“If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields.”
Damn but this was good.
Just as Rosencrantz and Guildestern are Dead takes two minor characters from Hamlet and puts them center stage while the tragedy unfolds offstage, so Longbourn has the events of Pride and Prejudice happening behind the scenes while we learn about the lives and loves of of the Bennet family servants.
And the life of a servant wasn't an easy one. When the Bennet girls decide they absolutely must have new roses for their dancing shoes, it is their maid Sarah, who has to go out in the rain and walk into to town to buy them.
I loved seeing the Bennet family and their associates through the eyes of their servants. Mr Collins comes across as a much more sympathetic person, Mr Bennet is habouring a big secret, and Wickham... well, you'll just have to read the book.