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No Regé-Jean Page in Bridgerton Season 2 and Other Book Adaptation Decisions That Have Upset Fans
We still haven’t fully recovered from Lady Whistledown’s announcement about the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) not returning to Bridgerton for its season two on Netflix.
The romantic show set in Regency-era London became Netflix’s biggest series ever when a record 82 million households around the world swooned in harmony and watched Bridgerton in the first 28 days after its debut.
Readers of the original novels by Julia Quinn, on which the show is based, probably had an inkling that season two would be sans Page since each book of the series focuses on one of the Bridgerton siblings and their love story.
Lady Whistledown — the incisive gossip writer voiced in the show by Julie Andrews — has indeed already reported Bridgerton ‘s much anticipated second season will be dominated by Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his quest to find a Viscountess. I know, Lord Bridgerton is no Duke of Hastings. But with Simon (Page) and Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) married, reconciled, pretty much in love and having already produced their first offspring by the end of Bridgerton season one, there’s not much more to add to that story other than a lot of everyday domesticities. And that hardly makes for good TV.
Bridgerton isn’t the only book adaptation that has upset fans. Here are some more examples of screen versions that angered readers and viewers.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas star in this adaptation of Anne Rice’s first book in The Vampire Chronicles. Regardless of the movie’s star power, Rice wasn’t exactly thrilled with the casting. The author — and the fans of her books — didn’t comprehend director Neil Jordan’s choice to play Lestat. “The Tom Cruise casting is so bizarre, it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work,” Rice said in an interview with Movieline before the release of the movie.
She had pointed out her preference of John Malkovich or Julian Sands ( A Room with a View ) for the role. “They needed an overpowering person like that, very blond, very tall, very athletic, very full. I think Brad Pitt would be a fabulous Lestat. I tried for a long time to tell them that they should just reverse these roles — have Brad Pitt [Louis] play Lestat and have Tom Cruise play Louis. Of course, they don’t listen to me.” Rice would later on praise Cruise and Pitt’s work in their respective roles after catching an early screening of the movie.
The outspoken author, who also wrote the movie’s script, said she trusted Jordan’s courage as a filmmaker. “He isn’t scared by gender, he loves to play with transcending gender and gender illusions and tricks. He’ll know how to work with those characters without being afraid of their homo-erotic quality,” she told Movieline . But the movie lacked some of the book’s subtleties and didn’t dwell on the more-than-friendship companionship that defines Lestat and Louis’ relationship.
The movie was made in 1994. Not only was Hollywood a far less progressive industry back then, but they were also not as adept at producing sequels. Or we’d have at least an adaptation of TheHomelandVampire Lestat with Cruise returning and another one of The Vampire Armand with Banderas in the lead.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann ( Moulin Rouge ) adapted the screenplay and directed this version of William Shakespeare’s classic romantic tale with then-teenager Claire Danes ( Homeland ) and early-twenties Leonardo DiCaprio playing the star-crossed lovers.
Shot for the most part in Mexico City but set in an alternative current-day Miami, the film turned the Montagues and the Capulets into two rival mafia families and swapped swords for guns. Deemed a Romeo and Juliet for the MTV generation , the movie is certainly unsuitable for those who prefer their Shakespearean adaptations as faithful as possible. “The madly flamboyant filmmaker Baz Luhrmann invents a whole new vocabulary for a story of star-crossed young love. It calls for pink hair, screaming billboards, tabloid television stories, music-video editing and a little hot dog shack called Rosencrantzky’s on Verona Beach,” The New York Times ‘ reviewer Janet Maslin wrote at the time . “Why bury Romeo and Juliet amid all this creative ferment?”
And while Maslin certainly has a point, the 25 years that have gone by since the movie was released have bestowed it with a patina of ’90s respectability. Not to mention, it boasts a soundtrack that features grungey indie-pop themes by Garbage, The Cardigans and Radiohead.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Let me be clear, we have nothing against Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name with a boyish Matt Damon in the titular role.
If anything, the problem with this adaptation is that it was made in 1999 and back then prestige TV had yet to become a thing. Now series and miniseries have become the preferred medium for adapting novels with complex protagonists and nuanced character development.
That is the case of the refined, polite yet sociopathic (and showing-murderous-tendencies) Tom Ripley. And while the movie version of The Talented Mr. Ripley is a very good rendition of the original material, with a stellar cast rounded out by Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman, there’s just so much more to this story and this character that was left out.
There’s only one Ripley movie but five Ripley books that see Tom throughout the years . And while none of the other Highsmith novels are as sharp and unexpected as that first one was, you still can’t avoid rooting for this anti-hero the whole time.
Fortunately, Showtime has a Ripley series in the works with Steven Zaillian ( Schindler’s List ) as writer and director of the first season . Andrew Scott ( Fleabag ) will play the lead and Zaillian wants to use the five novels in the book series as a roadmap for the progression of the show, with the first season being based on the first book. “The hope is that each [of the] subsequent four books will also each be an eight-episode season in the series,” he told Variety .
This movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga didn’t necessarily anger any fans of the books, who were quite happy about just how faithful the whole film and consequent four sequels were to the original books. But the contemporary love story starring Kirsten Stewart as an insecure teenager (Bella) and Robert Pattinson as a pale vampire posing as a high school student (Edward) didn’t satisfy those who didn’t read the books — or simply didn’t care for them.
“Many feminists just said no to Twilight and claimed the vampire was merely a metaphor for the dangers of pre-marital sexual intercourse,” Kate Muir said in a 2018 article about the 10th anniversary of the franchise’s debut . The piece also mentions Edward’s overprotection of Bella and her acquiescence. As well as the creepy fact that he likes watching her sleep in her bedroom.
Yet the five movies in the saga, which have been referred to as “ abstinence porn ,” grossed a combined $3.3 billion at the box office . The franchise also managed to create a thirst for adaptations of women-led young adult fantasy novels. And while Shailene Woodley’s Divergent , Lily Collins’ The Mortal Instruments and Amandla Stenberg’s The Darkest Minds wouldn’t end up becoming as successful as Twilight , we’ll always have Jennifer Lawrence’s The Hunger Games.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Joe Wright’s ( Atonement ) adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice — with a screenplay by Deborah Moggah ( The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ) — is almost perfect. It’s a timely version with impeccable production design and cinematography that explores the attraction and intimacy between the witty and smart Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and the proud and taciturn Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) in a way no previous adaptation had.
Yet Wright managed to not do what the previous quintessential version of this tale — the BBC 1995 miniseries starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle — handled to perfection: the casting of a dashing Mr. Darcy.
“Matthew Macfadyen, as Darcy, won’t make anyone forget Firth — he’s not so much brooding as sad,” wrote Seattle Times critic Moira Macdonald. She wasn’t the only one unconvinced by Macfayden’s Darcy. “ Anyone , including Mr. [Mickey] Rourke or even Gilbert Gottfried, would have made a livelier match for Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet than the sour Macfadyen,” Ken Tucker wrote, putting it sharply in his review for New York Magazine .
I can’t add much to that other than I have nothing against Macfadyen. He’s perfect as the thirsty-for-power, spineless Tom Wambsgans in HBO’s Succession . He’s just not Darcy material.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
There have been several adaptations of the Nordic noir book series Millennium about the hacker-turned-investigator Lisbeth Salander and the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. The first three original books in the bestselling series — written by Stieg Larsson — were adapted in a trilogy of Swedish movies starring Noomi Rapace ( Prometheus ) and Michael Nyqvist ( John Wick ) as the main protagonists.
The three original novels were published posthumously after Larsson’s death in 2004. But the writing series was continued by David Lagercrantz with three more books, the first of them — The Girl in the Spider’s Web — was published in 2013 and adapted for the screen with Claire Foy ( The Crown ) playing Salander in an English-language movie released in 2018.
The thing is, there had already been an English-speaking Salander before. Rooney Mara ( Carol ) donned the jet-black hair, piercings and punk clothing in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Daniel Craig was Blomkvist in that version. But besides a warm reception from critics , one Oscar win for editing and four more nominations — one of them for Mara — there were no Fincher-directed movie adaptations of books two and three — The Girl Who Played with Fire or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest .And there’s nothing a reader loves less than an unfinished series.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
When it comes to psychological thrillers with a murder mystery at the core, a miniseries adaptation tends to work better than a movie just because it allows more time for red herrings, character development and even humor. Case in point: Sharp Objects , The Undoing and Big Little Lies.
