Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice below stairs - the story of romance, intrigue, and drama among the servants of the Bennet household
Jo Baker was educated at Oxford and The Queen's University, Belfast. She lives in Lancaster with her husband, the playwright Daragh Carville, and their two children. Longbourn is due to be made into a film, produced by Focus Features.
"Inspired...Baker has written an intoxicating love story but, also like Austen, the pleasure of her novel lies in its wit and fierce intelligence. Longbourn is a profound exploration of injustice, of poverty and dependence, of loyalty...a novel that contrives both to provoke the intellect and, ultimately, to stop the heart" Guardian "ONES TO WATCH Just enough Darcy to delight, as well as being a fascinating insight into the harsh working conditions of life in a grand house 200 years ago" Good Housekeeping "Debut novelist Jo Baker takes the reader on a journey back to a version of Regency England that is as much about poverty and war as social comedy and romance" Metro "This clever glimpse of Austen's universe clouded by washday steam is so compelling it leaves you wanting to read the next chapter in the lives below stairs" Daily Express "GREAT READS: Pride and Prejudice reimagined as a mysterious manservant stirs up passions in the Bennet household both upstairs and down" Woman and Home "Captivating and delicious. A brilliantly imagined and lovingly told story about the wide world beyond the margins and outside the parlours of Pride and Prejudice" Maggie Shipstead, author of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS "Superb... The lightest of touches by a highly accomplished young writer" Mail on Sunday "Sequels and prequels rarely add to the original, but Baker's simple yet inspired reimagining does. It has best-seller stamped all over it" Kirkus "Splendid...Baker's imaginative leaps are stunningly well done both historically (the scenes set at the siege of Corunna are terrific) and emotionally...What a great film it will make (the rights sold early); the well-loved novel shaken up and given the grit which Jane Austen could never include." Evening Standard "A must-read for fans of Jane Austen, this literary tribute also stands on its own as a captivating love story" Publisher's Weekly "An Austen lover has the satisfaction of matching the novels chapter for chapter. Lovely." Observer "Longbourn is a fantastic feat of imagination, unflinching in its portrayal of war and the limitations of life for a servant - a novel you will want to shelve with the original classics you plan to read again and again." Psychologies "To twist something so familiar into something quite fresh is impressive.Baker takes ownership of this world without mimicking Austen's style, asserting instead her own distinctive, authentic voice. Longbourn is not just nicely packaged fan fiction, or an Austenian Downton Abbey; it's an engrossing tale we neither know nor expect." Daily Telegraph "What bravery to take Pride And Prejudice as the springboard for a new novel! Bravery or, in the wrong hands, foolishness. However, in relating Jane Austen's best-loved tale from the perspective of the Bennet family's servants, Jo Baker takes a fresh angle on a story that millions of diehard fans know inside out." Sunday Express "Painstakingly researched, it captures the atmosphere of Austen's England perfectly and is delivered in beautiful prose" Sunday Mirror "Longbourn is a really special book, and not only because its author writes like an angel" Daily Mail "Densely plotted and achingly romantic. This exquisitely reimagined Pride and Prejudice will appeal to Austen devotees and to anyone who finds the goings-on below stairs to be at least as compelling as the ones above" Library Journal "A freshly egalitarian reimagining of Pride and Prejudice" Vogue "Ingenious...rich, engrossing and filled with fascinating observations." O Magazine