The Bridgertons blends as a romantic comedy blending the drama of an elite marriage in early 19th-century London and a modern tone that ranges from sexual scenes to serial versions of Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish’s songs. Outdated as it is charming. Netflix has been well received by viewers, who have fallen prey to the romantic Christmas season, its dawn duels, and its “Austen” essence.
But the Bridgerton family story began on paper, in the successful book series written by Julia Quinn. It is based on the series Chris Van Dawson created under the title Shondaland (producer of Shonda Rhimes), which will follow the same structure: Each season is based on a book, and each book focuses on one of the brothers and sisters, from the family. Season 1 follows ‘The Duke and I’ starring Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Denifor), but fans of Queen’s novels will be surprised to see that this adaptation changes so much from the original material.
From paper to small screen, The Bridgertons has undergone many changes and we are reviewing them here.
London is free of racism
As many may conclude, it is not true that London in 1813 was very diverse and devoid of racism. There are no explicit references to the characters’ skin color in Julia Quinn’s books, so creator Chris Van Dawson, along with Shonda Rhimes, needed an excuse to unleash the diversity of their elitist British community, and found it in Queen Charlotte. There is a theory that historians have not fully confirmed that the queen at that time, the wife of King George III, had African origins.
The series accepts this fact as true and takes it to its final consequences: they devise a new situation in which the Queen decides to use her position of power and influence to offer titles and lands to many of the country’s black families, including the Duchy of Hastings. To Simone Bassett’s father (Reggie Jean Page). But this whole situation is exclusive to the Netflix series: in the books, the character Golda Rosheuvel did not appear at all and the black characters from the series, such as Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), are not defined as such, for everything that cannot really be talked about changing Between the two stories, but about an explanation.
Sienna Russo has been in the books, but she’s different
The opera singer appeared very early in the first season of The Bridgertons as the romantic interest of Anthony Bridgerton, the firstborn in the family. The two maintain a passionate, romantic and sexual relationship that goes through many ups and downs, mainly due to Anthony’s inability to fully commit to the relationship in the face of his mother’s pressure to adopt the role of the patriarch in the family, in the absence of his late father, and until he soon finds a good wife. And in that “goodness”, by the standards of society at the time, Siena Russo does not enter.
In the books, there is a somewhat different character, Maria Russo who is also an opera singer but it wasn’t until the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, caught her eye. This means that during the first book, on which the first season of the series is based, the woman had no significance and did not maintain a relationship with the oldest of the Bridgerton family.
Drama Marina Thompson
One of the most complicated situations in The Bridgertons is that of Marina Thompson, a cousin of Featherington who comes to London to revolutionize the marriage market with her beauty and charm. But she has a secret: She is already in love with another man, a soldier fighting in the war, and she is pregnant with him. As we know, this causes many different problems and situations during the first season, which finally ends with the partnership between Marina and Sir Philip Crane, the brother of her lover, whose death in the fight is revealed.
In books, it’s true … more or less. Marina Thompson wasn’t too big, to begin with, and Quinn doesn’t give her as much prominence in the role as the show does. Marina is already married to Sir Philip Crane, but the little they tell us about her is that their marriage is extremely unhappy, that she suffers from deep depression, and eventually commits suicide. It remains to be seen what the series does to the character given this bitter future.
The mystery of Mrs. Wesleydon
At the end of Season 1 of The Bridgertons, we find out who Lady Whistledown is, and book fans will be surprised. Not because of his identity (we reveal it here), which is the same as in Quinn’s novels, but because of the speed with which the news arrives: on paper, we don’t know who the newsletter is until Book Four. So the show leaves us with this mixture of “evolution” and