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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.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
I loved seeing inside the Bennet household from the viewpoint of the house staff. The book was meticulously researched to reflect accurately the details of the period. I will never again read Austen without thinking about all those others lurking in the wings but not on stage.
Shame on Baker
Ms. Baker made a great deal of money off of Jane Austin. It is as of she either did not read Pride and Prejudice or has no respect for Austin's characters. Elizabeth becomes superficial and weak, Mr. Bennett is distracted with affairs rather than books, and Mrs. Bennett abuses Laudanum for so many years that she would have become an addict or overdosed. I am shocked this book received any positive notices or respect.
This is a slow-moving story built around the "downstairs" people. You need to be patient while reading as nothing very much happens during most of the first half of the book. It is, however, interesting reading about the daily lives & duties of these hard working characters & you do get to know their personalities along the way. Plot development is slow, but the writing is descriptive and fascinating. It's a good read as long as you don't expect a lot of drama.