Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Longbourn Tells The Servant's Story.

This book Longbourn  is an attempt at telling what was going on in the servant’s quarters during the period of time covered by Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. The time period would be between 1811 and 1820.
Not that it would hurt the story to not know that.
Austen published Pride and Prejudice in 1813 under the imprint “A Lady” since in her day a woman writer was not acceptable. Today women have the right to put their name on their work.
In Austen’s book we are not told about the servants and their life.  Baker has decided to answer the “what happened in the servants quarters” while Darcy and Elizabeth and all the girls were seeking husbands.
We are presented with the story of Sarah and her romance with the mysterious footman, James. Where did he come from? Why was he just a footman?
The story is done in three volumes, each volume pushes the story forward. Volume one give us the servants before the Bennet Family moved to the Longbourn Estate. Volume two is on the estate where Sarah meets James. By the end of volume two James is abducted and disappears. We seem to have a simple girl meets boy, girl loses boy. Volume Three gives us the background of James and moves the story to its climax.
The story is done in the style of Austin which I presume is the purpose of the telling. Even if there is a nod to Austin's story, the touches of sexual undercurrent are below the surface.   It moves slowly to start but by the first hundred pages picks up speed and maintains it.
This book is the recommend Santa Monica Reads for 2015. The library has hosted this program for thirteen years now.
Each year groups have formed to discuss the book of the year. 
Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813 and has held the fascination of people since then. There have been many stories centering around the period but it was in 2013 Baker wrote this book about the servants.
This book can be checked out at the library or you can purchase your own copy. I would advise using your public library first to see if this is a book you wish to add to your personal library.


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