We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Longbourn | [Jo Baker]

Longbourn

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.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

"Captivating... A brilliantly imagined and lovingly told story about the wide world beyond the margins and outside the parlors of Pride and Prejudice." (Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements)

Publisher's Summary

Pride and Prejudice was only half the story

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

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.

©2013 Jo Baker (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"A triumph: a splendid tribute to Austen’s original but, more importantly, a joy in its own right, a novel that contrives both to provoke the intellect and, ultimately, to stop the heart.... Like Austen, Baker has written an intoxicating love story but, also like Austen, the pleasure of her novel lies in its wit and fierce intelligence.... Baker not only creates a richly imagined story of her own but recasts Austen’s novel in a startlingly fresh light.... Inspired." (The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (390 )
5 star
 (141)
4 star
 (155)
3 star
 (59)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.9 (363 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (130)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (14)
Story
4.3 (362 )
5 star
 (183)
4 star
 (126)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kim United States 10-29-13
    Kim United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Book lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book, Great Narrator!"

    Longbourn was very well written, beautiful prose, compelling characters. I couldn't stop listening to it and the narrator made it that much better. I listen to a lot of books and she is one of the best narrators I have heard (as good as Davina Porter, but younger sounding). Longbourn is a must read or rather listen as the case may be.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MP Washington, DC United States 10-13-13
    MP Washington, DC United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary book (even w/o Pride & Prejudice)"

    I have generally hated P&P spinoffs -- too wordy, too internally focused and generally poorly written.

    Not this one. Jo Baker is a literary writer and this novel stands on its own , as absorbing and interesting (even without the modest involvement of the P&P characters). These people have real lives, real struggles and problems and loves, and we sympathize with their strategic and hopeful efforts to maximize their future security and happiness. The Napoleonic Wars may not have had much effect on the Bennets, but it's very present for the lower classes, where the men were strongly urged to enlist without any understanding of the horrors of that war.

    The limited glimpses we see of the Bennet family seems to round them out into real people, too -- Elizabeth is still a very nice person and generally considerate mistress, but it is clear that her maid's happiness and security is never really on her mind except as it pertains to Elizabeth's comfort. This is probably an accurate depiction of women such as she. Mrs. Bennet's efforts to have a male child - over and over and over - elicit some real sympathy for her and deepen our understanding of the source of her current flightiness.

    I loved this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Hoffman Pasadena, CA United States 11-17-13
    Donna Hoffman Pasadena, CA United States 11-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful well-written piece of fiction"
    Where does Longbourn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the best audiobook I have listened to. The narration is superb. So much so that you feel like you are experiencing the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is Sarah. She has led a hard life and very much dreams of a better one. I can feel her longing.


    Which character – as performed by Emma Fielding – was your favorite?

    Sarah and Mrs. Hill as performed by Emma Fielding are my favorites.


    If you could rename Longbourn, what would you call it?

    I would rename Longbourn "In Pursuit of Dreams" or "The Longing"


    Any additional comments?

    An unbelievably well-written book . The prose will blow you away. It will captivate you and take you into its spell and not let you go until the very last word.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 10-30-13
    Mary Portland, OR, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"

    If you like this genre and period, this novel is a pleasurable listen. It's a wonderful picture of "downstairs" life at that time. I especially enjoyed the narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Kirkwood, CA, United States 01-29-14
    Carol Kirkwood, CA, United States 01-29-14 Member Since 2007

    us about yourself! I'm a retired English teacher and ardent reader(more because of physical disability than from job).

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    680
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So You Thought this was a romance?"
    Would you listen to Longbourn again? Why?

    Yes, but only after a long gap because it was exhausting, and now I cannot be surprised.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Longbourn?

    When the lovers are reunited after complex lives without each other.


    Which character – as performed by Emma Fielding – was your favorite?

    The heroine, Sara. She was so outwardly imprisoned by her era and yet was bold and gave vent to her adventurism.


    If you could take any character from Longbourn out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Two characters together: Mr. Bennet and his clandestine lover. That was a touching story.


    Any additional comments?

    The descriptions--especially of the countryside-- are absolutely beautiful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue CLOVIS, CA, United States 11-20-13
    Sue CLOVIS, CA, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow and Wordy"

    This book borrows the situations and characters from Jane Austen but that's where the similarities end. This rendition is full of adjectives but slow on action. Unfortunate, because the concept was intriguing.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KA 06-18-14
    KA 06-18-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well done, excellent read or listen, bravo"
    Would you listen to Longbourn again? Why?

    I have listened to it twice and intend to keep it for a good long time. It is written in the manner that feel as though you are looking out through the eyes of the main character. There are points that refer back to Pride and Prejudice, but only as references that enhance to the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well written, believable situations and characters, can only leave you with wanting more of the same. Unfortunately, many of them have the consistency of wet toilet paper.


    What about Emma Fielding’s performance did you like?

    The scenes described, the feelings of the characters are what you would imagine if you were in that situation, very easy to insert yourself, watching it all unfold as you were invisible.


    Who was the most memorable character of Longbourn and why?

    Nothing, very easy evperience


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to more of the same from Ms Baker

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Brown Emeryville, CA 05-15-14
    L. Brown Emeryville, CA 05-15-14 Member Since 2009

    Editor of the coffee table book for 25 years, from Disney Song Book to history of America as seen in on-the-spot drawings--before Ken Burns.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So Clever"

    Author does a nice job of bringing Jane down to the kithchen; good story telling in the tradition of you know who.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eve Noord-Holland, Netherlands 05-08-14
    Eve Noord-Holland, Netherlands 05-08-14

    I live, breathe, read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterfully imaginative piece!"

    This book was described very simply as a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants, which made me both excited to read it, and also hesitant because I've read some pretty bad ones. That being said, this is NOT a retelling, in fact the Bennets take a back seat to the"belowstairs" lives of their servants. Told from the perspective of Mrs. Hill, the Bennet's housekeeper, and the the scullery maid, Sarah, we have a fresh perspective of life during the Regency era, and a slice of life for a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. I don't think I will ever look at Pride and Prejudice the same. I'll never be able to watch the BBC adaptation (1995 Colin Firth), and not want to follow "Hill" off camera after she's administered cordial for Mrs. Bennet's "poor nerves." A definite read for lovers of historical fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 12-01-13
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I couldn't finish"
    What disappointed you about Longbourn?

    No real plot or intrigue. I listened to 10 chapters, yet wasn't hooked in to the story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Baker again?

    No.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Fielding?

    She was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.