“The social season is upon us!”
To my absolute delight, Netflix has decided to take a regency romance and turn it into a television show. Believe it or not, I have been ranting and raving to anyone that will listen that this needs to be done. There is just so much source material. Not to mention, they are obviously popular. Downton Abbey should have proven that people love the drama of a period piece.
So, when I was in the romance section at work and saw that Netflix badge on The Duke and I, I screamed. No, I had not read the series, but I didn’t care. The way I see it, if they do it once, they are bound to do it again. I immediately bought the book and read the entire series in a week. (Fun Fact: I have read all of Lisa Kleypas‘ books and she happens to be friends with Julia Quinn.)
The series is set to land on the Netflix tarmac on Christmas Day. And, I am going to be honest, I plan on watching (or binging) the entire thing that day. Christmas is about family, right? I’ll just be ignoring mine in lieu of the Bridgertons. #sorrynotsorry
For anyone who doesn’t know, The Bridgertons is a Regency Romance Series by Julia Quinn and follows the eight children, four boys and four girls, of Viscount Edmund and Lady Violet Bridgerton. The family is well liked and are known for their resemblance to one another — essentially, they all have chestnut hair and are good looking. Something else to note, all the children are named alphabetically from A to H. I guess when you want to have this many children, you need to go into it with a game plan (or name plan).
The first book, The Duke and I, focuses on the fourth Bridgerton child and eldest girl, Daphne. Here is a summary of the book:
In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule… (Goodreads)
Of course, we have to mention the elusive Lady Whistledown, a gossip columnist who is always in the know. Voiced by Julie Andrews in the Netflix show, it turns out she has retired her spoonful of sugar and replaces it with a cup of scalding HOT TEA. Who is she and how does she seem to be everywhere at once?
BUT WAIT! The Bridgerton universe doesn’t end with these eight books. No, my regency romance lovers, Her Royal Highness, Julia Quinn, has blessed us with two other series.
THE ROKESBY SERIES
Set in the late 1700s, this series follows the aristocratic Rokesby family, who happen to be close friends and neighbors of the Bridgertons, who are the subject of my most popular book series. Readers had long asked me to write more about the Bridgertons, and I think most expected me to look to the next generation, but I found myself far more interested in the Georgian era than the early Victorian, so I decided to go backwards instead.
As a bonus, this means that eventually we’ll get a peek at Edmund and Violet Bridgerton before they were married. (Confession time: I came up with the premise of the Rokesby series because I wanted to show Edmund and Violet before they were married.)” (Synopsis via Julia Quinn)
THE SMYTHE-SMITH QUARTET
The Smythe-Smiths (and their notorious musicale) made their first appearance in my third novel, Minx.
My hero and heroine were attending an amateur musical performance, and I thought, “Bad music is so much funnier than good music,” so (perhaps in honor of the Veterans Park Elementary School band concerts my parents were forced to sit through) I created the annual Smythe-Smith musicale. Every year there seemed to be enough cousins to put together a string quartet, and every year they sent Mozart spinning in his grave.
A number of years later, I wanted to put my hero and heroine at a social gathering that didn’t have dancing, and it occurred to me—there was no reason these characters shouldn’t have to suffer through a Smythe-Smith performance, as well. After a while, it began to be an inside joke between my readers and me. And I think we all started to wonder about those poor girls who were forced to pick up their instruments year after year.
So with Just Like Heaven, A Night Like This, The Sum of All Kisses, and The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, I finally placed the Smythe-Smiths on center stage. (Via Julia Quinn)
Do you plan reading the series in anticipation of the show? I’ll be re-reading The Duke and I to refresh my memory. Except, this time, I plan on doing a book review. Coming soon!
If you have read the books, which Bridgerton is your favourite? I love Daphne, Benedict, and Colin.