Yet David Fincher achieved quite the engrossing movie adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl — Flynn also adapted the screenplay — in which Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck proved to be perfect casting choices.
Sharing a lot of the same ingredients as Gone Girl is Laura Hawkins’ bestselling novel The Girl on the Train . But not even Emily Blunt playing the titular role managed to get this Tate Taylor ( The Help ) movie more than a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. It could have worked so much better as a prestige HBO limited series.
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Irish filmmaker Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this adaptation of Agatha Christie’s quintessential murder mystery set aboard a moving train. Branagh dons the ludicrous mustache and plays Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Penélope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie Odom Jr., Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Olivia Colman, Derek Jacobi and not-yet-cancelled Johnny Depp round out an astounding cast.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Murder on the Orient Express other than it could have been much better. It had all the elements — a solid and beloved source material; an incredibly talented ensemble; a healthy $55 million budget that allowed for portions of the shoot to take place in Malta and other international locations; and a respected and experienced filmmaker at the helm. But the movie didn’t quite gel. And some CGI-heavy sequences got in the way, nearly derailing the story. Murder on the Orient Express didn’t capture the audience the way Knives Out , another murder mystery story with a big ensemble cast and much less name recognition, would a couple of years later.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
Based on the 1962 young adult novel by Madeleine L’Engle , this adaptation was directed by Ava DuVernay’s ( Selma ), written by Jennifer Lee ( Frozen ) and starred Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Storm Reid. But it didn’t capture the critics or the audience. It has a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed just $132 million worldwide with an estimated budget of US$100.
The movie A Wrinkle in Time proved once more that sometimes translating the magic of words into images is a daunting task that requires a lot of moving pieces to fall in place just right. Adapting a beloved book is certainly no easy task.
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Read the 'Bridgerton' books to discover all siblings' happily-ever-afters
In 2000, Julia Quinn released her novel “The Duke and I," a Regency romance that focused on the relationship between Simon Basset, a young duke, and Daphne, the eldest daughter of an illustrious London family.
Two decades and one Netflix series later, audiences are still falling in love with Quinn's stories. The second season of "Bridgerton " will be released on March 25, striking a different, but no less swoonworthy, tone than the first for its approach to intimate scenes .
Quinn's novel "The Duke and I" introduced readers to the Bridgerton family, composed of eight alphabetically-named children (from Anthony to Hyacinth). From there came seven more "Bridgerton" novels, each devoted to a different sibling; several spin-off books; and the hit Netflix show "Bridgerton," which first premiered in Dec. 2020.
After season one of the popular series aired, many fans were eager to read the novels that inspired the show. Quinn's first "Bridgerton" novel hit the top of the New York Times bestseller list 21 years after its initial publication. Amid surging demand, book retailers struggled to keep stock in stores , and some individual hardcover copies were selling for more than $700 online . By March 2021, the books had been reprinted with brand-new cover art — and are readily available again.
Season two of the Netflix show is based on the second book in Quinn's series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me." Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), the eldest Bridgerton sibling, will meet his match in Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley . With the addition of new twists and plot points, the show brings Quinn's enemies-to-lovers meets love-triangle story to the screen.
To read Quinn's original series, and to find out what may be in store for the upcoming seasons of the show, here’s a round-up of all the “Bridgerton” books in order.
Book 1: “The Duke and I”
“The Duke and I”
Ah, the novel that started it all — and inspired season one of "Bridgerton," starring Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page.
In "The Duke and I," Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, agree to a fake relationship to further their own agendas. The aim of their elaborate plan is to make Daphne appear more desirable to other suitors, and get marriage-minded mothers off of Simon’s back. But neither accounted for one key variable getting in the way: love.
Set in 1813 London, this book introduces readers to the Bridgerton's high society world, where gossip travels faster than a horse-drawn carriage — and nobody can get enough of Lady Whistledown's columns documenting every delectable tidbit.
The inclusion of Lady Whistledown, the books' hallmark gossip columnist, started as an accident, according to Quinn’s website.
When Quinn first began writing the story, she struggled with how to introduce expository information — facts that were necessary to understanding the Bridgertons' world, but wouldn't naturally occur in dialogue. She came up with the idea of telling her protagonist’s backstory through a gossip column: Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers.
“It turned out to be the most happy accident in my entire career!” Quinn wrote on her website.
Book 2: “The Viscount Who Loved Me”
“The Viscount Who Loved Me”
“The Viscount Who Loved Me” returns to the "the ton" in 1814, a year after "The Duke and I" takes place. Readers follow what happens after Anthony Bridgerton — the eldest Bridgerton sibling, dubbed a "consummate rake" by Lady Whistledown — announces his intentions to marry at last.
Anthony sets his sights on newcomer Edwina Sheffield. The only thing standing in the way of an engagement is Edwina's older sister, Kate Sheffield. Kate, who is of the opinion that “reformed rakes” do not make good husbands, will do everything in her power to keep London’s most notorious one away from her sister.
This book is the inspiration for season two, introduces Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran as Kate and Edwina Sharma, newcomers to the social scene hailing from India. Jonathan Bailey reprises his role from season one as Anthony Bridgerton.
Book 3: “An Offer From a Gentleman”
“An Offer From a Gentleman”
Next up to London's marriage mart is Benedict Bridgerton, brother number two. His book, "An Offer from a Gentleman," is a classic Cinderella story, featuring an orphaned girl, a wicked stepmother, and a love-at-first-sight sequence at a ball.
Sophie Beckett is illegitimate daughter of an earl. After her father dies, Sophie is forced into a servant role by her cruel stepmother. On the evening of a masquerade ball hosted by the Bridgertons, Sophie is able to sneak away from her duties and attend. There, with her face concealed by a mask, she dances with the eligible bachelor Benedict before she has to make a midnight escape, leaving him pining after her.
"An Offer From a Gentleman" expands Benedict's story. In season one of Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” Benedict is depicted as a creative and artistic free spirit, struggling to find a place for himself in the rigid structures of London society. In the book, Benedict wrestles with forging his own identity separate from his large family. Essentially, he wants to be more than a “Bridgerton.”
“Bridgerton” has already been renewed for a season three, so you can expect to see Benedict Bridgerton (played by Luke Thompson) lock eyes with Sophie in a ballroom at some point in an upcoming season. Sophie has not been cast.
Book 4: “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”
“Romancing Mister Bridgerton”
The fourth book in the "Bridgerton" series puts the spotlight on the cheeky third Bridgerton brother, Colin. His love interest is a character you already know, and likely love: Penelope Featherington, the red-headed, yellow-clad friend of the Bridgertons.
While Eloise Bridgerton is her closest friend, Penelope has always had an unrequited crush on Eloise's older brother, Colin.
Set 10 years after the first novel, Colin finally sees Penelope in a different light — and learns the shy girl next door has secrets he never could have imagined.
Luke Newton, who plays Colin in "Bridgerton," told TODAY about what Colin sees in Penelope. "She gives him a sense of that warm feeling that reminds him of home. When he has a moment alone with Pen, it feels like he’s been really himself," Newton said of the characters' connection.
In "Bridgerton," Penelope's alter ego as Lady Whistledown is revealed at the end of season one (though Easter Eggs pointed to her identity throughout the season). Penelope's secret takes longer to come out in the books, and is part of the plot of "Romancing Mister Bridgerton."
“Bridgerton” has been renewed through a fourth season. Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton have already laid the groundwork for their characters' eventual romance.
Book 5: “To Sir Phillip, With Love”
“To Sir Phillip, With Love”
The next Bridgerton to find love is Eloise — and she embarks on quite a journey.
After maintaining a correspondence with a widower and famous scientist named Sir Phillip Crane, 28-year-old Eloise decides to take a leap of faith and accept his written proposal. She leaves her family home to marry a man she has never met. What more would we expect from the independent, free-spirited Eloise?
"Bridgerton" may already be setting up the events of "To Sir Phillip, With Love." Philip Crane appeared in season one as Marina Thompson's husband. He marries Marina in a bid to protect her honor: She is pregnant with his brother's child, and his brother died on the battlefield.
As of season two, Marina Thompson and Phillip Crane are still married — though by the the time book five opens, Marina has already died. No word on how the "Bridgerton" series will address Marina and Phillip's marriage.
Eloise Bridgerton is played by Claudia Jessie in the Netflix series. Marina Thompson is played by Ruby Barker and Phillip Crane by Chris Fulton.
