Pdf/E–pub [Longbourn] ↠ Jo Baker

Unfortunately I found this to be a stuffy contemporary literary novel in historical clothing with none of the brio of Austen s own style and little insight to contribute about the characters or story of Pride and PrejudiceThere s not much logic in how the plot of this book fits in with the above stairs developments of Pride and Prejudice The action of Longbourn doesn t consist of previously unseen epercussions of those familiar events nor does it posit any new motives or influences that provide alternate explanations for them At times it feels as though Baker s characters are waiting for something to happen in PP which only makes sense if you see the plot of PP as necessary or guaranteed which you can t because the characters in that book are freuently surprised by news choices and evelations of the past Wickham appears here as a scoundrel which we already knew and the author seems very pleased with her insight that Mr Collins and Mary would have made a good match something that I think every eader of PP perceives and a luscious bit of permanently unresolved dramatic irony on Austen s part Baker adds backstory for a few major characters that can t feel conseuential because it s entirely unmanifested in PP Unlike Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which you could superficially say interacts with Hamlet the same way this wants to with PP this book doesn t provide us with any cleverly interlocking alternate explanations new plot twists thematic extension or characterizationBaker tries too hard to convince us of her commitment to gritty historical ealism her freuent mentions of chamberpots menstruation mud etc are cloying and to me seem to lack historical logic Would someone of that period spend so much time thinking about the dirtier aspects of existence or would they view them as given as background I d much Peppermint, Vol. 02 ratheread something that also acknowledges the beauty of historical times like for example the passage in Doomsday Book about the snowy medieval Christmas 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 Similarly there are moments where the protagonist Sarah acts in bold or independent ways that seem implausible for a character of her station in that period and unjustified by her personality They seem like things a modern young woman would do so they only work if you are putting yourself into the story in her shoesI ve complained a lot about this novel s elationship to PP Can it be considered successful as a freestanding novel Yes somewhat it s just that then it is a novel in a genre that I almost never enjoy Several eviewers have said that Baker writes like Austen which I don t think is Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana remotely true Austen wrote a brisk dramacomedy of manners this is a ponderousomance Austen was matter of fact and sometimes pert this is self serious and tries to assign mystic import to even prosaic life events Austen North Carolina Driver's Handbook reuires you toead between the lines of straightforward seeming dialogue and descriptions to discover a character s motives or mindset Baker writes paragraph long descriptions of oadside foliage that are a single sentence Austen dealt in interpersonal elationships and power imbalances Baker is keen on totemic objects like James s collection of seashellsThe plot didn t work for me on its own there were several key moments of this book where something was Cardinal Patrick O'donnell, 1856 1927 revealed with great pomp and circumstance that I d figured out long before and I honestly couldn t figure out whether Baker meant the scenes as actual plot twists or satisfyingesolutions of what the eader had begun to suspect I found Sarah likable but there was something so soft focus and arbitrary about her elationship with James that I didn t care much about themObviously I considered this novel thought provoking enough to finish but I didn t find it a success Read it if you like curre Jane Austen meets Downton Abbey is the crude shorthand but this novel is so much I hardly dare say it Janeites are a fearsome bunch such talk could get me lynched Could this be better than the original Pride and Prejudice that is Perhaps better is not the ight word but fuller Baker s is a fully convincing and unbiased vision of early nineteenth century English life featuring multiple classes and aces and it doesn t airbrush away unpleasant bodily ealities Longbourn is for the most part meticulously contemporaneous with the action of Pride and Prejudice A house the size of Longbourn was un by a small band of servants all Baker has done in the way of invention is to give faces and stories to those previously nameless below stairs characters expanded oles for Mr and Mrs Hill the latter both housekeeper and cook young maids Sarah and Polly and a new footman with murky

origins james smithour 
