Back to "Home"
was the customary greeting exchanged between friends in Tilling when they
required gossip; on efbenson.co.uk, this is
where, hopefully, news about E.F.Benson and his works will appear; this
will only happen, of course, if we have some news to print! If you
see anything E.F.Benson related in the news, or if you are a publisher
with a new E.F.Benson book release, please email
us! When sending in items for this page, please remember to clearly
state where and when you saw the item, (if in a magazine or newspaper,
please include the name of the author and the title of the magazine/newspaper;
if possible, please also include the website of the publication)
Please do not, repeat NOT, submit items from either the Tilling Society Newsletter or from the E.F.Benson Society's mailings (including "The Dodo"; both are read by the efbenson.co.uk team, and we don't want to tread on anyone's toes!
|07-10-2009||The latest episode of the Radio Tilling podcast offers information about the ongoing Benson Window Appeal, being organised by the Friends of St. Mary's Church in Rye - the appeal aims to raise in excess of £70,000 to fund the repair and restoration of the West Window donatd by Fred in memory of his parents, and which features Fred in Mayoral garb in one corner! The stonework surounding the window has been badly damaged by the weather (whic hhas not been helped by earlier repair efforts!) and, unles extensive restoration efforts are made soon, the window is at severe risk. If you would like to contribute to the appeal, there is a form which you can print out (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) here|
|04-05-2009||As many of you may already know,
Yahoo is closing down it's GeoCities free web page hosting service later
this year; this has affected a number of Benson related sites which may
no longer be available come this shutdown.
efbenson.co.uk is not directly affected by this as it is independently hosted on 'paid for' webspace (and if anyone could like to help out with the costs, please do click on the PayPal link located at the bottom of the home page!)
However, there will be a few changes and additions to the site; the efbenson.co.uk team is working with a number of affected Benson sites to bring some of their content over here. The first 'new' content is already online - the Contemporary Reviews section, researched by Nancy Thompson and presented here with her kind permission, and which features a number of, as you might expect, contemporary reviews of Fred's books and plays.
If you are the owner of a Benson related website that is currently hosted on Geocities, and you want your content to live on, please do get in touch - If efbenson.co.uk isn't able to host your content, there are other solutions that might be more appropriate!
|01-03-2009||Guy Fraser-Sampson will be talking about his Lucia novel "Major Benjy" at the Sunday Times sponsored Oxford Literary Festival in Festival Room 2, Christ Church on April 1st at 12pm - tickets cost £7.50 and more information can be found at the official Oxford Literary Festival website!|
|11-12-2008||BBC Radio 4 broadcast a reading
of "Complimentary Souls" as part of their Afternoon Reading series "80
Not Out", where all the readers are over the age of 80! The reader
of this Benson story is Liz Smith, probably best known nowadays for her
appeareinces in "The Vicar of Dibley" and "The Royle Family".
The reading should be available on the BBC Listen Again feature until (at the latest) Wednesday 17-12-2008...
|05-10-2008||Apologies for the somewhat belated
nature of this announcement, but there is a new 'Official" Mapp & Lucia
novel, the first since the two Tom Holt books of the mid-eighties.
Entitled "Major Benjy", and set between "Miss Mapp" and "Mapp & Lucia", the book is written by respected author Guy Fraser-Sampson and published by Troubadour, and the EFBenson website team can wholeheartedly recommend it to all fans of the Mapp & Lucia series! The book offers, amongst other startling and intriguing ideas, an explanation for the abrupt disappearence of Lucy from the Quaint Irene Coles household...
The book can currently be found on Twistevant's First Floor book department, and can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
4 is running an adaptation of "Lucia's Progress" this week (7th-11th
April) with, according to the BBC website, much the same cast as before.
