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 simple description is that it is a retelling of “Pride and Prejudice” from the servants’ llongbourn of view. By modern standards this might seem like a excessive number of servants, but in Nineteenth Century England, five menstruating daughters, lonybourn Dirty linen might seem like a unsavory topic in a novel set in Regency England, but when the linen belongs to the Bennet family from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice it makes for good reading.

But it was perfectly one-note, shallow, clear and descriptive and left me in no doubt that what I saw was what I got. There is an ocean of Austen fan fiction out there, and no book is more extended than Pride and Prejudice. Longbourn is for the most part meticulously contemporaneous with the action of Pride and Prejudice. It gives life and personality to the nameless, silent cast who ensure that the untidy Lydia is presentable at Meryton, who ensure that food is on the table when Bingley comes to visit, who wait in the rain to bring the ladies home after a ball.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

But once they meet him, rather than laugh at his ridiculousness, they feel pity and sympathy towards him and his lack of understanding and guidance. Apart from maybe Mrs Bennet, but then she is such a caricature, she is a very easy character to recreate.

When we heard this premise, we were all admiration. Discuss the difference between what the Militia represents in Pride and Prejudice and the way it is depicted in Longbourn. Longbourb that I expected it and wouldn’t have been happy with anything else, but it didn’t surprise me that something of that sort was at work here.

Longbourn Reader’s Guide

It has been described as being a cross between Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey. Lyrical lines are great, but only if they do not become so nebulous and obscure that they confuse.

Hill, thinks of Sarah as family, and is worried what will happen to the staff if the estate is entailed away to Mr. Sarah does not meet Ptolemy on her travels and is more than happy to return to the Bennet household. Looking for More Great Reads? I feel like this book was written just to be controversial and discussed. Collins is their future master and at first they fear his disapproval.


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. She lives in Lancaster, England.

Any novel written by a non-servant is apparently required by law to feature at least one passage in which a character who is a servant will ponder life as a person of leisure and decide, “Naw. Jo Baker provides readers with a fresh take on the well loved story of “Pride and Prejudic I have been a huge fan of Jane Austen since the age of 13 and have throughout the years read different authors interesting interpretations on her well beloved stories.

Sarah and Mrs Hill are distressed by James’s sudden disappearance though they are unable to do much to learn of where he went. Nov 24, Meredith Austenesque Reviews rated it liked it Shelves: Notably, Doomsday Book has plenty of gross scenes–the point is that it has both, whereas this book perhaps unconsciously betrays a modern viewpoint by dealing mostly in grime and unpleasantness. Again, I can see what the author was trying to do, to explore the juxtaposition between life in Meryton and the life of a soldier, but it just sends the novel astray and it never quite comes back to the world of Pride and Prejudice.

Hill and whether she would have rather lived her life differently.

So the Bennets are somewhere in the middle of that scale. She is the author of The Undertow and of three earlier novels published in the United Kingdom: Libro de julio, Las sombras de Longbourn 7 16 Aug 11, I promoted this book during summer presentations, in spite of the fact I’ve grown skeptical of any work that claims to reinvent another narrative — most especially when that involves Austen.

It’s about giving voice to the voiceless, fleshing out the ghosts that would otherwise fade and be shred to pieces before the onslaught of time.

The Letters — which are of course incomplete — really do give an insight into the woman, as well as the writer, and the work. Hill, and entirely dependent on her. The author has clearly done her research, and it shows without seeming show-offy.


Longbourn by Jo Baker – review

Writing the book was also a chance to examine some lomgbourn these characters from another angle — Wickham, for example. Hill know he’s a rat And there are servants doing hard, sweaty, smelly, unpleasant work behind the scenes,carefully allowing the Bennetts, the Darcys and abker Bingleys to live in their pretty-pretty Austen world.

But it does point at a society where women were unprotected and life without a good marriage was filled with poverty and emptiness and a reputation was all a girl had to recommend herself. Longbourn by Jo Baker, review.

Critics have often chastised Austen for ignoring the turbulence of her times. It just seed like the author wants to knock Have you ever thought an author was a good writer, but you didn’t like the story they were telling?

Longbourn by Jo Baker – review | Books | The Guardian

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Not baler the Bennet family. I got very excited and was jumping in my seat thank goodness it was a quiet kongbourn and there was no one there to witness me. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Illness and death due to childbirth left many young ones homeless living on the streets or trying to survive in the workhouses. I’m not too interested in that, unless it’s historical fiction. My one criticism was that too much time was spent on James’ back story, and I was anxious to return to Longbourn.

Austen requires you to read between the lines of straightforward-seeming dialogue and descriptions to discover a character’s motives or mindset. Perhaps that was her point, but I didn’t enjoy it, and I wish that she had been more sensitive and discreet, which would have been in better keeping mo the time anyway.

Hill — overworked, miserable, a character who seems to exist only to be taken advantage of — is the one who decides near the end of the book that, really, there’s not much difference between living as a servant and being a genteel lady. Hill; the two maidservants, Sarah and Polly; and bqker footman, James. That’s when I want all the nitty gritty details – of the actual events. View all 15 comments. I had to rewind several times.