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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by Monica Ali
by E.D. Baker
by Bree Baker
by Dorothy Baker
by Jo Beverley
by Jo Goodman
"BakerÕs exceptional novel offers an original look at Jane AustenÕs PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and Emma FieldingÕs performance is quietly appealing. While the Bennets, the Bingleys, and the Darcys cavort upstairs in well-appointed drawing rooms, Baker opens up the world below stairs. Fielding turns characters into genuine individualsÑfrom housemaids Sarah and Polly to housekeeper Mrs. Hill, the mysterious newly hired servant, James, and the BingleysÕ black footman, Ptolemy. Sarah is the heart of this tale of morning-to-night drudgery, chilblains, sweat, blood, and backaches. She laments, "If Elizabeth had the washing of her own petticoatsâ she'd most likely be a sight more careful with them." FieldingÕs fine portrayals offer moments of hope and awakening for the characters and, for listeners, bittersweet awareness of SarahÕs life and the lives of her downstairs family. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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