Book 6: “When He Was Wicked”
“When He Was Wicked”
"When He Was Wicked" offers a change in scenery, swapping out the London ton for a Scottish castle. The book also highlights a character you may not recognize from the show: Francesca Bridgerton, absent for most of season one (she was visiting her aunt in Bath, if you recall).
While her sister Eloise is bold and forthright with her opinions, Francesca is more reserved. But under her cool demeanor, she brings just as much wit.
"When He Was Wicked" introduces readers to two new characters: cousins John Stirling and Michael Stirling. When Michael first sees Francesca, it is love at first sight. The only problem? He meets her at a dinner celebrating her imminent marriage to his cousin, John. So begins a years-long love story.
In the show, Francesca is played by Ruby Stokes.
Book 7: “It’s In His Kiss”
“It’s In His Kiss”
Jumping out of alphabetical order, the seventh book follows the youngest Bridgerton child, Hyacinth.
In this book, Hyacinth — described as “fiendishly smart” and “devilishly outspoken” — crosses paths with Gareth St. Clair, grandson of none other than Lady Danbury. Hyacinth offers to help Gareth translate an old diary written in Italian that may contain information needed to secure his future.
In the show, Hyacinth, who is around 10 years old in season one, is played by Florence Hunt.
Book 8: “On the Way to the Wedding”
“On the Way to the Wedding”
To finish out the series, book eight follows the youngest Bridgerton son, Gregory. And it starts in a sprint, literally. As the title suggests, Gregory finds himself running to the altar to stop a wedding. But whose? To answer that question, the story jumps back in time to two months prior.
Gregory aims to find a true love match, just like his parents had. He sets his sights on Hermione Watson, but unfortunately, she is already in love with someone else. Hermione’s best friend, the engaged Lady Lucinda Abernathy, offers to help him win her over. But soon, Lucy starts falling for Gregory herself.
Gregory Bridgerton is around 12 years old in season one of the Netflix adaptation and is played by Will Tilston.
Here are more books about the Bridgerton family’s adventures.
Following the success of the eight novels in the “Bridgerton” series, Quinn released more stories about the fan-favorite London family, plus an entire prequel series about the Rokesby family , close friends of the Bridgertons.
“The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After”
While each of the eight books tie things up in a neat bow with an epilogue, readers wanted more. So in 2013, Quinn gave fans an updated glimpse into the lives of the eight couples by writing an additional epilogue for each, plus a bonus scene all about the family matriarch, Violet Bridgerton.
“The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton”
Technically, "The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton" is written by Julia Quinn — but Lady Whistledown might call herself the true author.
The 2021 book compiles Lady Whistledown's insights about the book series' characters, and features 13 new Whistledown columns. Each chapter focuses on a different character, opening with an introduction in Whistledown’s classic wink-and-nod style, and highlighting their best quotes and moments.
Quinn told TODAY that the book brings added insight to the characters who many viewers had fallen in love with through the screen.
“The television show, what it gives you that the books can’t, is an incredible visual. You have this ability to really focus on each character at once, I think. But books can bring more of the internal dialogue and the internal thoughts,” Quinn said.
Maddie Ellis is a weekend editor at TODAY Digital.
A Guide to the Bridgerton Books
Kathleen Keenan is a writer and children's book editor in Toronto. In addition to Book Riot, she has written for Reel Honey, The Billfold, and The Canadian Press. She also edits a monthly newsletter for the indie bookstore A Novel Spot. Kathleen has an MA in English with a focus on nineteenth-century fiction, and there is nothing she loves more than a very long Victorian novel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @KathleenMKeenan or find her writing even more about books at kathleenmkeenan.com .
View All posts by Kathleen Keenan
Have you been watching Bridgerton ? A candy-coloured adaptation of a beloved Regency romance series (with, thankfully, diverse casting) is just what we need in these times. If you weren’t familiar with Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books before Shonda Rhimes’s production company adapted them, now is your chance to read all eight. And then, luckily for you, there are other Julia Quinn books to read. Here’s a guide to the Bridgerton books and a look at some of Quinn’s other novels.
The Bridgerton Series
The Bridgerton Netflix show is based on Quinn’s eight novels about the family. There are eight Bridgerton siblings and each one gets their own book, so season one of the Netflix show is mostly an adaptation of the first book in the series, while season two is the same for the second. We’ve gotten word that the third season will actually portray the events of the fourth book, but will have to wait and see how the show’s creators and writers plan to handle forthcoming seasons—they may blend books together, as some of the storylines happen concurrently even though they’re in different novels. One consistent plot thread through the books is the existence of Lady Whistledown, an anonymous gossip columnist whose risqué columns set off several of the events in each book.
I don’t think these books necessarily have to be read in series order. I started with book 6 and was able to catch up pretty quickly. But the books do follow one another, so here’s a breakdown of the series in order.
The Duke and I
The Duke and I , like season one, is about Daphne, oldest Bridgerton daughter, who enters into a fake courtship with Simon, a duke. The situation is supposed to benefit both of them—Simon will avoid other marriage-minded ladies and Daphne will attract notice from gentlemen who’ve overlooked her. But the more time they spend together, the more real their relationship starts to feel. So now, not only is Daphne falling in love with Simon while pretending to be in love with him, she’ll have to find a way to convince him that they should take their courtship from fake to real.
The Viscount Who Loved Me
The titular viscount here is Anthony, the oldest Bridgerton, who is enjoying bachelor life and has no plans to marry. Or so says Lady Whistledown. Anthony has actually decided it’s time to settle down, and he’s found the perfect ladylike candidate. Unfortunately, her annoying sister, Kate Sheffield, keeps getting in the way. Kate is determined to protect her sister from marriage to a notorious rake, but she finds that she’s not immune to Anthony’s charms after all. As they continue their battle of wits—and wills—they discover that they may be better together than they realize…
You’ll notice a few differences between Bridgerton season two and The Viscount Who Loved Me , including Kate and her sister’s Indian name and heritage, as well as a few plot points. But both are similarly entertaining.
An Offer from a Gentleman
This book is a take on Cinderella. Sophie Beckett has been cursed with a mean stepmother and placed in the role of a servant—even though she’s an earl’s daughter. When she manages to sneak away to a masquerade ball, she has the night of her life, thanks to the “Prince Charming” she encounters there: Benedict Bridgerton. And though Sophie knows they can never be together, Benedict is determined to find his mystery woman. That is, if he didn’t keep getting distracted by a familiar-seeming woman dressed like a housemaid, who he seems to be drawn to against his will. It’s unclear why the folks at Bridgerton decided to jump ahead past this book, but all will reveal itself in time.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton
I think this is a favorite book in the series for many Bridgerton fans, because the main characters, Colin and Penelope, are so appealing. Colin is the third Bridgerton brother, a notorious charmer who has resisted settling down in favor of spending time abroad. But he’s tired of being thought of as nothing but a rake, and he’s especially tired of Lady Whistledown’s gossip column for implying that’s all he is. Meanwhile, Penelope has been watching Colin from afar for years—and has been in love with him for almost as long. When he returns from abroad and their paths cross again, Colin finds that Penelope isn’t the same wallflower she used to be. Penelope finds that she’s still in love with him. But she’s been keeping a huge secret that threatens to upend everything she holds dear, especially if Colin finds out.
To Sir Philip, With Love
Eloise Bridgerton is a spinster. She doesn’t have much to occupy her time, aside from her new correspondence with her deceased cousin’s husband, Sir Philip Crane. Philip needs a mother for his children, so he proposes, sight unseen, figuring Eloise is just desperate enough to accept. And though Eloise thinks the scheme is ridiculous, something in her makes her say yes…and then she’s off to the country to meet her match. Unfortunately, Philip turns out to be rugged and rough, not much of a match at all. But he is handsome. And his children need someone. And without the rest of society watching them, maybe they can find a way to connect.
When He Was Wicked
Michael Stirling, noted rake, has a secret. He’s been in love with Francesca Bridgerton since he first saw her. Unfortunately, the first time he saw her was just days before her wedding—to his cousin. Michael loves his cousin, and he grows to cherish Francesca’s friendship, too. But then the unthinkable happens, and Francesca is left alone. Can Michael convince her to see him as more than her trusted friend and confidante?
It’s in His Kiss
If there’s a Bridgerton everyone fears, it’s youngest daughter Hyacinth. She’s smart, outspoken, and fearless. Gareth St. Clair has always found her best in small doses. But now that his father is threatening to ruin his inheritance, and Gareth needs someone to translate an old diary written in Italian to stop him, Hyacinth is the only one who can help. Her Italian isn’t quite perfect, but the more time they spend together, the closer they are to finding the answers they seek.
