Last Update: 16/02/2006
F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) E.F.Benson (Sketch by Patrick Hamill)
Back to "Home" There are any number of questions that have been, are, and will be asked about E.F.Benson; some of these are listed here.
Others will be added just as soon as I am made aware of the answers...
About Fred
About Fred's Books About Fred's Friends
About Fred
What were Fred's dates?
Where was he born?
Where did he live?
How and where did he die?
Was his father really the Archbishop of Canterbury?
Was he really a Mayor?
Was he Gay?
Does he have any 'Fan Clubs'?
Where is Fred buried?
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What were Fred's dates?  July 24th 1867 to February 29th 1940
Where was he born? Wellington College, Berkshire, England.  His father was the first headmaster of the college
Where did he live? His childhood was spent in quite a few great houses, as his faather moved upwards through the clergy.  His first home 'of his own' was a flat at 395 Oxford Street, London, he then moved (though staying in London) to 102 Oakley Street, thence to 25 Brompton Square, again in London (where English Heritage have placed a 'Blue Plaque', and finally to Lamb House, Rye, East Sussex.
How and where did he die? Of throat cancer in University College Hospital, London.
Was his father really the Archbishop of Canterbury? Yes, he was.  Prior to ascending to the see of Canterbury, E.W.Benson was the first bishop of Truro, Cornwall, building the catherdral there.
Was Fred really a Mayor? Yes; Fred was three times Mayor of Rye, from 1934-1937; he was also the Speaker of the Cinque Ports.  His name appears on the Mayoral roll in the Touwn Hall, and he can be seen, in his Mayoral robes, in the West window of St Mary's Church, Rye.  (as can his personal assistant, Charlie Tomlin, and his dog, Taffy)
Was he Gay? Opinion is divided three ways on this matter; One group say 'Yes', another group say 'No' and the remainder say 'Who Cares?'.  Certainly Fred never married, although that proved nothing other than the right person never came along.
Does he have any 'Fan Clubs'? Yes; see "Fred's Friends" below
Where is Fred buried? In Rye Cemetery (this is NOT the churchyard of St. Mary's, in the Centre of 'Old' Rye, but the larger site just outside the town, with an excellent view across the fields.  Walking up the hill, he is about halfway up, on the right, just past the monkey puzzle tree.  If coming from the chapel end, he is down the hill and to the left...
About Fred's Books
How many books did he write?
Which are his most popular?
Did he just write novels?
Is he still in print?
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How many books did he write? Fred wrote some 105 books, plus numerous short stories, articles, pamphlets and introductions to other works; a full list (courtesy of The Tilling Society) is here.
Which are his most popular? Fred is best known for his Ghost and Horror,  or "Spook" stories and the "Mapp & Lucia" sextet, (which have become even more popular since the LWT/Channel 4 TV adaptation in the 1980's!
Did he just write novels?  No, he also wrote a number of biographies (mostly of members of the British Royal family, although there were books about great explorers, thinkers and writers too!), books on sport, (he was an acknoleged expert on English Figure Skating!), and autobiography (he published several very well received volumes, not least the his book "Final Edition"), as well as books on politics, world affairs, war and archeology.
Is he still in print?  Yes; some of his more popular titles are still available, including the "Mapp & Lucia" sextet; most, if not all, of his "Spook Stories" and other short stories are also still available.  Other books are now out of print but, if you search hard and are lucky, you may well find copies in second-hand bookshops etc.
About Fred's Friends
Are there any 'fan clubs' or societies devoted to E.F.Benson?
How to contact the two societies devoted to Fred?
What is "The Benson List"?
How to subscribe to 'The Benson List'?
How to chat to other Bensonites?
Are there other E.F.Benson websites/pages?
I know of a site you haven't listed; can you add it?
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Are there any 'fan clubs' or societies devoted to E.F.Benson?  Yes!  There were two societies, The Tilling Society and the E.F.Benson Socerty.  Both published regular newsletters and held gatherings in Benson relevant places.  Now (2006) there is only the E.F.Benson Society.
How to contact the two societies devoted to Fred? Follow this link to see more details on the E.F.Benson Society  Follow this link to see more details on The Tilling Society.
What is "The Benson List"? The Benson list is a group of like-minded souls who email each other on a regular basis to exchange news and gossip about E.F.Bemson and his works.  Frequently the email discussion runs off at a tangent, but it's usually sent back in the right direction!  There are a core of regular emailers and new members are always welcome!  Nearly everyone had a 'nom' (or pen name!), though this is purely optional; when one is chosen it is usually related to Fred and his work.
(Many of the list members have their own Web sites and home pages; some of these can be found on the "Fred's Friends" page!)
How to subscribe to 'The Benson List'?
Visit the Yahoo Benson List webpage and click on the 'Join This Group!' button.  It is free to join.  Your membership request will be subject to approval (this is to prevent spam mailings!) but once the moderators approve your request, you can post freely about all things Benson (and a good deal else!)
How to chat to other Bensonites? Members of the Benson List gather to chat online at regular intervals; If you would like to join them, you need to register to Delphi Chat.  (Follow this link!)  Once registered, you will be able to join in on the chats (when scheduled); you will also have access to the E.F.Benson Message Board, also on Delphi.
Are there other E.F.Benson websites/pages? Yes there are, a great many!  Follow this link to the "Fred's Friends" link page.
I know of a site you haven't listed; can you add it?  Yes, please; email us!  We are always pleased to hear of new sites; remember to include the following details: the URL of your page, a brief description that we can use on the link page and your email address.  Please don't send any form of attachment without prior agreement (i.e. email us first!)!
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