James SmithOur housemaid Sarah is a feisty heroine from the lineage of both Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre indeed the first line is particularly eminiscent of Jane Eyre There could be no wearing of clothes without their laundering Like Miss Eyre Sarah is an eager orphan who turns to books for temporary escape from her troubles like Lizzie she faces a similar choice between two very different suitors and again like Jane she will set off on a fraught solitary adventure to secure true loveBaker builds sympathy for her characters by shifting between third person limited perspectives usually that point of view will be one of the servants as in Sarah s view of Jane Bennet She was as sweet soothing and undemanding as a baked milk pudding But occasionally Becoming a Police Officer: An Insider's Guide to a Career in Law Enforcement readers are privy to the thoughts of one of the Bennets themselves here is Mary for example the distraction of those silly sistersIf they could but think of higher things of musiceligion good works instead of officers For the most part though we are limited to knowing whatever the servants can overhear or imply The Bennets utter obliviousness to the eality of life for the lower classes is slyly juxtaposed with a growing awareness of the brutality of slavery Even on the second page Baker shows concern for those people of color omitted from Austen s world the sun would be shining on other places still on the Barbadoes and Antigua and Jamaica where the dark men worked half naked and on the Americas where the Indians wore almost no clothes at all Footman James is a committed abolitionist with a copy of Wilberforce by his bedside and Baker gives a significant ole to a new black character Ptolemy the Bingleys footman who turns Sarah s headBaker expertly mimics Austen s trademark use of free indirect speech and witticisms A prime example is when Sarah is sent out in the pouring Bright College Years: Inside the American Campus Today rain to fetch decorations for the Bennet girls dancing shoes whereas the original text has the anonymous and passive the very shoeoses for Netherfield were got by proxy Sarah never has to open her mouth to issue this deliciously snide esponse The ladies could like the shoe oses or they could lump them Indeed she would Catholics, Anglicans, and Puritans: Seventeenth-Century Essays rather like it if they lumped them Sheather looked forward to their having to lump them The epigraphs heading each chapter come directly from Pride and Prejudice but I only found one line of word for word lifted dialogue in the main text eagle eyed Austenites correct me if I am wrong and let me know if you spot the same line I picked up on If you search the PP e book free here on Project Gutenberg you ll be interested to learn that there are in fact allusions to a Longbourn footman and a serving Sarah in chapters 7 and 55 Histoire de F�nelon, Archev�que de Cambrai, Vol. 1: Compos�e Sur Les Manuscrits Originaux (Classic Reprint) respectivelyWhere Longbourn diverges most noticeably from Pride and Prejudice is in its unflinching portrayal of the physicaleality of early nineteenth century life chilblains scars lice eeking chamber pots animal slaughter napkins soaked with menstrual blood even underarm hair you mean the Bennet girls had hairy pits say it ain t so Even behind the fine appearances of the Netherfield ball guests all Sarah can see fine appearances of the Netherfield ball guests all Sarah can see the same old freckles and wrinkles and bad breath and smallpox scars and limping goutHer envy puffed up into smoke and was gone on the wind Nonetheless I don t think there s anything here that will upset Austen lovers while there is plenty that should draw in new fans I think Longbourn might particularly appeal to those male eaders who have previously professed that Austen isn t their cup of tea who are too jaded and knowing or just too darn cool for this chick stuff They will find that there is just the Tagalog English Dictionary right level of earthiness here tooot the omantic plot in eality Kudos to Jo Baker and bon app tit to all you lucky Baby Elephant Gets Lost readers who soon get to encounter this terrific novel for the first timeA slightly expanded version of thiseview is at Bookkaholic The best word to describe this book is unpleasant It was a very unple. • 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 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 th. ,

Jo Baker ↠ 7 eview

Sible in the efined society and therefore the original book pages they are allowed to take center stage here Perhaps that was why they spoke instructions at her from behind an embroidery hoop or over the top of a book she had scrubbed away their sweat their stains their monthly blood she knew they weren t as arefied as angels and so they just couldn t look her in the eye Unlike Austen s novel that inspired the book and upon the familiarity with which the plot of this one hinges Longbourn lacks the escapist allure of humor and attractiveness Instead it is serious and often bleak which makes sense as it is deliberately focused on the unglamorous aspects of life in Austen s world Unglamorous sufficiently to give me enough details about chamber pots and the outhouse and menstrual blood stains to last me for a very long time eally Would she at some time have the chance to care for her own things her own comforts her own needs and not just for other people s Could she one day have what she wanted ather than ely on the glow of other people s happiness to keep her warm Sarah is a young housemaid an orphan Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties raised in the Bennett s estate of Longbourne Despite being the same age as Lizzie Bennet and living in her house Sarah s life and Lizzie s life might as well be in different universes Overworked and tired because Bennets preferred lifestyle and their modest by theich landowners standards means do not always align Sarah s concerns are not the leisurely pursuits of The Back House Ghosts respectablyich matrimony but Haven: A Graphic Novel rather the endless house chores and chilblains and blisters from her work and the knowledge that very little in her life belongs to her Her destiny is to grow old caring for the needs and wants of others and she is encouraged to be grateful for this lot in life to find satisfaction in her duties to be content with stability that such sad existence brings But it s hard to settle for just that isn t