London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) January 08, 2009 -- Guy Fraser-Sampson, the author of "Major Benjy", the first new Mapp and Lucia book for over twenty years, has been invited to speak at this year's Sunday Times Literary Festival in Oxford.
The Mapp and Lucia stories, by E.F. Benson, are second only to the Jeeves and Wooster stories of P.G. Wodehouse in their enduring popularity as humorous fiction. "Major Benjy", named after one of the main characters in the stories, has been written with the blessing of Benson's estate, just as Sebastian Faulks did recently with his new James Bond book.
Fraser-Sampson is recognised as an expert on Benson, who is currently undergoing a major revival and re-appraisal.
Benson was a son of an Archbishop of Canterbury and wrote over a hundred books during his lifetime, including some celebrated ghost stories, but remans best remembered for the Mapp and Lucia stories which he set in Rye (though he called it Tilling) where he made his home, which is today a National Trust property.
Fraser-Sampson's talk has been scheduled by the organisers for 12 noon on 1st April in Christchurch College, Oxford.
"Major Benjy" is published by Troubador and is intended to be the first of a trilogy.