Monday, 24 July 2017

Reviews of the Works of Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940)

The purpose of this blog is to review, and to gather together other critics' opinions of, the entire works of E F Benson.  'Fred' is known today almost exclusively for his Mapp and Lucia novels and his ghost ('spook') stories, but in his day he was a popular and versatile author, whose career of almost 50 years saw him tackle a wide range of subjects in both fiction and non-fiction.

I've set myself the task of reading his entire literary output, though I'll probably have to draw the line at titles such as English Figure Skating and A Book of Golf, which would very likely kill me.

Though Benson is one of my favourite authors, I'm not an apologist ~ if a book's bad, it's bad ~ and he did, sadly, write rather a lot (mainly novels) that wasn't good.

Anyway, here goes ~ I hope you enjoy the blog and find it useful.

I realize there's no particular order to all this (other than The Order I Read Things In, which is no use to anyone, not even me), and as I can't get the 'Search this blog' function to work for the site, here's a handy alphabetical linked index instead.  The novels ~ all 63 of them ~ are in bold italic; everything else isn't:

N.B. Items marked NEW! ~ these are reproduced free of charge and in full for, as far as I'm aware, the first time ever to the WWW readership.
1886, aged 19
Account Rendered
Across the Stream 
Act in a Backwater, An
Adventure of Hegel Junior, The 
Afrit of the Sea, An
Age of Walnut, The 
Alliance of Laughter, The
'And No Bird Sings ...'
'And the Dead Spake ...'
Angel of Pain, The
Ape, The
1889, aged 22
Archaeology in Literature
Arturo's Boat
Assunta's Sacrifice
As We Are 
As We Have Become
As We Were
At Abdul-Ali's Grave 
At King's Cross Station
At the Farmhouse 
Aunt Jeannie [unpublished play]
Aunts and Pianos 
Autumn and Love
Autumn and the Spring, The
Autumn Sowing, An
Babe, B.A., The
Bagnell Terrace 
Baron, The
Bath-chair, The
Bed by the Window, The
Between the Lights 
Birds NEW!
1893, aged 26
Blackmailer of Park Lane, The
Blotting-book, The
Blue Stripe
Book of Golf, A
Book of Months, The
Box at the Bank, The
Boxing Night
Bread of Deceit, The
Breath of Scandal, A 
Brick, The >>> Dodo and the Brick
Bridge Fiend, The
Bridgwater Club, The
Brontës, The 
Buntingford Jugs
Bus-conductor, The
By the Sluice
By the Waters of Sparta 
Call, The
Capsina, The
Card of Casuistry, A
Case of Bertram Porter, The 
Case of Frank Hampden, The >>> Return of Frank Hampden, The
1898, aged 31
Cat, The
Challoners, The
Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë
Charlotte Brontë
Cherry Blossom
China Bowl, The
Chippendale Mirror, The
Christmas with the Old Masters
Christopher Comes Back
Clandon Crystal, The
Classical Education
Climber, The
Climbers and Godmothers
Clonmel Witch Burning, The >>> Recent 'Witch Burning' at Clonmel, The
Colin II
Comedy of Styles, A
Complementary Souls
'Complete Rest' 
Confession of Charles Linkworth, The
Corner House, The
Countess Hatso, The
Countess of Lowndes Square, The
Country House Parties
Courtship of Lord Arthur Armstrong, The
1904, aged 37
Creed of Manners, A
Crescent and Iron Cross
Cricket of Abel, Hirst and Shrewsbury, The
Crotalus, The 
Curious Coincidence, A >>> At Abdul-Ali's Grave
Daily Training
Daisy's Aunt
Dance, The
Dance on the Beefsteak, The 
Dark and Nameless
