Miss Mapp rules the tiny English village of Tilling- that is she rules those who matter. It is a tiny circle of people who have enough class to rate her attention - but she manipulates and lauds over them with machiavellian schemes, and intelligent surmises - and she is intelligent. Benson has written a village with a range of gorgeous characters - from Diva who is Miss Mapp's great rival, to Irene the local artist who keeps embarrassing Miss Mapp with her prosaic pronouncements. Then there is the local Vicar who talks in a combination of Shakespearian English and Burnsian dialect. There is also Mrs Poppit who is an up and coming social climber (hardly worthy of Miss Mapp's notice) and the novel begins with Miss Mapps machinations to the Poppitt Bridge party.