On the Way to the Wedding
Gregory Bridgerton isn’t like his rakish older brothers. He believes in love at first sight. And when he first sees Hermione Watson, he knows it’s her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t agree—she’s in love with someone else, a man her best friend Lady Lucinda Abernathy has deemed a most improper match. So Lucy agrees to help Gregory win Hermione over. Lucy herself is engaged to a man her uncle chose, so there’s no risk of feelings getting involved…right?
The Bridgerton Prequels
Quinn is also currently writing a Bridgerton prequel series set in the late 18th century. It follows the Rokesby and Bridgerton families, country neighbors and close friends with children of marriageable age. So far, there are four books in this series: Because of Miss Bridgerton , The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband , The Other Miss Bridgerton , and First Comes Scandal . These books share a similar feel to the original Bridgerton books—a close-knit family, amusing shenanigans—but they don’t have quite the same charm as the originals, in my opinion.
The Smythe-Smith Quartet
The unfortunate Smythe-Smith family musicale makes an appearance in several of the original Bridgerton books. In the Smythe-Smith family, it’s tradition for the eldest unmarried daughters to form a quartet and play a concert every year…but they are all awful at music. The Smythe-Smith musicale is mostly an object of amusement in the Bridgerton books, but in this quartet of novels our main characters are the unlucky musicians themselves. These have a light, not-too-angsty tone and are lots of fun. The four books are Just Like Heaven , A Night Like This , The Sum of All Kisses , and The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy .
Other Julia Quinn Books
Quinn has a number of other trilogies and duos. If you want to read more of her work, The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume? are good places to start. Her website has a complete list of the rest of her books . And, of course, she’s still writing more.
Once you’ve read all of the Bridgerton books, and Quinn’s other work, you can move on to some of the many other great historical romances out there. You can check out this list of Bridgerton alternatives to try , or do a deep dive into specific authors. Start with the work of Courtney Milan , Beverly Jenkins , Lisa Kleypas , Sherry Thomas, Eloisa James , Tessa Dare , and Jeannie Lin. If the humor and banter of Bridgerton are what you’re after, try Lydia San Andres’s A Summer for Scandal , Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke , Minerva Spencer’s Notorious or Martha Waters’s To Have and to Hoax . And if you’re in the mood to read a whole completed series, here’s a list of recommendations .
You may also want to check out this Book Riot list of historical romance by Black authors and our suggestions for how newbies can get into historical romance . And if the fire that Bridgerton lit just won’t go out, try this list of steamy historical romances . After all, it’ll be a long wait for the next season of Bridgerton —thank goodness we have books to keep us occupied!
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What Happens In The Bridgerton Books?
If you’re as impatient as queen charlotte, here’s what happens in the bridgerton books, more from tv, r29 original series.
A Complete Guide to All the Bridgerton Books in Order
Published on 3/9/2023 at 3:30 PM
The next season of Netflix's " Bridgerton " is just months away, and we're already counting down the days until we get to reunite with the Bridgertons, the Featheringtons, Lady Danbury, Queen Charlotte , and the rest of the ton! To fill the time while we wait for our favorites to return to our screens, it seems like the perfect time to revisit Julia Quinn's series of historical romance novels that inspired the TV show.
Published primarily between 2000 and 2006 (with a final "epilogue" published in 2013), Quinn's novels trace a familiar story: the romantic trials and tribulations of the wealthy Bridgerton family in Regency-era England. Each of the eight siblings gets their own book and their own unique path to a romantic happily ever after, from a fake courtship with a duke and a friendship that becomes more to a widow finding second love and much more.
Of course, Quinn's novels just form a basic blueprint for the TV adaptation. Netflix's series has already made plenty of changes , both big and small, to the books' storylines, and we're pretty sure there are plenty more changes to come! The TV version has even shifted the order of the siblings' stories, with Colin's story — the fourth book in the series — getting bumped up ahead of his older brother Benedict's to anchor the third season of the TV show . If you're looking to read the Bridgerton books in order, though, keep reading for a complete guide as to what order to read them in and what you can expect.
"Bridgerton" Books in Order
- "The Duke and I"
- "The Viscount Who Loved Me"
- "An Offer From a Gentleman"
- "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton"
- "To Sir Phillip, With Love"
- "When He Was Wicked"
- "It's in His Kiss"
- "On the Way to the Wedding"
- "The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After"
"The Duke and I"
" The Duke and I ," the first book in the Bridgerton book series, just like the first season of the Netflix adaptation, centers on Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter and fourth-eldest Bridgerton sibling. Daphne has been "out" in society for a couple of seasons and, while well-liked, seems to be viewed as a friend rather than a potential wife by most eligible suitors.
When she crosses paths with Simon, the newly returned Duke of Hastings, the unlikely pair realize they can help one another. They'll fake a courtship to improve Daphne's prospects and to ward off the meddling mamas pushing their daughters at Simon — but as any fan of the "fake dating" trope expects, the line soon gets blurred between their fake relationships and real feelings.
"The Viscount Who Loved Me"
Anthony Bridgerton became the Viscount Bridgerton at far too young an age after his father's sudden death from a bee sting. In " The Viscount Who Loved Me ," more than a decade into the role, he's decided it's time to marry and have heirs to ensure the continuation of the Bridgerton line. The only catch? He's determined that love will have no role in his marriage.
Anthony quickly sets his sights on the charming Edwina Sheffield, but there's an obstacle in his path: her older sister Kate, whose approval he needs to marry Edwina — and she is very unwilling to give it. Anthony and Kate may loathe each other at first, but the sparks between them are undeniable, throwing both their lives into upheaval.
"An Offer From a Gentleman"
" An Offer From a Gentleman " puts the second Bridgerton son, Benedict, at the center of the story. After meeting a mysterious lady at a masked ball, Benedict Bridgerton is in love. He insists he will not marry until he can find his mystery lady and sweep her off her feet. What he doesn't know is that the woman behind the mask is right under his nose.
Sophie Beckett, the illegitimate daughter of an earl, is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. She sneaks out incognito for one glorious night at the famed Bridgerton ball, but when her stepmother finds out what she's done, she's cast out. Fortunately, she finds employment as a maid in the Bridgerton household.
Despite her best efforts, she grows close to Benedict and the others, but Benedict struggles to reconcile his growing feelings for Sophie with his vow to his mystery lady.
"Romancing Mr. Bridgerton"
The third season of Netflix's "Bridgerton" skips ahead to adapt the fourth book in the series, " Romancing Mr. Bridgerton ." Penelope Featherington has loved Colin Bridgerton for years, but he only sees her as a good friend. After a decade "out" in society, Penelope remains the ton's wallflower, while Colin has spent years traveling and trying to figure out a role for himself as a third son.
Then, almost all at once, Colin begins to see Penelope in a very different light. Can their friendship turn into something more, after all these years? And more importantly, what will happen when the true identity of Lady Whistledown finally comes to light?
"To Sir Phillip, With Love"
We're still at least a year or two away from Eloise's season of the Netflix show, but the title of " To Sir Phillip, With Love " hints that we've already met her future love. Eloise strikes up a correspondence with Sir Phillip Crane, the widow of the Bridgertons' cousin Marina (yes, that Marina — she's a Bridgerton cousin, not a Featherington cousin, in the books, and not even mentioned until the fifth book).
Then, much to both their surprises, Phillip impulsively proposes — and even more surprisingly, Eloise decides to accept, given the chaos happening in her own life. When she shows up on his doorstep, what happens next isn't quite what either of them had planned.
"When He Was Wicked"
" When He Was Wicked " turns the story over to Francesca, the third Bridgerton daughter. She marries young, with a love match to the handsome and charming John Stirling, a Scottish earl. After a few happy years together, though, John suddenly dies, and the earldom passes to his cousin and Francesca's friend, Michael Stirling.
Michael is hiding a few secrets of his own, including the fact that he fell in love at first sight with Francesca — not that he's ever allowed that to show. Years after the loss of John, however, he and Francesca find their way into each other's orbit once again, if only they can allow themselves to act on their feelings and pursue new happiness.
"It's in His Kiss"
Hyacinth may be the youngest Bridgerton sibling, but her book, " It's in His Kiss ," actually comes before her older brother Gregory's. The baby of the Bridgerton bunch is all grown up and has become a popular, confident young woman. At one party, she crosses paths with Gareth St. Clair, a young man whose father has left him in a sticky situation. His sole clue to uncovering the truth about his family and his inheritance is an old diary — which happens to be written in Italian.