Sadly, Ned Sherrin passed away earlier this year, so adaptation duties
have passed to John Peacock. The adaptation, in 5 15 minute parts,
will be broadcast as part of "Woman's Hour" (at approximately 10:45am)
and repeated in the evening at 7.45pm) and will be available on the BBC's
"Listen Again" feature for 6 days after first broadcast (the episode is
usually put up after the 7.45pm repeat)
Cast details can be found here. (Many thanks to "Georgie" for the information!)
|26-02-2008||There is a new E.F.Benson podcast, from the efbenson.co.uk team! Entitled "Radio Tilling", the first episode is online now; more details can be found at the "Radio Tilling" weblog! The podcast has been submitted to iTunes and should be available on there soon - hopefully in time to mark the 68th anniversary of Fred's death (on February 29th)|
|26-04-2007||BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting the latest of the Ned Sherrin adaptations, "Mapp & Lucia" from Monday 30th at 9.45 BST and 19:45 BST (My thanks to Jonathan Dunlop for making me aware of this!) - the adaptation is in 10 parts and stars Belinda Lang as Lucia (Ms Lang took the role in the first two of Sherrins adaptations, Queen Lucia and Lucia in London), Nicola McAuliffe as Mapp (Ms McAuliffe is new to this role, though she has appeared in a great many film and TV roles, including the 'voice' of James Bond's car in "Tomorrow Never Dies"!) and the returning Nikolas Grace as the Narrator, with Michael Maloney as Georgie (Mr Maloney appeared with TV Lucia Geraldine McEwan (as Miss Marple) in the ITV adaptation of Agatha Christie's story "By The Pricking Of My Thumbs"). As with previous adaptations, "Mapp & Lucia" should be available on the BBC's "Listen Again" facility (requires RealPlayer) for upto 7 days from first broadcast - so set your recording equipment... A link will be posted to the relevant page shortly; in the meantime, here is a link to the BBC Press Office page (scroll down for the "Mapp & Lucia" item) Hopefully we will, in due course, see the remaining novels adapted for radio; after which, perhaps the Tom Holt sequels could be considered?|
not directly about Fred, the following may well be of interest to
fans of his Ghost or "Spook" stories! Robert Lloyd Parry, of the
Nunkie Theatre Company, is presenting the one man show "A Pleasing Terror
- Two Ghost Stories by M.R.James" at the New End Theatre, Hampstead, London
between the 16th and 31st December 2006 (the show is currently touring
around the UK, full details on the Nunkie
Theatre Company website! There is also a favourable review of
the production on the website of The
M.R.James was, of course, a contemporary of Fred, as well as being a friend (and, to some degree, a rival in the Ghost story stakes!)
Thanks for Robert for the information!
|11-04-2006||At last, efbenson.co.uk is proud to announce our DVD Competition! If you would like to win one of three copies of the new "Mapp & Lucia" DVD set, kindly supplied by Network DVD then please Click Here|
|09-04-2006||Further to the news item below (24-03-2006), Network have very kindly provided efbenson.co.uk with a review copy of their forthcoming "Mapp & Lucia" release - you can find the review here! Also, watch this space for an exciting announcement soon!|
|24-03-2006||News about a new edition of the
"Mapp & Lucia" DVDs!
Unfortunately, the 4 disc set of "Mapp & Lucia", the LWT/Channel 4 series from the 1980's and released (after much campaigning by The Tilling Society amongst others) by Granada, has gone 'out-of-print'. All is not lost, however - Network DVD, who have issued a wide variety of sets featuring such classic British TV series as The Goodies, Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, On the Buses, Ever Decreasing Circles and many more, are bringing out a new edition of the complete "Mapp & Lucia" series on 10th April 2006!
