Jan Austen's Pride and Predjudice meets Downton Abbey in Longbourn

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Longbourn, Jo Baker, new book, Alfred P Knopf, novel
'Jane Austen was my first experience of grown-up literature. But as I read and re-read her books, I began to become aware that if I’d been living at the time, I wouldn’t have got to go to the ball; I would have been stuck at home with the sewing. Just a few generations back, my family were in service. Aware of that English class thing, Pride and Prejudice begins to read a little differently.'

Author Jo Baker explains her motivation for writing Longbourn*, a novel  to be published later this year that tells Pride and Prejudice from the servants point of view, giving it a resonance with Downtown Abbey

'While Longbourn brings to life a different side of the world Austen first created, I was impressed even more by the way this novel stands as a transporting, fully realised work of fiction in its own right,' Diane Coglianese, an editor at publisher Alfred K Knopf, said in a statement.

Pride and Prejudice, Longbourn, Jo Baker, Jane Austen, novel, fiction, new book Random House
Alfred A. Knopf is the flagship imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House, Inc.

Longbourn will be published by Transworld in the UK; Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S.; and Random House in Canada. It's unclear at this stage who will publish the book in Australia. Film rights have been secured by Random House Studio and Focus Features, and translation rights have already been sold in Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, France, and Sweden.

The success of Longbourn for Jo Baker is a case of fourth time lucky with The New York Times saying, 'She is 39 and her previous novels The Mermaid’s Child, The Telling, The Undertow and Offcomer were not notable, popular or financial successes.'

*Longbourn is the Bennet's estate near London in Pride and Prejudice.


  1. Does anyone else think Jo Baker looks a little like Jane Austen?


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