Newly widowed Lucia Lucas and her fey friend Georgie arrive in the seaside town of Tilling to rent a house for the summer from Elizabeth Mapp. Mapp herself will rent a smaller house from her friend Diva, who will move in with androgynous artist Quaint Irene. Lucia and Georgie soon ingratiate themselves with local philanthropist Susan Wyse and her husband Algernon - annoying Mapp, who sees herself as the queen of local society and confides in ex-army major Flint. However she trades on the fact that Lucia is a recent widow and as such should NOT be socialising. Lucia is aware of this and declares - refined - war, throwing dinner parties for the great and good of Tilling and putting herself forward to organize the annual charity fete - in Mapp's garden. The event is a huge success, topped by Lucia's inspiring appearance as Elizabeth I. Mapp is not amused, just as Lucia intended.
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