3.65 (55,349 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.65 (55,349 ratings by Goodreads)

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- Pride and Prejudice was only half the story -

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she'd most likely be a sight more careful with them.

In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants' hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen's classic--into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars--and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 168 x 239 x 43mm | 617g
  • English
  • New
  • 0385351232
  • 9780385351232
  • 192,481

Review quote

"Captivating . . . A brilliantly imagined and lovingly told story about the wide world beyond the margins and outside the parlors of "Pride and Prejudice"." --Maggie Shipstead, author of "Seating Arrangements""Jo Baker pulls off the seemingly impossible: a completely fresh take on Austen . . . Utterly engrossing." --"The Guardian""Irresistible . . . Sequels and prequels rarely add to the original, but Baker's simple yet inspired reimagining does. It has best-seller stamped all over it." --"Kirkus Reviews "(starred) "If "Longbourn "is received as a delicious concoction of "Pride and Prejudice" meets "Downton Abbey, "then, for commercial reasons, no one will feel sorry for Jo Baker, but for artistic ones, she will have been treated unfairly. Baker is a real and very fine writer, and "Longbourn" stands on its own as an engrossing, intelligent historical novel. At the same time, its resonances with "Pride and Prejudice" go much farther than its brilliantly plausible presentation of downstairs life: critics have long striven to prove that the great issues of Austen's time--slavery, war, enclosures--impinged on her work; Baker shows us the fermentation below the froth." --James Collins, author of "Beginner's Greek"
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About Jo Baker

Jo Baker was born in Lancashire, England, and educated at Oxford University and Queen's University Belfast. She is the author of The Undertow and of three earlier novels published in the United Kingdom: Offcomer, The Mermaid's Child, and The Telling. She lives in Lancaster.
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Rating details

3.65 out of 5 stars
- 55,349 ratings
5 20% (10,956)
4 40% (21,963)
3 29% (16,097)
2 9% (4,778)
1 3% (1,555)
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