A Novel of Pride and Prejudice Below Stairs
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If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields.
It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets.
For in Georgian England, there is a world the young ladies in the drawing room will never know, a world of poverty, love, and brutal war.
Described as Pride and Prejudice meets Downtown Abbey, Jane Austen's classic is reimagined from the servants' point of view.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
One book trumps Trollope and flattens Fielding. Jo Baker's brilliant retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants at Longbourn, the Bennett Family home, is the perfect way to mark the bicentenary of that book's birth.
So much more than an upstairs downstairs rehash, this is cleverly choreographed to enter the room as the Bennett sisters exit.
Rich in period detail, it brings a new dimension to a classic.
About the Author
Jo Baker was educated at Oxford and The Queen's University, Belfast. She lives in Lancaster with her husband, the playwright Daragh Carville, and their two children. Longbourn is due to be made into a film produced by Focus Features.