Life of E.F. Benson

Brian Masters, Author Random House (UK) $29.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-7011-3566-9
British author of the popular Mapp and Lucia tales and such classics as Mrs. Ames , Edward Frederic Benson, who died in 1939 at age 72, won fame as a master satirist. His two brothers and sister were equally gifted but, like their father, were victims of manic depression, a fate E.F. escaped. Benson Sr., who became Archbishop of Canterbury, affianced himself to his cousin Minnie when she was 11 years old and trained her to become a selfless helpmate--until she rebelled and turned to women for love. E.F., on his part, was blessed with a sense of humor, was tolerant, kind and caring of his beleaguered siblings, none of whom married. Neither did he, preferring male lovers. Masters ( Sartre ) creates consuming interest in these lives--and lightens his somber biography with enchanting passages from the Mapp and Lucia stories. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-7126-5714-3
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