it This sheeflected as she crossed the Physical Basis of the Direction of Time, The. the Frontiers Collection. rainy yard and strode out to the necessary house and slopped the pot s contents down the hole this was her duty and she could find no satisfaction in it and found it strange that anybody might think a person could Sheinsed the pot out at the pump and left it to freshen in the The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction rain If this was her duty then she wanted someone else s Going into this book I expected or less aetelling of Pride and Prejudice from the below the stairs point of view And to a point yes this story depends on you being familiar with Austen s book the plot and the characters But those characters stay mostly behind the scenes and the events that mattered so much in Austen s story are barely conseuential in this one All the Bingley and Darcy dramas are not even noticed Lydia s elopement is important only because of sheer disturbance it causes in the domestic life Otherwise the life below stairs is shaped much by the everyday life occurrences and the storms in the lives of Pride and Prejudice characters barely cause My Honorable Brother: A Thriller ripples in the lives of Longbourn bunchIt s all just a background noise for the servants who are occupied with pressing issuesOf course some characters end up diverging a bit from Austen s novel like it or hate it I m not an Austen purist or even her particular fan so to me it was just fine but it may irk a few of her devoted fans with the subtle and not so subtle digs at the characters Mr Collins for instance is not the appallingly dull human being but aather average man who is nice to servants Darcy pops in for half a minute if that The source of Bingley s family money is shown to be beyond unsavory and epellent Mrs Bennet is certainly sympathetic and less of a buffoon that she comes off in Austen s book And Mr Bennet is evealed to have some secrets that certainly do not paint him in the best light It had been a dreadful miscalculation she saw that now that all of them should be unhappy so that he should not be disgraced The language of the book is also not meant to carry on Austen s wit and humor and sparkle Just like the choice to show the grittier and dirtier part of life in the Austen world the language here is meant to be harsher and Impaired: A Nurse's Story of Addiction rougher and serious And the sensibilities are certainly betraying the time it was written in a couple of centuries after the originalAnd I liked it a lot Theeal everyday issues of the working people were connecting with me much than the leisurely dramas of Austen s novels perhaps because I can t The Forever Court (Knights of the Borrowed Dark reallyelate to the life of wealth and leisure and lazy mornings and boring afternoons Jane Austen s book is lovely and beautiful but I also love this one as its grittier less efined working companion4 ish stars and a plan to eread Pride and Prejudice with thoughts of the lives of those invisible in that novel uietly working in kitchens and stables and carrying out those ever present chamber pots Three and a Half Stars In the Author s Note at the end of Longbourn Jo Baker writes One final note in Pride and Prejudice the footman appears just once in the text when he delivers a note to Jane page 31 of Volume One in my Penguin Classics edition After that he is never mentioned again Well that is an undeniable fact But what are we to glean from this tidbit That Baker found her inspiration from this one tiny glimmer into the world behind the scenes That Austen was Ola Shakes It Up remiss in showing only the Upstairs of early nineteenth century English country life Much has been written about Jane Austen s omission of socio political context in her novels but in the end we are left with the stories as she chose to tell them Full stopIn the same author s note Jo Baker tells us she has interfered only so far as the give names to the unnamed the butler footman and the second housemaid There ensued a great spluttering of coffee coughing and general wiping up The plot itself depends upon interferences large and small Early on Mrs Hill the Bennet s cook and housekeeper enters Mr Bennet s library and closes the door A central twist of the story is predicated on a very mighty interference indeed I m not convinced that anyone who hasead Pride and Prejudice can accurately assess whether Longbourn could stand on its own a story complete Well for heaven s sake of course it couldn t It wouldn t exist without Pride and Prejudice But that s not eally what I mean I mean that it s built upon the backs of Austen s characters Little has to be done by way of introducing or maintaining this supporting cast which is what the Bennet femmes et homme and their society neighbors are in this below stairs account of life at Longbourne We who know Elizabeth Darcy and Wickham have already colored between those lines and need little in the way of further fleshing out For Wickham have already colored between those lines and need little in the way of further fleshing out For first half of this novel I said a esounding No There is no there here Longbourn although far from an Austen pastiche Einatmen, Ausatmen reads like a meticulouslyesearched and lovingly crafted vignette of servant life in a middle class Regency home There seems to be little point beyond showing the difficulties and deprivations of a life in service and to point out that even in Georgian England people pooped masturbated and menstruatedThen the novel enters its stride Although I never lost the twitch of discomfort that Jo Baker was trying to make up for some absence of verisimilitude in the