Reading Group Center




Video: Jo Baker Discusses Longbourn and Pride and Prejudice

Longbourn is Jo Baker’s unique below-stairs answer to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Taking the plot of the Regency classic as a framework, she imagines the untold stories of the Longbourn servants, who keep the estate running day in and day out, and pulls us into the world of their struggles and small joys. The Longbourn housemaid Sarah, only fleetingly mentioned in Pride and Prejudice, emerges as the heroine of Baker’s retelling—and is the perfect foil to headstrong, charming Elizabeth Bennet.

Only the most intimate familiarity with and admiration for Austen’s masterpiece could be responsible for the level of authenticity that one finds in Jo Baker’s finely crafted novel. The author admits to having closely studied Pride and Prejudice, so we couldn’t help but wonder what she thought about the source material in relation to Longbourn. In the following video interview, Jo Baker discusses the parallels between the books, and the similarities between her heroine and Elizabeth Bennet in particular.

Click to read an excerpt from Longbourn and download our reading group guide.

More video from our interview with Jo Baker: