29+ quotes from Longbourn by Jo Baker

Quotes from Longbourn

Jo Baker ·  352 pages

Rating: (40.7K votes)


“Things could change so entirely, in a heartbeat; the world could be made entirely anew, because someone was kind.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Life was, Mrs. Hill had come to understand, a trial by endurance, which everybody, eventually, failed.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“...too much time spent with books had not fitted her to be easy with herself, and other people.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Because he wanted nothing from her; this was a generous, expansive feeling, unattached to the possibility of gratification; it was the simple happiness that came from knowing that one particular person was alive in the world”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Sarah, in the crush, was able to study Miss Lucas's face discreetly, she wondered what it was like to know that you were to be married, that you would have a home, an income, that you were set up for life. To have achieved all this simply by agreeing to put up with one particular man until he died.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“I would ask if you miss me like I miss you, so that there is not another spot in all the world that seems to mean anything at all, but where you are.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“It was a thought, that. Not to attach yourself to a man, but to confront instead the open world, the wide fields of France and Spain, the ocean, anything. Not just to hitch a lift with the first fellow who looked as though he knew where he was going, but just to go.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“The room was dull now, and meaningless, with the young ladies gone from it. They were both lovely, almost luminous. And Sarah was, she knew, as she slipped along the servants' corridor, and then up the stairs to the attic to hang her her new dress on the rail, just one of the many shadows that ebbed and tugged at the edges of the light.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Perhaps it was not an easy thing, to be so entirely happy. Perhaps it was actually quite a fearful state to live in--the knowledge that one had achieved a complete success.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Wherever you are in this world, the sky is still above you. Wherever you are, God still watches over you; He sees into your heart.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“The ladies, who had condoled so thoroughly with her during her time of grief, found it rather more difficult to participate in her happiness, which takes a true and proper friend indeed.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Other, dryer customers came and went, having just stepped out of their conveyances or popped down the street from their houses in the town. They left their umbrellas dripping at the door, and looked at her with that particular combination of sympathy and amusement that the soaked seem always to elicit in the dry.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Sarah wondered what it could be like, to live like this - life as a country dance, where everything is lovely, and graceful, and ordered, and every single turn is preordained, and not a foot may be set outside the measure. Not like Sarah's own out-in-all-weathers haul and trudge, the wind howling and blustery, the creeping flowers in the hedgerows, the sudden sunshine.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“You have no idea at all yet what you can bear!”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Threads that drift alone will sometimes simply twine themselves together, without need for spindle or distaff: brought into each other’s ambit, they bind themselves tight with the force of their own torsion. And this same torsion can, in the course of things, bundle the resulting cord back upon itself, ravelling it up into a skein, returning to the point of its beginning.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Words had become overnight just little coins, insignificant and unfreighted, to be exchanged for ribbons, buttons, for an apple or an egg.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“James had no intentions; he could not afford to have any; he could not afford to rope another person to his saddle. All he could do was keep his head down and get his work done.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“So young Collins was there to select one of the girls, as you'd choose an apple from a costermonger's stall. A brisk look over the piled-up stock: one of the bigger ones, the riper ones --that one will do. They were all the same, after all, weren't they? The were of good stock. All the same variety , from the same tree. Why bother looking any further, or making any particular scrutiny of the individual fruits?”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“she wondered what it was like to know that you were to be married, that you would have a home, an income, that you were set up for life. To have achieved all this simply by agreeing to put up with one particular man until he died.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“It was not that long ago that dinner had meant swallowing down whatever you could get your filthy hands on. . . Dinner meant something different here. It meant half a day's work for two women. It mean polished crystal and silver, it meant a change of dress for the diners and a special suit of clothes for the servants to serve it up in. Here, dinner meant delay; it meant extending, with all the complexities of preparation and all those rituals of civility, the gap between hunger and its satisfaction. Here, now, it seemed that hunger itself might be relished, because its cessation was guaranteed; there always was - there always would be - meat and vegetables and dumplings and cakes and pies and plates and forks and pleases and thank yous, and endless plates of bread and butter.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“It is not, perhaps, an entirely happy situation after all, to gain something that has been wanted for long years. The object itself, once achieved, is often found not to be exactly as anticipated. It has perhaps become tired and worn over time; flaws that had been overlooked for years are now all too apparent. One finds one does not know what to do with it at all.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Work was not a cure; it never had been: it simply grew a skin on despair, and crusted over it.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“he nodded them a good evening, but instead unhitched the horses and brought them back to a trough in the Market Square. When they had drunk, breaking the moon into shards and ripples, he led them back to the coach, to wait. There”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Like a pebble dropped into a stream, his arrival had made a ripple in the surface of things. He’d felt that; he’d seen it in the way they looked at him, Sarah and Mrs. Hill and the little girl. But the ripples were getting fainter as they spread,”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“The intimacy of her name on his lips: the years fled like starlings.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Threads that drift alone will sometimes simply twine themselves together, without need for spindle or distaff: brought into each other’s ambit, they bind themselves tight with the force of their own torsion.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“It had been a dreadful miscalculation, she saw that now: that all of them should be unhappy, so that he should not be disgraced.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“Jane Austen’s work was my first experience of grown-up literature, and has supplied a lifetime of pleasure: it’s the only book that, as an adult, I re-read.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


“He was just a child himself, she saw. And lonely. He was the kind of man who probably always would be. 'Would you like some cake?' she tried. His countenance brightened. He would like some cake, he realized. He would like some cake very much indeed; he would like it above anything. When Sarah brought a slice of fruitcake up on a pretty blue-rimmed plate, she found that Mary was now also in the breakfast room, sitting stiffly on an upright chair near the young clergyman; she look round, heavy-eyed, when Sarah came in. Sarah had the distinct impression that she had disturbed not a conversation but a silence. Mary must be struggling to converse with him -- Sarah could sympathize -- too much time spent with books had not fitted her to be easy with herself, and other people. The young lady got up abruptly, and went to the window, and Mr. Collins got up too, looking relieved. He took the plat from Sarah and was profuse in his thanks, but then, with Mary there, did not know what to do with the cake after all.”
― Jo Baker, quote from Longbourn


About the author

Jo Baker
Born place: Lancashire, The United Kingdom
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