original the characters begin to live on their own accord as if the author herself snipped the ties constraining her to Pride and Prejudice It s somewhere around the time Wickham ventures into the kitchen to leer *At Polly And We *Polly and we each servant s esponse to his trespass that we fully finally enter the world of distinct complete characters who have to offer than chilblains and chamber pots Baker won me over however with Longbourn s enigmatic footman James Smith She creates a haunting portrait of a soldier s experience during Napolean s Guerilla war in Spain and Portugal Eually moving though much briefer is a ecounting of Mrs Hill s troubles at Longbourn in the era before she became Mrs Hill From these points forward the characters above stairs become than ciphers and those below stairs develop backstories and backbones Jo Baker s writing though at times heavy handed with the metaphors is lovely She maintains a formal dignified diction that feels just ight for the period and place without trying to emulate Austen s vivacity and wit She sprinkles in jarring vulgarities and peers inside chamber pots to let us know if they contain solids as well She sprinkles in jarring vulgarities and peers inside chamber pots to let us know if they contain solids as well liuids all of which seems a bit forced as if she were trying too hard to distance herself from Austen gentility but the moments are brief and tolerable Longbourn is a very engaging and enjoyable ead The uality of writing is such that I will seek out Jo Baker s other novels and look forward to her next though I hope she is finished outfitting 19th century classics with 21st century hindsight. Ke us beyond the drawing ooms 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 ealized world that is wholly her own?. Asant eading experience But I can and will be specific First of all technically this is a Pride and Prejudice etelling from the point of view of the Longbourn servants Good idea Dahmer Detective: The Interrogation and Investigation That Shocked The World right I sure thought so And honestly there are some very good things in here I was very interested in hearing what kind of daily tasks made the Bennett lifestyle possible There s also a few great parts where youeally see how much the servants care about each other But then First of all there s a terrible sexual awakening subplot I m sorry if I wanted to 20th Century Photography: Museum Ludwig Cologne read aomance novel I would ead a omance novel Second there s a The Scruffy Drunk: The Wife in Space, Volume 2 really long flashback seuence about war which has nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice at all If you want to write about the horrors of war that s fine but don t just say it s a Pride and Prejudiceetelling to increase your audience That s cheap Third for someone who says she loves Pride and Prejudice the author sure spends a lot of time trying to convince eaders that all of those beloved characters are d bags Seriously the only one of the Bennett s who comes out looking OK in this book is Mary Of course and I m sure this wasn t intentional the main character Sarah is not a joy to ead about either Stop whining you whiner Fourth the narrative is Deathless really all over the place One paragraph will be from Mrs Hill s POV then suddenly we ll switch to Polly then to James for a second and back to Mrs Hill then maybe one of the Bennet kids will have a say Get it together author Finally the love triangle is soidiculous Tol is clearly interesting and fun and the only eason that Sarah prefers James is to make the eally stupid plot twist towards the end shockingmeaningfulThere you have it I did not enjoy this book even though I fully expected to I m not sure why it s gotten such good eviews but take it from me if you want a good servant story stick with Upstairs Downstairs or Downton Abbey Hoo boyWhere do I startActually that s easy Any eview of Longbourn should feature this warning The Third Lynx (Quadrail, right at the top If you Reposted from myeview at AustenBlogThe publication of Jo Baker s new novel Longbourn generated the same sort of excitement as the arrival of a single gentleman of good fortune It has been descri I Mixed Doubles read five chapters and then I admitted defeat I threw up my arms through a sea of frothy pink fluff and pushed it aside and emerged if not a better person then at least aelieved one with one less cloud in my worldTo be fair I m not the audience for any kind of omance except perhaps classics But I am fascinated with Jane Austen and having ecently Von Dr. Jakobsen bestraft - SM Krimi (Teil 3) read AA Milne s superlative stage play Miss Elizabeth Bennet I felt I would like toead books directly descended from Pride and Prejudice After Colin Firth is it possible to have too much Darcy Is it possible to have too much chocolate Is it possible to have too much candy floss Yes to the last sadly it is And was DNFA note on the writing It wasn t Jane Austen It wasn t AA Milne It wasn t bad in any way But it was perfectly one note shallow clear and descriptive and left me in no doubt that what I saw was what I got That s all Maybe this is par for the genre If you enjoy period Raja Smurf (Smurf, romances then you might love the book thiseview is my impression and not one that should influence you in any way It s become a cliche to love Jane Austen s books Her oeuvre is so popular that it has inspired a vast amount of fan fiction much of it crap I ve been a Janeite for about 15 years and have Zwanzig Männer sind genug read all of Miss Austen s works excepting her Juvenilia which I m saving for aainy day I ve also picked up dozens of the fan novels in an effort to