Hyacinth agrees to help Gareth translate the mysterious diary. The more time they spend together, however, the less they think about the mysteries of the past and the more they think about the prospects of the future.
"On the Way to the Wedding"
The final full-length "Bridgerton" novel is " On the Way to the Wedding ," wrapping up with the story of the youngest Bridgerton brother. Gregory falls head over heels in love with one Hermione Watson, who, much to his dismay, is already in love with someone else. Her best friend, Lady Lucinda Abernathy, disapproves of Hermione's current suitor, so she agrees to help Gregory win her over — only to fall for Gregory herself.
The madcap romantic back-and-forth only gets more complicated as Gregory realizes Lucy is, in fact, his perfect match — but she's already engaged, and her uncle is unwilling to let her break her engagement. It'll take a lot of courage, and true love, to get this tangled web of missed connections and mistaken engagements unraveled.
"The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After"
" The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After ," the last book in the Bridgerton series, isn't a full novel but a collection of shorter pieces that wrap up the Bridgertons' stories. The collection features "second epilogues" for all eight of the Bridgerton siblings' stories, catching up with their romances after happily ever after and revealing a few more tidbits about where they all end up, what happens with a few dangling plot threads, and even what happens to a few beloved side characters.
Plus, there's a short novella focused on the one Bridgerton who doesn't have her own book. Violet Bridgerton, the matriarch of the family, gets to share bits and pieces of her own story as she watches her children grow up and thinks back on the great love she had and lost.
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Who’s Who in Bridgerton : A Books-to-Series Character Guide
Tighten up those corsets and snap open those folding fans, people: It’s swooning season. Which is to say: Bridgerton is back for season two. The Netflix series, produced by Shonda Rhimes and created by Chris Van Dusen, is based on the best-selling Regency-era romance novels by Julia Quinn. Spanning 1813 to 1827, the eight books chronicle the lives and loves and steamy hookups of the eight Bridgerton siblings (each novel focuses on a different sibling’s story), who are part of a well-off and well-respected family in high-society London, aka “the ton” — short for “ le bon ton ” or “good manners.” The first season of Bridgerton aligns most closely with the first book in the series, The Duke and I , and follows the eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne’s story. The second season follows suit and pulls its major arc from the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me , about firstborn son Anthony. Both seasons dip into some of the later novels while making necessary changes, not just in the show’s racially diverse casting but with new or revamped story lines.
If you’re thinking, Umm, this seems like a lot, and I am already confused, you’re not alone! The Bridgertons may be named in alphabetical order, but for newbies to the ton, they’re easy to mix up. Add in all the other lords and ladies and dukes and anonymous gossip columnists who spend the social season in London and you have a whole mess of people to keep straight. Since some of us have already tackled this world in book form, we have insider knowledge that may be useful as you make your way through the TV show. Here’s a character cheat sheet to help you parse who’s who and what they’re all up to based on information from both the novels and season one (so yes, Dearest Reader, there are many spoilers). As you make your way through all the Regency scandals your heart desires, This Author advises you to prepare yourself.
The New Arrivals
Nothing like some fresh meat to shake up the ton.
Kate Sheffield/Kate Sharma The most important new face in high-society London is our Kate. In the novels, she’s Kate Sheffield, the spinster elder half-sister of the 1814 social season’s Incomparable, Edwina. Kate has had to wait to come out to society until the same season as her younger sister because of the family’s dire financial situation. Things have been particularly rough since Kate’s father died five years prior, and both Kate and her stepmother Mary believe Edwina will be the one to secure a fortune and keep the family from becoming destitute. Much of this is because Kate has zero time for the niceties expected from women of the time. In short, she’s not afraid to speak her mind; in some cases, she can’t help it. Especially when it comes to a certain viscount she finds both abhorrent and charming. Hmm, I guess add falling for Anthony Bridgerton to the list of things Kate just can’t help. In the TV series, this character is Kate Sharma, still half-sister to the much more desired Edwina, still arriving on the Marriage Mart scene to make sure her sister makes a good match, and still not afraid to say what she thinks. Oh yes, and still very much into telling off a certain viscount while clearly fighting feelings for him. Do not forget that part.
Edwina Sheffield/Edwina Sharma Kate’s younger sister in both book and TV form is quite lovely. You want to hate someone who is so popular but in this case, you can’t. The Incomparable of the season is kind and charming and makes it known that she would much rather be inside reading than roaming the countryside. In fact, in the novels, Edwina admits she thinks her perfect match would be some sort of scholar. But just because she isn’t as outspoken as her sister, doesn’t mean Edwina lacks a mind of her own. Most of her story has to do with figuring that out.
Mary Sheffield/Mary Sheffield-Sharma Good on Julia Quinn for not making Lady Mary a trope-y evil step-mother. (That’s for a character in the next book!) She’s a woman who loves both of her daughters equally and makes sure they — especially Kate — know it. In the novel, Mary marries Kate’s father when Kate is just three, but assures her she was her child from the moment they met. It’s actually very nice. While Book Mary is just a widow managing her two daughters, TV Mary gets a much richer and more interesting backstory: She was a member of the ton until she fell in love with Mr. Sharma, Kate’s dad, and her family cast her out because he was not of English nobility. The Sharmas move to India and eventually, Mr. Sharma dies. When her youngest is of age, Mary brings her two daughters back to England in the hopes of finding Edwina a husband. Mary’s parents, Lord and Lady Sheffield, are brought in for the TV series, and they’re as terrible as you’d imagine people who disown their child for falling in love would be. However, they play a pivotal role in the plot.
Newton!! What a good boy!!
Kate’s dog (in both the book and show) is not only the most mischievous little corgi to mingle with the likes of the ton , he is also a king, okay? And yes, I know that might be treasonous in a monarchy, but I said what I said.
Edmund Bridgerton, the late Viscount Okay, maybe this is a little bit of a cheat, because we have certainly heard much of Edmund, father of all those Bridgerton kids. But it isn’t until season two that we actually meet him, and that’s because, as we learn in the second novel, Edmund’s untimely death due to a bee allergy (about ten years before the start of these Bridgerton shenanigans) is the motivation for so many of Anthony’s choices as an adult. He wasn’t even twenty when he had to take his father’s place as the head of the family. Anthony aside, what we learn in both the show and The Viscount Who Loved Me is that Edmund was a killer dad who wanted to spend as much time with his kids as he could — something unheard of in his day. Also, he and Violet had a love that is hard to live up to. Oh, and not surprisingly, he was a DILF, a term I bet Lady Whistledown would’ve used had she been made aware. Dearest Gentle Reader, behold the rarest of ton finds, a DILF of the First Water!
Theo Sharpe Invented for the TV series, Theo Sharpe works at the print shop that counts Lady Whistledown as a customer, is super into women’s rights, and appreciates conversations with well-read, curious people — even if they do happen from one of society’s most well-known families.
Lord Jack Featherington Another TV-only character, Jack Featherington is the heir to the Featherington household. Younger and hotter than everyone expecred, the new lord arrives from the Americas in the possession of many guns, some ruby mines, and of course, secretssss.
The Familiar Faces
This lot has been around the ballroom before, but we could all use a refresher.
Anthony Bridgerton, Viscount Oh, Anthony. Book Anthony and Show Anthony are pretty similar in that both were completely devastated by the loss of their father at a formative time in their lives and are 100 percent scarred from the grief and trauma they still have not fully processed. Fun, right? Anthony hides behind an inflexible notion of duty and responsibility so as to avoid any additional pain; in the novel, he harbors an intense fear of dying young like his father. In the TV show, he allows himself to fall for opera singer Siena Rosso only to have his heart stomped on. In both cases, Anthony vows to find a wife who fits a list of sensible requirements, including being someone he will in no way be able to fall in love with. No feelings allowed!! It’s why Anthony begins to court Miss Edwina, whom he views as his social equal, and why Kate takes such umbrage with him coming for her sister’s chances at finding love. If only she knew this slutty boy just misses his dad and has so much inner turmoil to work out!
Lady Danbury Every social circle needs a Lady Danbury. She’s terrifying but in a way that makes you want to be her when you grow up. She’s a dowager who has been around for longer than anyone and she knows what’s up; she says what she wants, when she wants, and her opinions are usually correct. She works a cane like no other. She was friendly with Simon Basset’s late mother, and this relationship is expanded in the TV series as she becomes a guardian-type figure in his youth and helps guide him to a happy marriage in season one. In season two, her role is wisely upgraded from the books and she becomes the Sharmas’ sponsor for the social season. Her closeness with Queen Charlotte also comes into play, as it is both a blessing and a curse. If the sport of high society is husband-hunting, Lady D is the MVP.
