Friday, July 25, 2014

in which Beatrice says it all about Longbourn

The premise is that Baker is exploring the lives of the Bennetts' (from Pride and Prejudice) servants, in order to write a book about class discrepancies in Regency England. And I think this book would have been much more enjoyable if she had not done the riff on Austen, although that is the book's gimmick and who knows if it would have sold otherwise. But it means that she's just slamming beloved characters left and right, including having Lizzie sneer that referring to the footman as "Mr. Smith" made her think the speaker "meant a gentleman", which doesn't ring true at all. And I put up with it the first fourteen times our heroine, the Bennett girls' maid, thinks, "Jane and Elizabeth have X, Y, and Z and are still not grateful, while I would be content with half a potato sack to make socks out of BECAUSE SERVANT CLASS", but the next forty-five times I read the same sentiment it's rather like the Monty Python Yorkshiremen sketch: "Elizabeth gets Mr. Darcy, while GIRLS LIKE ME would be happy to have a rotting warthog carcass to warm our bare feet because we ate our shoes last spring and no one will spare a potato sack".

- Burning My Study