Daughters of Queen Victoria >>> Queen Victoria's Daughters
David Blaize
David Blaize and the Blue Door 
David Blaize of King's >>> David of King's
David of King's 
Day In, Day Out
Death Warrant, The
Defeat of Lady Grantham, The
Defeat of Lady Hartridge, The 
Demoniacal Possession
Desirable Residences
Deutschland über Allah >>> Crescent and Iron Cross
1909ish, aged 42ish
Dicky's Pain
Dinner for Eight 
Disappearance of Jacob Conifer, The
Diversions Day by Day
Dives and Lazarus 
Dodo [play]
Dodo: A Detail of the Day
Dodo and the Brick
Dodo's Daughter [i.e. Dodo the Second]
Dodo's Progress
Dodo the Second
Dodo Wonders
Dorothy Crystal Syndicate, The NEW!
Double Misfit, A
Drawing-room Bureau, The 
Dummy on a Dahabeah
Dust-cloud, The 
Early Brontë
Earthquakes at Atlanta 
Eavesdropper, The 
Economies of Mrs Hancock, The NEW!
Education of a King, The
English Figure Skating 
English Skating
1914ish, aged 47ish
Entire Mistake, An
Everlasting Silence, The
Exposure of Pamela, The
Face, The
Fallacy at the Heart of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The
Fall of Augusta, The
False Step, The
Fascinating Mrs Halton, The >>> Daisy's Aunt
Femme Dispose
Ferdinand Magellan
Final Edition 
Fine Feathers
Five Foolish Virgins, The
Flint Knife, The
For His Friends
Freaks of Mayfair, The
Friend in the Garden, The 
Friend in the Garden, The [play]
Friendly Russia NEW!
Friend of the Rich
From Abraham to Christ 
Future of the Novel, The
Gardener, The
Garden Gate, The
Gare du Nord 
Gavon's Eve 
George Moore
George's Secret
Ghost in the Secret Garden, The 
1925ish?, aged 58ish?
Givers and Takers
Godmother, The 
Golden Temple of Amritsar, The 
Gospel of the Gourmet, The 
Governments Who Dig Their Own Graves NEW!
Guardian Angel, The
Guy's Candidate
Hanging of Alfred Wadham, The 
Hapless Bachelors, The
Harmonious Blacksmith, The
Heart of India, The
Henry James: Letters to A. C. Benson and Auguste Monod
Hidden Power, A 
Home, Sweet Home 
Horror-horn, The 
House of Defence, The
House of Help NEW!
House with the Brick-kiln, The
How Fear Departed from the Long Gallery
Image in the Sand, The
Imaginary Interviews 1: Chamberlain and Kruger
Imaginary Interviews 2: The Marquis of Salisbury and Lord Rosebery
Imaginary Interviews 3: The German Emperor and Dr Leyds  
Inheritor, The 
Inscrutable Decrees
In the Dark
In the Tube
Jack and Poll
Jamboree, The
James Lamp
James Sutherland, Ltd.
1927ish, aged 60ish
Jill's Cat 
Jill's Golf
Joy of the Chase, The
Judgment Books, The
Julian's Cottage 
Kaiser and English Relations, The
King and His Reign, The (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII)
King Edward VII
Lady Massington's Resurrection
Lambeth Palace
Liberty of Law NEW!
Life of Alcibiades, The
Light in the Garden, The
Like a Grammarian
Limoges Manuscript, The
Little Headache, A
Lovers, The
Lovers and Friends
Love's Apostate 
Lucia in London
Lucia's Progress
Luck of the Vails, The
Luck of the Vails, The [play] 
Mad Annual, The
Magic White and Black
1930ish, aged 63ish
Male Impersonator, The
Mammon & Co.
Man Who Went Too Far, The
Mapp and Lucia
Margery >>> Juggernaut
May 29th, 1928
Michael >>> Mike
Middleman, The
Miss Mapp
Miss Maria's Romance
Money Market, The
Mother of Men, A
Mr Carew's Game of Croquet 
Mrs Ames
Mrs Amworth
Mrs Andrews's Control
Mrs Lauderdale's Office
Mrs Naseby's Denial
Mrs Ross Puts Her Foot Down
Mr Teddy
Mr Tilly's Seance 
Murder of Alan Grebell, The
1935ish?, aged 68ish