Penelope Featherington a.k.a Lady Whistledown Oh, that’s right, buddy — it was revealed at the end of season one (and in book four, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton ) that everyone’s favorite wallflower Penelope Featherington is the ton ’s most famous and ruthless gossip writer, Lady Whistledown. In her real life, Penelope is overlooked or made fun of by almost everyone, including her mother and terrible sisters; is friend-zoned by the object of her affection, Colin Bridgerton; and is forced to wear the most unflattering dresses into, like, her twenties. She has two respites: her friendship with Eloise Bridgerton and her alter ego. Lady Whistledown is anything but a bystander — the people of the ton can’t inhale her scandal sheet fast enough — including, in the TV series, the Queen. In the novels, Whistledown’s identity is revealed to everyone all at once and she has some major explaining to do. In the TV series, only the audience is aware of her identity as we enter season two, but it stands to reason that if the show decided to make that reveal well ahead of the novels, they’ll be doing something else with that information moving forward. Especially since Queen Charlotte has made Lady Whistledown Public Enemy Number One.
Eloise Bridgerton God bless Eloise Bridgerton! She has exactly no time for the whole of society bearing down on her, telling her the only future available as a woman is to get married. She wants more from life — that’s why she’s happy with spinsterhood, and throughout the novels goes about turning down six different marriage proposals. She’s smart and biting and extremely observant — a detective-in-training, you might call her. When we meet her in 1813, she’s on the cusp of making her debut in society and is 100 percent dreading it. Eloise doesn’t want to play games — at least, not this one — and she’s happy to fight off her fate as long as possible. In the TV series, she’s wholly preoccupied with figuring out who Lady Whistledown really is, not realizing it’s her dearest friend Penelope. This obsession is sure to take her to some interesting places in season two.
Violet Bridgerton, the Dowager Viscountess The Dowager Viscountess is mother to the uncomfortably large Bridgerton brood, and as with any mother of any amount of children in Regency England, Violet is preoccupied with getting them all married off and out of her hair — er, making sure they’re happy. Unlike other “marriage-minded mamas” in the novels, Violet wants her kids to make love matches. She wants this so much she’s even down with one of her kids possibly marrying a servant, which is unheard of. I mean, they’d have to go live in the country and be shunned forever, but she wouldn’t be doing the shunning, you know? She’s a real proponent of following one’s joy as long as joy means marriage, because let’s not get too carried away. In the books, but especially in the TV series, she is still very much in both love and mourning for her dear Edmund. No one had a love like Violet and Edmund!
Queen Charlotte She doesn’t figure into the novels, but she was the actual wife of King George III during this time in history. In the series, Queen Charlotte looms large over the activities of the ton. She is not only the season’s tastemaker, selecting the Diamond of the Season (in season one, it was Daphne), but she’s also become obsessed with unmasking Lady Whistledown. She also has a sort-of friendship with Lady Danbury (does a Queen really have any friends?), a tragic love story with the King who has dementia, and holy hell can she work some fabulous wigs.
Benedict Bridgerton Just don’t call him No. 2, okay? He’s a human being, with feelings and thoughts and, most surprising, some real artistic skills. The second Bridgerton child, Benedict harbors a secret talent for sketching and painting. Major future spoiler here, but eventually Benedict is so good that he gets a painting into the National Gallery, and we’re all here for that kind of career success. Less successfully, Benedict tries to cover up his feelings of uselessness within his family. With his older brother the heir and viscount, Benedict doesn’t really know his place. He does, however, know he feels a bit stifled by the rules of the society he lives in. He is an artist, after all. In the novels, Benedict keeps his dreams to himself until they’re revealed in his novel, the third in the series, An Offer From A Gentleman . In the TV show, his family is already well aware of his skills and, eventually, are pretty supportive. Even Anthony seems onboard with Benedict dabbling in the bohemian lifestyle, which includes three-ways at wild art parties and a casual dalliance with Genevieve Delacroix, the ton ’s modiste. Okay, I don’t think Anthony knows about the three-way, but he’d probably still be cool with it, knowing that capital-R Rake.
Colin Bridgerton Colin’s the funny, charming Bridgerton, but he’d like to be thought of as more than just a good time. Like Benedict, Colin feels a bit lost being a man with no title (don’t worry, we don’t feel bad for these rich boys). As the third Bridgerton, he sees Anthony as the head of the family, watches as Benedict finds fulfillment in his art, and stands by as people make happy marriage matches all around him. In the novels, he’s so adamantly against being forced into a marriage that he spends his time traveling abroad. This fills part of his void, but he’s looking for more. In season one of the show, Colin falls for Featherington cousin Marina Thompson, but discovers he’s part of a scheme to get her married before people realize she’s pregnant. He, uh, does not take the heartbreak well, and this is what sends him off on his travels. Maybe this dude needs to OPEN HIS FREAKING EYES to someone very close to him who adores him and might be perfect for him even if she doesn’t wear the most flattering dresses. Ugh, men are the worst in every era, aren’t they? In the books, it takes Colin, like, eight years to see Penelope as more than just a friend, so we’ll see what the show does with that.
The Duchess of Hastings, or: Daphne Bridgerton Bassett You may know Daphne, Bridgerton Sibling Number 4, as the Diamond of the Season, the picture-perfect Regency Girl who had a lot of things to learn both about the pleasures of sex and the science of it (in that order!). Season one of Bridgerton closely followed the first novel in Quinn’s series, The Duke and I , which was all about Daphne searching for a husband. She strikes a deal with the ton’s resident Sad Boy with Daddy Issues, Simon Bassett, to pretend they’re courting — to help her seem desirable and him to keep the mothers with eligible daughters at bay — and they end up falling for one another. Since season two will mirror the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me , and focus on Anthony’s love story, Daphne and Simon figure much less into the plot. In the novel, they show up for family events, including a riveting match of pall-mall. In the show, only Daphne will be on hand to offer some wisdom to her brother about surviving the social season. Regardless, they seem very happy together, off making alphabetically-named babies, so that’s nice! Happy endings forever!!
Genevieve Delacroix Madame Delacroix, a character invented just for the TV series, is the most in-demand modiste in London. Because almost every high-society woman passes through her doors in need of a dress, she always knows what’s going on in the ton . In season one, she starts hooking up with Benedict Bridgerton, but it’s nothing serious at the moment. We’ll see who else she forms a surprising bond with in season two.
Francesca and Gregory and Hyacinth Bridgerton Sorry not sorry, but we have a lot of Bridgertons to keep track of, and since the three youngest of the brood are just kids when we begin, they’ll remain on the fringes of the story for now. But please know these kids do grow up and get their own novels about their pursuits of romance.
Lady Portia Featherington In the novels, Lady Featherington is the widowed mother of four daughters, and like most mamas in high-society London, just wants them to marry a good match. Of course, for Lady Featherington, “good” really only means “rich.” She’s, well, let’s call it “unkind” to daughter Penelope, dotes on her two older daughters Philipa and Prudence even though they are dumb and awful (in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton , one character notes that spending time with the Featherington sisters would “make a grown man wish himself aboard a ship to Australia”), and she’s known for being one of the most gossipy women in town. You don’t want Lady Featherington to find you in a compromising situation, that’s for sure. The TV series nixes Lady Featherington’s youngest daughter Felicity and made her put up with a truly terrible husband with a gambling problem who ends up dead by the end of season one. That leaves Lady Featherington to await the heir of their estate, hope Philipa’s betrothal still goes through, and find enough money so the family doesn’t get kicked out of the ton in season two.
Cressida Cowper This! Woman! Cressida is the mean girl of the ton. She’ll cut anyone who stands in her way of getting a good husband. I don’t mean physically cut, because I don’t think high-society women were allowed to hold knives in the Regency era unless they were buttering a crumpet (I base this on zero research but know I have read and watched Pride and Prejudice an alarming number of times), but rather, I mean cutting down someone verbally, which is to say she spends her time tormenting people we like (Daphne, Penelope, et al.). Honestly, how dare she?
