myself returning to these periodically stories like old friends. And always looking for new authors of the same vein. I founded a bookclub many years ago, so am anxious to put your suggetstions on the table next month! Just this kind of sharing is bliss. Thank you, LMK
PS - Have you ever thought of including a feature about bringing up baby the ala' French? Since you have such a familiar perspective on the phenomenon, would love to read what you have in mind! oooxxx

Fiona said...

Happy Anniversary!

josephinetalepeddler said...

Happy Anniversary, Jennifer to you and your husband. I enjoyed his cameo in your YouTube video! I love the art deco period and of course anything English. Have you seen the series Downton Abbey? I am looking forward to that one. I've been catching up on your Blog. And I love all your Youtube videos. I went to watch one and saw them all. You have the most soothing voice! xx

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Jane and Lance Hattatt- Thank you for the book reviews. I am longing to get into the Evelyn Waugh books as I've heard so much about them. I've seen the Bright Young Things film and liked it very much!

Bliss- Hope you love the books and DVD- I have a feeling you will xx

PasUneJeunneFille- Aren't they wonderful? I wish the series was longer... Geraldine McEwan IS Lucia... she is amazing

Joni- Enchanted April is one of my favorite films- I've seen it so many times. I absolutely love it xx

Fonty- You are welcome! :)

Berenice- Thank you- your comment is so kind. I'm really happy you're enjoying the blog and now the videos ... xx

Vicki- Thank you so much! xx

LR- Thank you- Glad you are liking the videos :) xx

LKafka- I adore Rosamund Pilcher. I read the Shell Seekers right after I had my baby in those long hours when I was feeding her and rocking her to sleep. She is such a great writer. I also saw the film adaptation of Coming Home- very good too. Thanks for your request. I've had a few similar requests to meld the French philosophy and child rearing techniques so I will think about it! xx

Fiona- Thank you darling! xx

Josephine- Thank you so much. I'm glad you like the videos :) xx

Rebekah said...

I'm looking forward to Mapp and Lucia. I'm always on the lookout for good British shows and books. I'm also glad Masterpiece Classic is re-airing Poirot and Miss Marple.

Thea said...

Thank you for Mapp and Lucia!!

Shelley said...

Thanks so much for pointing me in this direction! I've tried several times to read the Benson books, but just can't get through them. Perhaps the videos would work better. I love the 20s and 30s so much that I have a category on my blog 'All things inter-war' about it. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

You look fabulous in that dress and definitely don't look like you had a baby just a few short months ago. I'm still struggling to lose all my baby weight and my second is already 2! What's your secret? I'd love some advice!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thanks Rebekah, Thea and Shelley! xx

Anon- Thank you very much! It is a combination of not snacking, not depriving myself when I do have meals and incorporating exercise into main aspects of my day (mainly walking instead of driving). I go over these details extensively in my book that will be out shortly :) xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,
Loving all your chic french fashion posts and Youtube videos!

On the subject of rhsips and dating, I would love it if you share us a story how you meet your hubby and some personal tips on dating style & french places for dates!

Keep up the great posts!
Christine
Australia

Gina said...

I wish I had more eyes -- all of the reading and watching I want to do!

Several years ago, I discovered mysteries by writer Sarah Cauldwell. I would describe them as British academic mysteries.

Her four *trade paperbacks* have survived several book purgings.

Gina said...

Here's a link to Sarah Cauldwell on Amazon:
http://tinyurl.com/42aw6z6

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Christine- Thank you for your request! I will try to do a future post on dating and romance although I am not really an expert haha! I guess we do all have a story to tell though... I'm lucky to have found Mr. Connoisseur as I wasn't very good with dating in the first place! I will work on a future post for you. Thanks for writing xo

Gina- Thank you for the tip! I will add the Sarah Cauldwell mysteries to my list! xo

 
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