Downton Abbey – Yes, one is aware this is not a book

If Downton has left one wanting for riveting British class drama, try these…

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishguro for an aged butler reflecting on a life of service to a “great gentleman”

Atonement by Iain McEwan for young love torn apart by class, war, and misunderstanding

Longbourn by Jo Baker for below stairs drama in a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ perspective

The Suspicions of Mr Witcher by Kate Summerscale for a whodunnit at a wealthy estate, based on real events

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Pride and Prejudice (BBC 1995) || Pride and Prejudice (2005) || Lost in Austen (2008)


Netherfield Park:

Rosings Park:


My life in books - 2014

~ Harry Potter is on another shelf

In Longbourn, Jo Baker explores the downstairs lives of the Bennets’ servants in Pride and Prejudice, and creates a world that’s even more entrancing than Austen’s. No detail is spared—Baker is merciless in her descriptions of the laundering process—and your favorite characters don’t fare too well, either. A fantastic read, whether you’ve always secretly thought the Bennets are jerks or if you’ve been doodling Mrs. Darcy in your notebooks since high school. Personally, I have a soft spot for Austen that hardens when I discover Austen-inspired fiction (MR. DARCY IS NOT REAL AND YOU CANNOT MARRY HIM, GET OVER IT), but this book just melted me.

Sarah wondered what it could be like, to live like this - life as a country dance, where everything is lovely, and graceful, and ordered, and every single turn is preordained, and not a foot may be set outside the measure. Not like Sarah’s own out-in-all-weathers haul and trudge, the wind howling and blustery, the creeping flowers in the hedgerows, the sudden sunshine.
—  Jo Baker, Longbourn