If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah
often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with
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.