It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah’s hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets. For in Georgian England, there is a world the young ladies in the drawing room will never know, a world of poverty, love, and brutal war.
Jo Baker provides readers with a fresh take on the well-loved story of “Pride and Prejudice” by giving us the story of those that worked as servants at Longbourn. I was swept into this story right from the first page. Baker provides a broader view of what exactly was going on in English society during the events of the original Pride and Prejudice story. As well, the vivid descriptions and imagery just bring to life 19th century England. Baker tells us the servants’ side of the familiar story.