|19-02-2006||Benson Day in Lincoln
efbenson.co.uk has received the following from Cynthia Reavell of the Tilling Society:
We have news of a Benson Study Day which is to be held in Lincoln Cathedral's Wren Library on Saturday 9th of September 2006 - this is a collaborative event organised by the Cathedral Library and the Tilling Society, with talks about the family and its members, and representative readings from the works of each; it promises to be both stimulating and entertaining, and we very much hope many Tilling Society members will be there. Speakers are to include Tom Burnett and Gail-Nina Anderson, both of them knowledgeable, experienced and entertaining speakers who have given much enjoyed after-lunch Tilling Society Gathering talks in the past (in 1995 and 1999 respectively). The icing on the cake for anyone needing further persuasion is that Lincoln is a most splendid ancient city, and its Cathedral is particularly fine. Those of you who were at the Tilling Society Lincoln weekend in 1998 will remember what a special venue this is. And don't be put off by the designation 'Study Day' - the speakers and readers will be the ones to have done the studying, and all the audience has to do is to listen and enjoy. We are also hoping that it may be possible for a tour of the Chancery (home for several years to the Benson family), although this is yet to be confirmed. It's also an opportunity to meet up with other Bensonites and Tilling Society members over a light lunch and between times.
Please do note the date in your diary; and nearer the time, send an SAE (Stamped Addressed Envelope) and request for details from:
Librarian, Lincoln Cathedral Library, The Cathedral,
(It's as well to be aware that the Library staff are mostly away on annual holiday during much of August)
Recent Annual Study Days have been on: Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln (2003); Philip Larkin (2004); Alfred Lord Tennyson (2005). The 2006 price is not yet fixed but, to give you an idea, the 2005 event was £15 for the day, plus an optional £6 for a light sandwich lunch.
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|16-02-2006||The Tilling Society is, alas,
no more - Cynthia and Tony Reavell, who have run the society for many years,
have decided to call it a day. This leaves just The E.F.Benson Society
still actively publishing a newsletter and recruiting members.
All is not lost, however - if anyone has information, articles, news or general gossip that they would previously have sent into The Tilling Society, please feel free to send it in to efbenson.co.uk instead! Space and time permitting, we will include it on this site - either (if relevant) on this 'Any News?' page, or elsewhere if possible!
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|16.02.2006||Due to circumstances beyond our
control, EFBenson.co.uk has, sadly, been rather neglected during 2003-5;
however, things have now improved and hopefully the site will enter 2006
with renewed vigour and a gradually revealed new look!
There is a new contact address: Arbuthnot_Q_Wanderlust@efbenson.co.uk (Mr Wanderlust is the Webmaster for efbenson.co.uk!) - if you still have our old address in your address book, please replace it with this one! We have also registered efbenson.com as a domain name - typing either www.efbenson.co.uk or www.efbenson.com should take you to this website!
Throughout the course of 2006 we will be updating the look of the website, the first time we have done this since we started in 2000!
We will be converting more and more sections to the new look throughout the year, with the aim of completing the revamp by December 2006 (if not earlier!) We would particularly appreciate any constructive comments or suggestions about the new look which you might care to make - we want this site to be as usable and reader friendly as possible!
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|21.02.2003||Tom Holt's highly entertaining
follow-up to the Lucia novels, "Lucia in Wartime" has now been issued as
an unabridged 'audiobook' by Isis Publishing. The book, which is
available on 5 cassettes or 6 CD's, is read by Norma West, who has appeared
in numerous TV series, films and stage shows, including guest appearances
in cult classic "The Prisoner", "Smiley's People", "Miss Marple" and "Poirot".
The audiobook can be ordered direct from Isis Publishing
or from Amazon.co.uk by 'clicking' on the cover image above
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|21.05.2002||Another production of John van
Druten's "Make Way For Lucia" has been announced! This time the Bolton
Little Theatre is the venue, from June 15th to 22nd 2002.
Tickets, which range from £5.50 - £6.50, bay be ordered by calling the Box Office on 01204 524469 or Albert Halls Ticket Centre on 01204 334400.
Alternatively, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the theatre website:
The ticket price includes a free programme(!), and, following the performance on 22nd June, there is an optional supper available for £4.
The theatre address: Bolton Little Theatre, Hanover St., Bolton, BL1 2AR
(Thanks to Cynthia Reavell of The Tilling Society for the information, and for the flyer reproduced below!)