extend the stay in her world I say picked up Dying Light rather thanead because a great deal of the fanfic is insufferable and must be tossed after the first chapterLongbourn is one of the exceptions The simple description is that it is a Yaşayan Kur'an Meal-Tefsir retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants point of view But it goes deeper than just aetelling Longbourn made the Bennet home come alive For the first time in all of my eadings of PP I felt as if I lived in the same house as Miss Elizabeth Jane Kitty Lydia Mary and Mr and Mrs Bennet I know what time the housemaids got up to light the fires and draw the water I know when the cook began preparing the dinner I know how the linens got washed and how muddy it was to walk to Meryton to get supplies I even know a few secrets about the housekeeper that would have surprised Miss AustenAnd this is where the two novels diverge Jo Baker has created full characters out of the servants who are almost invisible in PP The story is mostly told by Sarah a housemaid who has been working at Longbourn since she was orphaned at age 6 The cook Mrs Hill thinks of Sarah as family and is worried what will happen to the staff if the estate is entailed away to Mr Collins I liked having the servant s perspective on this well known plot line it was a good eminder of how many people were actually affected by Mr Bennet s lack of a male heirThe story picks up uickly when a new footman named James Smith is hired Sarah thinks James has a secret and is determined to find out about his past Meanwhile her head is turned by a handsome servant who works for Mr Bingley Sarah who The Frankenstein Teacher (Corgi Pups) reminded me a bit of the headstrong Jane Eyre thinks that life should be something than just emptying chamber pots every day and always washing other people s linens If only someone would take notice of SarahI should warn diehard PP fans that if youe hoping to spend time swooning Over Mr Darcy You Will Mr Darcy you will disappointed Aside from Mr Wickham who likes to lurk around the servants and tries to seduce a young maid the men from PP are only on the periphery of this story You ll see of the Bennets as the servants interact with them but the downstairs plot takes its own pathBaker s prose is lovely and I was enchanted with almost all of the book My one criticism was that too much time was spent on James back story and I was anxious to The Case of the General's Thumb return to Longbourn But that is a mere uibble in an otherwise wonderful novel Three cheers for Jo Baker for bringing the Bennet home to lifeIn addition to Longbourn myecommendations for the best Jane Austen fanfic are Pamela Aidan s An Assembly Such as This part I of a trilogy Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken and Amanda Grange s series of gentlemen s diaries such as Mr Darcy s Diary Mr Knightley s Diary Colonel Brandon s Diary etc I declare them charming and delightful eads You ll think that I m being silly and hyperbolic when I say books like this are the purpose that historical fiction is meant to serve but I mean it very sincerely Don t pick this book up wanting to swoon over Elizabeth and Darcy or expecting the narrative focus to be on the story Austen told in PP It s not about that 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 Blue coat black horse that was Mr Bingley The great tall fellow in the green was Mr Darcy again They clipped past the orchard in profile and oblivious to the housemaids Sarah felt
herself fade she 
fade She see the leaves and branches Through Her Hand The Sun her hand the sun straight through her skinAnd now I can t wait to go back through PP and ferret out all the glimpses of Sarah and her ilk from which Jo Baker spun this tale Longbourn is simply tremendous It s the world of Austen made eal Austen in context with all the mud and blood and shit that comes with that And it s so deep and beautiful and heart stoppingly eal that I m in awe I didn t expect to feel so strongly about Longbourn when I first picked it up but it s far and away one of the best books I ve ead in the past year Highly ecommended When Lizzie Bennet went traipsing through the muddy fields mooning over Mr Darcy someone had to do wash those muddy petticoats When Mrs Bennet was fainting from the strain of arranging suitable marriages for her countless daughters someone had to fetch the smelling salts While the ladies of the Bennet family spent their time in the leisurely fashion of gentlewomen in music and sewing and art and dancing and attracting promisingly ich husbands someone had to Echoes from the Past run the household cook endless dinners do laundry empty the chamber pots shovel the pig shit clean the outhouseun errands scrub floors travel to the village and surrounding estates through the The Master Strategist: Power, Purpose and Principle in Action rain and mud and do anything and everything to allow the cream and crop of gentle society to enjoy their leisurely lives that made Austen s novels such great escapisteading If Elizabeth had the washing of her own petticoats Sarah often thought she d most likely be a sight careful with them This is a story of those someones the characters that were lost in the background of the shiny glossy lives of the ich and mighty in the timelessly alluring Pride and Prejudice Invi. E laundry polishing the floors and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household But there is just as much omance heartbreak and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs When a mysterious new footman arrives the orderly ealm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely perhaps irrevocably upended Jo Baker dares to ta. .