Longbourn

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Longbourn

by Jo Baker

Random House of Canada | October 8, 2013 | Hardcover

3.0714 out of 5 rating. 14 Reviews
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A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue and drama among the servants of the Bennet household, a triumphant tale of defying society''s expectations, and an illuminating glimpse of working-class lives in Regency England.

The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen''s classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker''s lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn''t in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 034581360X

ISBN - 13: 9780345813602

Found in: Fiction and Literature
For millions of book lovers, Pride and Prejudice holds a place in the heart usually reserved for first loves and best friends. It was the first book that completely transported so many of us into a story, made fiction feel truly real. Jane Austen opened the door to a family that even now, two hundred years later, seems so alive and so familiar - she made us feel the joys and the pains of Elizabeth, Jane, and all the residents of Longbourn House and Netherfield Park as if we were Bennets ourselves. Which is why reading Jo Baker’s new novel Longbourn feel so much like going home. Baker has taken the lives in Pride and Prejudice and brilliantly reimagined them through the eyes of the Bennets’ servants, but this is not merely some literary piggybacking. The staff “below stairs” are living, richly drawn characters who have their own tales to tell, and their stories are just as compelling, romantic, and full of twists as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s, and Baker tells them with compassion and a wit that does Jane Austen proud. Your heart will ache and leap for them as much as it did for the girls who live upstairs. After being immersed in the lives of Sarah (the maid), Mrs. Hill (the housekeeper), and James (the footman), I know it will be impossible to read Pride and Prejudice the same way ever again. Baker’s writing is simply that good. She has a vocabulary that echoes Austen, but she never tries to steal her voice. She uses Austen’s characters, but never abuses them – every word rings true, every phrase is a familiar song. Jo Baker, thank you for letting us go home to Longbourn.

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– More About This Product –

Longbourn

Longbourn

by Jo Baker

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 034581360X

ISBN - 13: 9780345813602

From the Publisher

A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue and drama among the servants of the Bennet household, a triumphant tale of defying society''s expectations, and an illuminating glimpse of working-class lives in Regency England.

The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen''s classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker''s lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn''t in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.

About the Author

JO BAKER was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen''s University Belfast. She is the author of The Undertow, and of 3 earlier novels published in the United Kingdom: Offcomer, The Mermaid''s Child and The Telling. She lives in Lancaster.

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER A New York Times Notable Book   “An elegantly executed twist on the celebrated story…. It has as much suspense, drama and romance as any Austen fan could hope for, coupled with a smart social commentary on the injustices of poverty and class in 19th-century England.”  — Chatelaine   “ Longbourn is delightfully audacious; after all, Jane Austen is a very tough act to follow…. An absorbing and moving story about the servants at Longbourn…. A work that’s both original and charming, even gripping, in its own right.”  — The New York Times Book Review   “Engrossing Austen homage…. Austen’s novel serves as a backdrop for the compelling stories of the characters who keep the Bennet household running.”  — Booklist (starred review)   “A must-read for fans of Austen, this literary tribute also stands on its own as a captivating love story.”  — Publishers Weekly (starred review)   “Densely plotted and achingly romantic. This exquisitely reimagined Pride and Prejudice will appeal to Austen devotees and to anyone who finds the goings-on below the stairs to be at least as compelling as the ones above. Highly recommended.”  — Library Journal (starred review) “Captivating and delicious. A brilliantly imagined and lovingly told story about the wide world beyond the margins and outside the pa
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