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|06.01.2002||Possibly some good news for fans
of the "Mapp & Lucia" series - apparently US publisher Moyer Bell,
who did such an excellent job in reissuing the Benson books over the last
few years, intend to reissue the well-received, but difficult to obtain
Tom Holt sequels sometime in 2002! The Moyer
Bell website shows "Lucia Triumphant" as being in the Spring 2002 list
(see the cover below) and sources close to the author confirm that he has
been in discussions with them. If the books ARE reissued, this is
excellent news as the
Swan editions currently fetch very high prices on eBay and elsewhere;
they also make frequent appearances in the "Bring
and Buy" section of this website!. In addition to the two 'Lucia'
books (the aforementioned "Lucia Triumphant" and "Lucia in Wartime"), Tom
Holt is the author of a large number of well received and highly popular
'comic fantasy' novels - more information about Mr Holt (including details
of his other books) can be found here:
Moyer Bell cover for "Lucia Triumphant" (subject to change and confirmation)
('Clicking' on the cover picture will take you to the Amazon.com website, where the book is available for pre-order (at time of writing!))
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|27.12.2001||Some sad news - It was reported
this morning that Sir Nigel Hawthorne passed away on 26th December.
Probably best known for his role as "Sir Humphrey Appleby" in "Yes, Minister"
and "Yes, Prime Minister", and for his outstanding performance in Alan
Bennett's "The Madness of George III" (later filmed as "The Madness of
King George"), Benson fans will fondly remember him as "Georgie Pilson"
in the LWT/Channel 4 series "Mapp & Lucia", produced in the mid-80's.
Certainly, the series, which also starred Geraldine McEwen, Prunella Scales and Denis Lill. brought a great many new fans to Fred's works, and Sir Nigel's contribution was enjoyed by many. He will be sadly missed.
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|22.07.2001||News of ANOTHER stage production
based on the Lucia books,; this time of the John Van Druten
play "Make Way For Lucia". Details as follows:
"The Graffham Rustics - based at Graffham near Petworth, West Sussex, will be staging John van Druten's "Make Way for Lucia" as their Autumn play. The Graffham Rustics now in their 50th year are an amateur group and have earned a reputation for well staged and entertaining productions over the years.
Make Way for Lucia will be staged
at The Empire Hall, Graffham nr Petworth on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
8th, 9th, 10th of November 2001. Please contact email@example.com
or phone 07974 932335 for more details
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|01.06.2001||Anyone who missed the production
of "Mapp & Lucia The Musical" during it's short run at the Jermyn Street
Theatre now has another chance - there is to be a run at the Greenwich
Theatre, London from Monday 2nd July to Saturday 14th July 2001.
The theatre seats rather more than the previous venue, so there should
be no excuse for not attending this time!
Tickets are £12, £14 and £16 (concessions £2 less). Matinees are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 3pm - evening performances are at 8pm
Tickets are available from the box office (telephone: 020 8858 7755 or online at http://www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk )
(Our thanks to Cynthia Reavell of The Tilling Society for this information!)
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|16.04.2001||The first instalment of "Lucia
In London" adapted by Ned Sherrin, was broadcast today on BBC Radio 4 -
there are four parts to the adaptation - if you missed today's episode
you can catch up with the remaining three on the next three Monday's at
The cast is as follows:
(Click on the highlighted names to be taken to biographical information! Please note that this will take you away from this page)
Both The Daily Telegraph and The
Guardian had this as their 'Pick of the Day' for Monday (in their Saturday
issues) - both used a picture of Belinda Lang;
The Guardian -
Daily Telegraph -
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The play, which has been a great success at all subsequent performances (which have included Kate O'Mara and Fenella Fielding) has a three week run at the Jermyn Street Theatre, near Piccadilly, London from Tuesday February 13th to Saturday March 3rd, with performances at 7.45 pm Tuesday to Saturday, and a matinee performance (at 3pm) on Sundays Tickets are £15 and can be booked by calling the box office of the Jermyn Street Theatre on 020 7287 2875
The cast features Aimi Macdonald as 'Lucia', Gaye Brown as 'Mapp' and Peter Gayle as 'Georgie', with Becky Barnes, Su Chandler, Iain Cowden, Paddy Glynn, Charles Grant, Ros McCutcheon and Richard Pescud.
