Christmas at Mallards

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Correspondence between Lulu and LibLib - hated nicknames used by Mapp and Lucia

Lamb House, the National Trust property on the corner of West Street and Mermaid Street has been reinvented for a special Christmas exhibition. The house has been decorated to commemorate its most famous residents, Miss Elizabeth Mapp and Emmeline Lucas (AKA Lucia Pillson), characters immortalised by EF Benson, who also lived in Lamb House from 1919-1940.

Lucia’s bedroom, with the bed moved to its correct position at last

Throughout the house, quotations from the Mapp and Lucia books paper the walls, to set the scene for the displays within. Because the Garden Room, at the top of West Street, was destroyed in the war, an upstairs lookout has been repurposed for Mapp’s spying activities, complete with binoculars.  Downstairs in the Oak Parlour, a game of bridge is in full flow. We can see Georgie’s toupee in the bathroom – a horrible sight.

In the upstairs sitting room Amanda Cardoso shows off a wonderful selection of lino cuts representing the Rye houses that Benson repurposed for his fictional Tilling.

Miss Mapp’s spying headquarters, moved upstairs after the loss of the prime garden space

Allan Downend, secretary of the EF Benson literary society said after attending the preview:  “It was so good to see Lamb House devoted to Benson, and with apposite quotes in each room: it was a delight. We could all see the research and attention to the books that underpinned it all. Some adjustments had to be made to make it all work, but that is more than understandable. If you are able to visit Lamb House over the next few weeks, it will be well worth your while. You will find it very enjoyable”.

Lamb House opening hours are 11am – 4pm, last admission 3.30pm; Friday – Tuesday, November 29 to  December 19.

Image Credits: Seana Lanigan .

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