Monday, November 28, 2011

E.F. Benson's Queen Lucia

Emmeline Lucas (Lucia) is the reigning queen of culture in her small village of Riesholme.  Things move slowly in the little Hamlet—the town gossips spend their days on the commons and neighbors spend their days looking out windows to see who is visiting whom.  There is at least one fine example of an Old Knock, but one could say that this is a town full of them. 

Lucia’s husband, Phillip (nick-named Peppino by Lucia) runs his own printing-press, where he prints his poetry.  They live together in a faux Elizabethan house (named “The Hurst” by its owners) with leaded glass and ancient beams exposed.  Poor Peppino would prefer to spend his days alone, reading and writing, but he is married to the matriarch of all that matters in Riesholme, and thus, he is thrust into the ebb and flow of all things “cultural”. 
One could say that Lucia herself could be considered and Old Knock in that she doesn’t want things to change.  She savors village life and society, wishing that teas, socials and recitals would remain the focal point of society for eternity. 
E.F. Benson

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