Marina Thompson Crane and Sir Phillip Crane Marina is perhaps one of the biggest character deviations from book to screen. She doesn’t show up until Eloise’s book, To Sir Phillip, With Love , the fifth in the series. She’s a distant Bridgerton cousin who suffers from depression and is married to her dead fiancé’s brother for eight years before attempting suicide and dying from complications soon after. (This all takes place at the start of that novel, so it isn’t a huge spoiler.) In the TV series, she’s a Featherington cousin who comes to live with the family at the start of season one, and although she immediately wins over many suitors, she harbors a deep love for a soldier named George Crane and arrives pregnant with his babies, much to the devastation of Lady Featherington. Through some help from Daphne, Marina learns that George died in the war but wanted to be with her. Enter Sir Phillip, George’s brother, who arrives in London and says he’d like to marry her and raise her kids. Marina isn’t thrilled, but she doesn’t have other options. Sir Phillip is a nice man in both the show and the books, albeit a raging plant nerd, and you can probably guess by the fact that his name is in Eloise’s book’s title that he has a much larger role to play in the Bridgerton novels. In the show? Time — or Lady Whistledown — will tell.
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Bridgerton is a series of books by Julia Quinn , chronicling the love stories of the eight Bridgerton siblings, named alphabetically from Anthony to Hyacinth .
Synopsis [ ]
Eight siblings, alphabetically named. They bicker, they joke, but they love each other fiercely.
Notes and Trivia [ ]
- 1 Daphne Basset (Netflix)
- 2 Kate Bridgerton (Netflix)
- 3 Anthony Bridgerton (Netflix)
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'Bridgerton:' A Guide to Who Everyone Marries in the Books
Here’s a spoiler-filled guide to who everyone in the Bridgerton family ends up with in the books, including Daphne, Anthony, Colin, and more
Kelsie Gibson is the SEO Editor of PEOPLE Digital. Since joining the brand in 2021, she has contributed to a number of different verticals, writing and editing SEO content ranging from relationship timelines to TV and movie explainers. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Kelsie worked at POPSUGAR as the Celebrity and Entertainment editor, where she wrote and edited content and conducted various interviews for online and video at press junkets, red carpets, and events such as Tribeca Film Festival. She was also formerly at Bustle, Tiger Beat, and Her Campus and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bridgerton is back for another dramatic season.
Following Daphne and Simon's love story in season 1 , the second season follows the eldest Bridgerton son Anthony and his quest to find a wife .
While the season is filled with plenty of romance , you'll likely find yourself craving more by the end (especially with all the loose ends in the finale ).
Thankfully, there are still plenty more stories to tell as the Netflix series has already been renewed for seasons 3 and 4.
In Julia Quinn's Bridgerton 's novels , which the show is based on, each book centers around a different Bridgerton family member finding love.
Though the Netflix series has already made quite a few key changes from the book in seasons 1 and 2, the novels could still offer some indication of what's to come.
If you're curious to know how the entire book series plays out (including whether Penelope and Colin ever get together), read ahead for a spoiler-filled guide (you've been warned!) to the Bridgerton family love stories.
Who does Daphne marry in the Bridgerton books?
The first Bridgerton book, The Duke and I , centers around Daphne and Simon Basset's love story.
During the 1813 season, Daphne and Simon pretend to court each other but end up developing real feelings for each other. They eventually share a kiss in the garden, which Daphne's brother Anthony witnesses. As a result, he demands that Simon marry her.
Simon initially refuses to get married, but they eventually tie the knot in a simple ceremony. Their marriage is rocky at first, as Simon doesn't want to have children, but they end up reconciling their relationship in the end. They later give birth to a baby boy.
Who does Anthony marry in the Bridgerton books?
Anthony's love story is told in the second book in the Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me . During the 1814 season, Anthony decides to take a wife and sets his sights on Edwina Sheffield (whose name has been changed to Edwina Sharma for the series), after she is named the "Diamond of the First Water."
In an attempt to win Edwina over, he tries to impress her sister Kate, but eventually develops feelings for Kate instead. In the end, he and Kate marry.
Who does Benedict marry in the Bridgerton books?
Benedict, the second-oldest Bridgerton son, is the main character in the third Bridgerton novel, An Offer from a Gentleman . Benedict's love story plays out a bit like Cinderella as he meets and falls for a mystery woman at a masquerade ball during the 1815 season. Before he's able to get her name though, she departs the party at midnight, only leaving behind a single glove.
Two years later, Benedict encounters and rescues a young maid named Sophia "Sophie" Beckett as she's about to be taken advantage of by a group of men. He offers Sophie a job, not knowing that she is the same woman he fell for at the ball.
Torn between his growing love for Sophie and the search for his mystery girl at the masquerade ball, Benedict eventually decides to go find Sophie and profess his feelings and propose. He returns home to find her playing a game blindfolded and eventually puts together that she is the mystery woman from the ball.
After overcoming a few obstacles, the two eventually get married in the end.
Who does Colin marry in the Bridgerton books?
Colin's love story plays out in the fourth Bridgerton novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton .
After years of only seeing Penelope Featherington as just a friend, things begin to change for Colin after he returns from a trip abroad. As their relationship evolves, things take a turn when society becomes even more invested in discovering the identity of Lady Whistledown.
As Colin grapples with his feelings for Penelope, he becomes more confused when he learns that she is Lady Whistledown. Though they encounter a few more obstacles throughout the book, the story ends with them becoming husband and wife.
Who does Eloise marry in the Bridgerton books?
Eloise is the main character in the fifth book in the Bridgerton series, To Sir Phillip, with Love .
Following the death of Marina Thompson — who is the distant cousin of the Bridgertons, not the Featheringtons in the books — Eloise offers her condolences to her widower, Sir Phillip Cane. The two begin writing letters back and forth, and as a result, end up developing feelings for each other.
The two eventually meet in person, but when Eloise's older brothers learn she has met with a man unchaperoned, they demand he marry her, which he eventually does.
Who does Francesca marry in the Bridgerton books?
Francesca's love story is explored in the sixth Bridgerton novel, When He Was Wicked .
Unlike her siblings, Francesca actually gets married twice. She first marries a man named John Sterling, who is the Earl of Kilmartin, but he has a tragic, sudden death.
Following John's death, Francesca turns to her best friend and husband's cousin, Michael Stirling, who has secretly harbored feelings for her.
In the years following John's death, the two struggle with both grief and guilt, but eventually come together and get married in the end.
Who does Hyacinth marry in the Bridgerton books?
Hyacinth's love story plays out in the seventh Bridgerton novel, It's in His Kiss .
In the book, Hyacinth falls for Lady Danbury's grandson, Gareth St. Clair, after they work together on translating his old family diary written in Italian.
Through their partnership, they develop feelings for each other and end up getting married.
Who does Gregory marry in the Bridgerton books?
Gregory Bridgerton is the main character in the eighth Bridgerton novel, On the Way to the Wedding .
Gregory's story is another great friends-to-lovers romance. Initially, he has his sights set on a young woman named Hermione Watson, but she has her eyes on another.
Believing that Gregory is a better match for Hermione, her friend Lady Lucinda "Lucy" Abernathy agrees to help him win her over. However, in the end, Gregory and Lucy end up developing feelings for each other.
The two eventually marry, but not before Lucy has to break off an engagement with someone else.
Bridgerton season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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Eight siblings, alphabetically named. They bicker, they joke, but they love each other fiercely.
The bridgerton series.
- Reading Order
- Series Description
- Series Extras
Daphne & Simon
Read · Buy · Listen
Anthony & Kate
Benedict & Sophie
Colin & Penelope
Eloise & Phillip
Francesca & Michael
Hyacinth & Gareth
Gregory & Lucy
Including violet’s story.
Queen charlotte & george iii.
four stories tied together
About the Bridgerton Series
2023 BRIDGERTON BOOK NEWS! Queen Charlotte is a novel set in the Bridgerton-verse, co-written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn and television pioneer Shonda Rhimes, inspired by the original series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story , created by Shondaland and streaming on Netflix. FIND OUT MORE!
~ The Bridgerton Book Series ~
Set between 1813 and 1827, the Bridgerton Series is a collection of eight novels, each featuring one of the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony , Benedict , Colin , Daphne , Eloise , Francesca , Gregory , and Hyacinth . I didn’t originally set out to write an eight-book series; at first it was just going to be a trilogy! But readers really took to the Bridgertons (and to the mysterious Lady Whistledown , whose gossip columns “narrated” the first four books), and I found myself rather enamored with the family, too.