My Friend the Murderer
Mystery of Black Rock Creek, The
Naboth's Vineyard
National Service or National Disgrace? NEW!
Negotium Perambulans
Noblesse Oblige 
Notes on Excavations in Alexandrian Cemeteries
Number 12 
Oakleyites, The
'Oh, to be in England ...' 
Old Bligh, The
'O lyric love half-angel and half-bird'
Once a Year
On the Decadence of Manners
On Undesirable Information
Oriolists, The 
Orozco at Dartmouth College
Osbornes, The
Other Bed, The
1938ish, aged 71ish
Our Family Affairs 1867-1896
Our Hard-working Royal Family NEW!
'Our Sister, the Death of the Body'
Outbreak of War 1914, The
Outcast, The
Outside the Door
The Passenger
Paying Guests
Peacock Enamels, The
The Peerage Cure 
Pharisees and Publicans
Philip's Safety Razor
Poland and Mittel-Europa >>> White Eagle of Poland, The
Poor Miss Huntingford
Portrait of an English Nobleman
Princess Sophia, The
Professor Burnaby's Discovery 
Progress of Princess Waldeneck, The >>> Dodo's Progress 
Psychical Mallards, The 
Public Schools Alpine
Puce Silk, The
1939ish, aged 72ish
Queen Lucia
Queen of the Spa, The
Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria's Daughters
Question of Taste, A
Ravens' Brood
Reading in Bed 
Reaping, A
Recent 'Witch Burning' at Clonmel, The
Red House, The
Relentless City, The 
Renewal, The
Return of Dodo, The
Return of Frank Hampden, The
Robin Linnet
Roderick's Story
Room in the Tower, The
Rubicon, The
Sanctuary, The
Satyr's Sandals, The
Scarlet and Hyssop
1940ish, aged 72ish
Sea Mist
Secret Lives
Sheridan Le Fanu
Shootings at Achnaleish, The 
Shuttered Room, The
Simple Life, The
Sir Francis Drake
Sir Roger de Coverley 
Sketches from Marlborough
Snow Stone, The
Social Customs
Social Sickness
Social Value of Temperance, The
Sound of the Grinding, The
Souvenir of the Air Raids, A
Step, The
Story of a Mazurka, The
Superannuation Department, AD 1945, The
Tale of an Empty House, The
Technique of the Ghost Story, The
Temple, The
Ten Days in the Peloponnese
Terror by Night, The
There Arose a King
Thersilion at Megalopolis, The
Thing in the Hall, The
Thorley Weir
Thoughts from E. F. Benson (1913)
Thoughts from E. F. Benson (1917)
Three Old Ladies, The
1940ish, aged 72ish
Thursday Evenings
To Account Rendered
Top Landing, The
Tortoise, The >>> Mr Teddy
Tragedy of a Green Totem, The
Tragedy of Oliver Bowman, The
Travail of Gold
Trouble for Lucia
Two Days After
Unusual Autobiography, An
Unwanted, The 
Up and Down
Valkyries, The
Victorian Biography - and Afterwards
Vintage, The
Weaker Vessel, The
When Greek Meets Greek
White Eagle of Poland, The
Winter Morning, A
Winter Pastimes
Winter Sports in Switzerland
Wishing-Well, The 
Witch-ball, The 
Woman's Ambition, A
Worshipful Lucia, The >>> Lucia's Progress
Zoo, The 

Countess of Lowndes Square and Other Stories, The
Desirable Residences and Other Stories
Fine Feathers and Other Stories
Flint Knife, The
More Spook Stories 
Sea Mist
Six Common Things
Spook Stories
Visible and Invisible

Mapp and Lucia


  1. Google the title "The Courtship of Lord Arthur Armstrong" - and you will find the complete text in googlebooks - part of a book published by the name of "Eve's Century - A Sourcebook of Writings on Women and Journalism" - by Anne Varty.

  2. Thanks ~ I'd actually already found it there, but I'd have to buy the whole book to see the whole story ... and I'm not quite prepared to spend £25 just to read one EFB which probably isn't very good!