As mentioned in my 2014 Reading Goals post, I'm trying to add more adult fiction into my diet. And, as I like to chronicle this stuff, here I am, chronicling it.
Right now, I'm (obviously) reading Jo Baker's Longbourn, which is Pride and Prejudice from the servants' perspective.
Feel free to read along! (If you end up posting about it, let me know in the comments and I'll link up.)
Due to Mr. Hill's aforementioned uselessness (Ha! I called that one!), Mr. Bennet has—without consulting Mrs. Hill—hired on a new manservant, a man who goes by the rather suspiciously generic name of "James Smith".
- During this scene, Lydia is the most overtly jackassy—she goes on and on, IN FRONT OF MRS. HILL, about how great it'll be to have a "nice young man" to drive them about, instead of Mr. Hill, who looks like a shaved monkey in a hat—but no one else comes off particularly well, either. Except Kitty, who doesn't even get a line. Poor old Kitty.
- Mrs. Bennet is excited about it because it's THE THING to have manservants (who, by the way, get higher wages than female employees) and she's looking forward to the neighbors finding out. Credit where credit's due, though: beyond, obviously, the servants, I found her the most likable of the bunch.
- Although Lizzie and Jane chide Lydia for the spider monkey comment, I got the impression that it was purely because it was impolite, and not because of any real concern for Mrs. Hill's feelings: because, beyond that, the only thing in the scene that makes Lizzie and Jane visibly uncomfortable is the moment when Mrs. Hill forgets herself and dares to speak in their presence without being addressed first.
- I'm trying to remind myself that although it's told in the third person, much of the narration is colored by Sarah's perception: I get the impression that she's pretty close in age to Lizzie and Jane, and so it makes sense that she'd be the hardest on them. After all, it's purely random chance that they were born into their position in life, and that she was born into hers.