After I was done with the series, however, I received hundreds of questions from readers about the Bridgertons and what happened to them later in their lives. So I decided to give all of the main characters an update in what I call “2nd Epilogues.” These stories, originally available as e-shorts, have now been collected into The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After , along with a bonus novella about Violet, called “Violet in Bloom.”
Ten books after the On the Way To the Wedding , I returned to the Bridgerton family. But instead of writing about the next generation, I went backwards, into the Georgian Era, which I’d found myself rather drawn to. And thus, Because of Miss Bridgerton began the story of The Rokesbys , the family who lived next door…
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Reader Questions about the Bridgerton Series
- What is the order of the Bridgerton books?
- Why does Hyacinth’s story come before Gregory’s?
- What happened to Posy Reiling (from An Offer from a Gentleman )?
- Do Francesca and Michael (from When He Was Wicked ) ever have children?
- Will you write books about the Bridgerton children?
- Who is Billie Bridgerton?
- Why are Colin and Eloise unmarried during so much of When He Was Wicked ?
- What is the deal with the ending of It’s In His Kiss ? Why did Isabella do what she did?
- Why was there no mention of Lady Whistledown in To Sir Phillip, With Love ? I thought for sure there would be a scene where Eloise learned the truth!
- What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your books?
- Are The Wit and Wisdom of Lady Whistledown, The Further Observations Of Lady Whistledown , and Lady Whistedown Strikes Back Bridgerton books?
- Will you ever write a story for Violet Bridgerton? How about the story of how Violet and Edmund met and fell in love?
- What’s up with the Bridgerton Trade Paperback Books 6 & 7 Misprint?
- Is there official Bridgerton merchandise?
- What are the Bridgerton “prequels”?
“From the first time I read Julia Quinn's delicious Bridgerton series, I knew these were stories that would captivate a viewing audience” —Shonda Rhimes
Bridgerton series extras.
- Bridgerton Family Tree
- I take Tea with Violet Bridgerton, and Other Mugs
- When JQ First Created Lady Whistledown, A Father-Daughter Story
- Bridgertons Comics
- Inside The Duke and I
- Inside The Viscount Who Loved Me
- Inside An Offer From a Gentleman
- Deleted scene from Violet in Bloom (alternate scene from An Offer From a Gentleman )
- Inside Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
- Inside To Sir Phillip, With Love
- Inside When He Was Wicked
- Inside It’s In His Kiss
- Inside On the Way to the Wedding
- Inside The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
- Inside The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown
- Inside Lady Whistledown Strikes Back
- VIDEO: Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury) introduces Miss Butterworth
- Video feat. Eloisa James: An Offer From a Gentleman
- Soundtrack for The Duke and I
- Soundtrack for To Sir Phillip, with Love
- Soundtrack for The Viscount Who Loved Me
- Soundtrack for An Offer from a Gentleman
- Soundtrack for Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
- Soundtrack for When He Was Wicked
- Soundtrack for It’s in His Kiss
- Soundtrack for On the Way to the Wedding
Explore JQ's Other Series:
- The Rokesby Series
- The Smythe-Smith Quartet
- The Bevelstoke Series
- The Two Dukes of Wyndham
- The Agents of the Crown
- The Lyndon Sisters
- The Splendid Trilogy
- The Ladies Most
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What order to read the Bridgerton book series in, while we wait for season 3
By Christopher Rosa , Jabeen Waheed and Charley Ross
The Bridgerton book series by Julia Quinn – which takes place in the Regency era in London – is a wildly popular series that follows the eight affluent Bridgerton siblings searching for love and marriage.
So, it wasn’t a surprise when Netflix unveiled that there was to be a Shonda Rhimes-produced show based on the books. Nor was it a surprise when it became an instant smash hit, reaching 63 million households in its first four weeks and making the Bridgerton cast bonafide stars.
So if you're eagerly waiting for the third instalment of the steamy period drama to hit Netflix – which is set to explore Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan)'s relationship with Colin Bridgerton and has a tenuous 2024 release date – why not update yourself on the Bridgerton book series?
Read ahead to find out everything you need to know about the regency-era family that took the 'Ton by storm.
What is the correct order of Bridgerton books?
The correct order of the right Bridgerton books are as follows: The Duke and I, The Viscount Who Loved Me, An Offer From a Gentleman, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, To Sir Phillip, With Love, When He Was Wicked, It’s in His Kiss, and On the Way to the Wedding. Set between 1813 and 1827, the Bridgerton book series is a collection of eight main novels, which tell the story of one of the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.
After you've read all the books, you can indulge in a few Bridgerton sequels: The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (which focuses on the new chapters with each of the happy couple), The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown , Lady Whistledown Strikes Back , The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton .
Things look pretty tense.
By Sheilla Mamona , Annabelle Spranklen , Jabeen Waheed and Charley Ross
Can the Bridgerton books be read out of order?
Yes! You most certainly don't have to read them in order, as each book is centred on one sibling's romance at a time. However, you may get the odd little spoiler here and there.
If we do say so ourselves, we recommend reading the books in order to see how other siblings mature over time as snippets of their characters appear throughout the novel series.
Does the Bridgerton series follow the books?
It has so far, but will deviate from the order for the third season.
Season one, like the first novel, centred on Daphne Bridgerton ’s burgeoning romance with Simon, the Duke of Hastings, while season two follows older brother Anthony Bridgerton as he navigates his complicated love/hate relationship with the new leading lady, Kate Sharma.
However, season three is set to focus on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington's love story instead of Benedict's romance, which is the focus of the third Bridgerton book. It is likely that Benedict will finally get his love story told in season four - and we can most certainly expect more Bridgerton sex scenes .
Bridgerton is back. Is Simone Ashley braced for how it will change her life?
By Katie Glass
Below is a brief look into each novel in the Bridgerton book series — and where to buy them.
1. the duke and i (2000).
You’ve already seen this story come to life on Netflix: Daphne ( Phoebe Dynevor ) is looking to up her desirability on the marriage market, and Simon ( Regé-Jean Page ) wants the world to think he’s taken. So these two pretend to be in relationship so suitors find Daphne more interesting and singles back off Simon. The only problem? A real romance starts to develop between the two — and drama ensues.
By Melanie Paukner
By Arancha Gamo
By Denise Primbet
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
In this novel, Anthony Bridgerton has finally chosen a wife to marry, but there’s one obstacle in his way: Kate, his fiancée’s older sister, who’s determined to not let this union happen. Kate isn’t charmed by former playboy Anthony and thinks he’ll make a downright horrible husband. What happens, then, when sparks fly between the two?
3. An Offer From A Gentleman (2001)
Benedict Bridgerton is the star of this story, which is a bit of a play on Cinderella. At his mother’s famous masquerade ball, Benedict becomes entranced by the mysterious Sophie, a servant girl with a wicked stepmother. Sophie thinks their romance must end when the clock strikes midnight, but Benedict becomes determined to find her – and marry her.
4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton (2002)
At last, Penelope Featherington gets her due! Book four focuses on the “Will they or won’t they?” relationship between her and Colin Bridgerton, whom she’s been crushing on since the beginning of the series. And when Colin returns from a trip abroad, he starts developing a crush too.
5. To Sir Phillip, With Love (2003)
It’s Eloise Bridgerton’s turn to find love now, and she finds it in an unlikely place: with Sir Phillip, a rough-around-the-edges brute who’s the polar opposite of the London gentleman vying for her attention. But this seemingly imperfect man may be the perfect one for her.
6. When He Was Wicked (2004)
Playboy Michael Stirling’s heart stops when he meets Francesca Bridgerton, but she’s set to marry his cousin. Years later, though, circumstances change, and a relationship prospect is back on the table. But Francesca only thinks of Michael as a friend… that is, until one passionate night.
7. It’s In His Kiss (2005)
Book seven tracks the romance between Hyacinth, the youngest Bridgerton sibling, and Gareth St. Clair, who asks Hyacinth to help him translate his family’s diary, which contains vital information… and secrets.
8. On the Way To The Wedding (2006)
Talk about a love triangle. Here, Gregory Bridgerton is in love with Miss Hermione Watson, whose heart belongs to someone else. But her best friend, Lady Lucinda Abernathy, doesn’t approve of the relationship. So Lucinda agrees to help Gregory win Hermione over. Along the way, though, Lucinda falls in love with Gregory. The catch? Lucinda is also engaged to someone else.
9. The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (2013)
This ninth novel contains a series of epilogues that take place after the original eight books.
By Sophie Cockett
By Georgia Trodd