Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Starred Review. The servants of the Bennett estate Longbourn – Kindle edition by Jo Baker. Download it once and. Longbourn [Jo Baker] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, a Seattle Times Best Title. Now, in a wonderfully fresh perspective on life at Longbourn, Jo Baker goes behind the scenes and down the stairs to introduce the servants who kept the.

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The most believable bit in the book was touted in the blurb, the bit about Elizabeth’s famous petticoat being six inches deep in mud, which made extra work for the maids. I loved it, though I didn’t love how it was handled because again, Baker’s storytelling and I didn’t exactly connect. A central twist of the story is predicated on a very mighty interference, indeed.

The plot itself depends upon interferences large and small! Get to Know Us. I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice to say Sarah’s actions towards the end of the novel and Elizabeth’s and Mr. Longbourn marches us straight down to the servants’ domain and locks us into the imprisoned souls of those who kept the household running. Are James and Sarah more open and honest with themselves and with each other than Darcy and Elizabeth?

Darcy more important than the lives of the men who died on battlefields?

When I started the book, knowing it was about the lives of the servant of Longbourn, I imagined something like this, I think, a plot like the one hidden in Mrs Hill’s past. We see the manners and strict class structure during the British Regency through the eyes of those living downstairs in the mansions of the wealthy and the even wealthier.

ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Novel book navigational boxes British novels Novels set in the 19th century Novels based on Pride and Prejudice.


Knightley’s Diary,” “Colonel Brandon’s Diary,” etc. A brilliant book — compelling its own right but outstanding due to the alternate side longborun Pride and Prejudice that it presents, not just the poverty and the war but even in some of the characters e. My one criticism was that too much time was spent on James’ back story, and I was anxious to return to Longbourn.

But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Much as I love Jane Austen, I always wondered why we heard nothing of the political turmoil of her times, nothing about the impassioned debate over slavery, nothing about the Napoleonic wars, nothing bkaer the Luddites and the llngbourn of the Industrial Revolution.

Longbourn: Jo Baker: : Books

But I had also wondered what life would have been like for the servants of that household. The olngbourn truths lurking beneath the sheen of Georgian manners are baldly exposed and intensely observed. It’s Les Miserables without the funny musical numbers. We who know Elizabeth, Darcy and Wickham have already colored between those lines and need little in the way of further fleshing out. The line about how Miss Bennet could be a little more careful of her things was perfect.

Set up a giveaway. This was my first time reading something by Jo Baker, her style of writing is very captivating and descriptive. Baker was trying her very best to insert every sort of darkness imaginable here, and it was so much it quickly became unbelievable, almost laughable.

Darcy, Wickham, Collins etc. It’s the story that wasn’t told about the Bennett family. Not just the Bennet family. While the main characters make various appearances, it’s the life of the cook, Mrs Hill, her elderly butler husband, and the two young servant girls, Sarah and Polly, who become the focal point of the novel Longbourn. What Baker has provided is the bigger picture. She sprinkles in jarring vulgarities and peers ho chamber pots to let us know if they contain solids as well as liquids—all of which seems a bit forced, as if she were trying too hard to distance herself from Austen gentility—but the moments are brief and tolerable.


I noticed other presences. Three and a Half Stars. When we heard this premise, we were all admiration.

Sep 29, Chrissie rated it did not like it Shelves: Seriously, the only one of the Bennett’s who comes out looking OK in this book is Mary. Is it possible to have too longvourn chocolate? Bkaer is an historical novel, a well crafted one, that gives Austen’s original a context. Sarah never has to open her mouth to issue this deliciously snide response: Subtle parallels emerge between servant and master, as well as shocking collisions; the Bennets seem pampered, oblivious, their dramas trivial.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Baker truly wanted to tell the story of the servants of Pride and Prejudice —and link it to the wildly popular Downton Abbey—it would have been better to give the Bennets a fuller complement of servants.

Longbourne is driven by a strong sense of social justice, and we see just how hard life in Regency times could be for the poor and the weak. Topics Fiction The Observer. She lives in Lancaster, England, with her husband, the playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville, and their two children. Not even, in spite of what the author of Longbourn says, any “napkins.