As a long-standing fan of Jane Austen, I have fallen prey to contemporary re-imaginings and embellishments of Austen’s world in several forms. From fictional fans who visit recreations of the world in which Ms. Austen’s memorable characters came to life during Britain’s Regency Period, to prequels and sequels of her published work, there is a lot of fiction available that attempts to fill the void. There were never enough of Austen’s captivating stories to satisfy the addict.
I limited myself to a couple of frolics in the spin-off genre, but now there is a new novel that promises more than just a cheap imitation of a master.
Jo Baker’s Longbourn (2013) gives readers her take on the view of Bennett family life in Austen’s most celebrated work, Pride and Prejudice, from the servants’ perspective, and includes their own drama and romantic travails. This point of view is fresh and intriguing. Ms. Baker has created something new. I can’t wait to read it.