Now I’m thinking of a Downton Abbey/Pride and Prejudice crossover where the Dowager Countess manages to stare down Lady Catherine and Edith and Mary Bennett bond over how everyone in their respective families ignores them.
That’s not what this new movie’s going to be, but it’d be pretty cool, no?
What the movie actually is is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Bennet family’s servants, thus the Downton comparison. Called Longbourne, it’s based on a novel by Jo Baker that was acquired for publication at the same time the movie rights were picked up, so Baker’s probably feeling like Edith [Season 3, episode 3 spoiler] pre-disastrous wedding right now. (Too soon?)
Says Baker of the concept:
“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.”
In addition to addressing issues of class, the movie and book “will also reveal the tragic consequences of the Napoleonic Wars and focus on a romance between a newly arrived footman and a housemaid, the novel’s main characters,” writes Deadline.
Class differences, romance, a looming war. Sounds Downton-y indeed. I wonder how big a presence the P&P characters will have. I also, in a somewhat-related-but-also-tangential-because-it’s-Friday-so-screw-it sort of way, want to know whether I should watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Opinions?