I was recently invited by Random House Australia to take part in a blog tour for one of their most exciting book releases of the year, Jo Baker’s Longbourn which will be published in August 2013.
After reading this novel and, whilst my review will only be posted during August as part of the NetGalley tour, I can confirm that there is no need for you to be a “die-hard” Jane Austen fan in order to enjoy the servants’ story.
In anticipation of Longbourn‘s publication, Random House has released a fabulous Character Map of all the characters in Longbourn (who I just know you will come to love), and I invite you to take a look at it in order to familiarise yourself with these gracious servants, without whom, the running of the Bennet household would not have been possible:
For a larger view of the above Character Map, just click on it (or click here) and this will take you directly to the Random House website.
In amplification of that Character Map, here is a brief overview of all the servants at Longbourn by name (taken from the Random House website and for whom more information can be found here):
Mrs Hill: The Housekeeper
A longstanding and loyal servant to the Bennet household, Mrs Hill is charged with the day-to-day running of Longbourn …
Mr Hill: The Butler
Trusted with the wine cellar and other valuables, Mr Hill also waits on table …
James: The Footman
A new arrival to the household, Mrs Bennet is keen to show him off with front-of-house duties such as answering the door, waiting on table, and driving the carriage – he’s a fashionable accessory …
The only Longbourn servant to be mentioned by her first name in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Sarah was apprenticed to Mrs Hill as a child, to learn her trade as a housemaid …
The second and younger of the two housemaids, Polly’s duties are similar to Sarah’s – though still serving her time as an apprentice, she is not yet fully trained, and is less thorough in her work …
While I have not yet read Pride and Prejudice (yes, shock! horror! but I am in the process of rectifying that issue), Jo Baker has this to say about Longbourn‘s servants:
“These are the five servants mentioned by their role or name in Austen’s novel; they undertake all the work of the Bennet household. When a meal is served in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, it has just been prepared in LONGBOURN; when a footman enters the breakfast room in Austen’s novel, he has just left the kitchen in mine. And when Elizabeth Bennet gets her petticoats muddy, it is Sarah and Polly, the two Longbourn housemaids, who must wash them clean again for her”.
If you would like to read more about Jo Baker and Longbourn, please click here and you will be directed to the Longbourn feature page on the Random House website.