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Longbourn by Jo Baker

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Did you ever wonder who scraped the mud off Elizabeth Bennet’s shoes, and boiled the mud stains out of her petticoats, after her tromp through the fields to visit her ailing sister Jane over at the Bingley’s house? No, probably not (I didn’t either, even though I’ve read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice many times). Turns out it was Sarah, the Bennets’ young housemaid who toils away washing the young ladies’ linens and hauling water while dreaming of a life of her own beyond the visible horizon, perhaps even in London. This fascinating novel stands just fine on its own as a captivating portrait of life below stairs among the housemaids and footmen working for 19th century English upper class households. It’s an especially intriguing read for Austen fans: the plot is tightly connected to the plot of Pride and Prejudice but the focus is on a different cast of characters with equally compelling stories. You will never think of the Bennets in quite the same way ever again. Check Our Catalog

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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