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|12.12.2000||Thanks to Anne Cowan for reporting
the article in "The Times" concerning the Tenancy of Lamb House being available!
The annual rent levied by the National Trust (who retains ownership of
the property in perpetuity) is £13,500 per annum.
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|03.12.2000||Attending a preview of the British Museum Great Court, we noticed that, in the Reading Room list of "Notable holders of Reader's Tickets" was one E.F.Benson! In a display of books by the aforementioned notable ticket holders were six of Fred's works - "A Reaping", the Penguin "Licia Rising" omnibus edition, the recent Prion "Mapp & Lucia", "King Edward VII", "Charlotte Bronte", and "Dodo". They can be found on the right (as you enter the Reading Room from the South)||Top of Page|
|12.11.2000||Belated we know, but an example
of Fred's work has made an appearence in the Millennium Dome in London!
The E.F.Benson Webpage team visited on Sunday 12th November and one of
the first things we saw was a huge 'video screen' type display depicting
a set of bookshelves with filled with books surrounding the Learning Zone..
Being (we like to think!) typical Bensonites, we searched for a Benson
book and found 'Lucia Rising', one of the Penguin paperback compilations
of the "Mapp & Lucia" novels. According to the Official Millennium
Dome guide, the display features "more than thirteen thousand famiiliar
books (which) entice us into the zone"
1 2 3 4
1 - The 'Bookshelves' from a distance (to give some idea of the size of the thing!) Now, where's Fred Benson...
2 - Let's zoom in a bit. A-ha! What's that sitting between Jilly Cooper and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"?
3 - Closer still, and could that be a Benson book with a Penguin spine?
4 - Yes it is! 'Lucia Rising'! Success!
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|08.10.2000||Browsing the internet book shop
Amazon.co.uk bir Fred Benson titles, we noticed that Penguin appears to
be about to reissue "As We Were: A Victorian Peepshow" early next year!
This is news to us, so we thought we would share it with you!
The release date, according to Amazon, is February 22nd, 2001. The cover price appears to be £4.99 (although Amazon have it at a lower price). No details on who designed the cover yet, but here is a copy for your interest. Amazon.co.uk are taking pre-orders ('clicking' on the picture below will take you to the relevant page - alternatively, go to the Twistevants' page!
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|25.07.2000|| We have been mentioned
in the 29 July-4 August issue of the Radio Times, a UK TV radio and TV
listings magazine, in connection with an imminent broadcast on satellite
TV of the excellent "Mapp & Lucia" series!
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|13.05.2000||Sirami (Alistair Kerr) reported to the Benson mailing list that he had 'Spotted on Amazon UK - "Mapp & Lucia" to be published in June 2000 by Prion Books (ISBN 1853753904). Hardcover - 320 pages' Apparently Amazon did not have a cover picture of this new edition. Watch this space...||Top of Page|
|19.02.2000||According to the the Daily Mail
newspaper, (thanks to Siriami (Alastair Kerr), and confirmed by the latest
issue of the E.F.Benson Society's newsletter, Ned Sherrin is working on
a radio adaptation of "Lucia in London" for BBC Radio 4. No details
on casting as yet, but there are apparently to be four, 30 minute programmes,
to be broadcast early next year (2001). Lucia hasn't been heard on
the BBC since the Aubrey Woods adaptation of "Queen Lucia" way back in
the '80's, so hopefully Mr Sherrin's work will inspire a burst of Luciaphils
and Tillingites to appear!
More news on this when we receive it!
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