Netflix has gone above and beyond to keep everyone entertained in 2020. From the surprise hit of Tiger King to the eagerly anticipated new season of The Crown, it’s safe to say Netflix could coast into 2021 and viewers would be content with the current content. But first, one more bingeable period piece called Bridgerton premiered.
It takes a deep dive into Regency London society with dramatic dialogue written by Shonda Rimes, grand balls made for escapist dreams, and characters with truly entertaining personalities and over-the-top ensembles to match.
There’s already a lot to love, but you might be wondering if Bridgerton is based on a true story and a real-life Bridgerton family.
So, is Bridgerton based on a true story?
It’s not a true story. It’s based on the Bridgerton Series written by Julia Quinn. No surprise, the historic romance novels were mega-popular and the on-screen adaption sure is enthralling. The Bridgerton Series has one novel on each of the late Viscount Bridgerton’s eight children (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth).
It’s set between 1813 and 1827 in London, with plenty of period details to set the scene. “I didn’t originally set out to write an eight-book series,” Quinn recalls. “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.”It has sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Is the Bridgerton family real?
Once again, no. These characters are fictional. The alphabetically named Bridgertons, Lady Whistledown as well as all the dukes and lords are made up by Quinn. The author explained how some of their names came about. “Thus, rather than someone saying, ‘Mary danced with two other men,’ they can say, ‘Mary danced with the Earl of Whatnot and the Duke of Whosis.’ This means that I frequently have to come up with names.”
Quinn shared in a Goodreads.com interview: “In fact, when I started The Duke and I, I thought it would be the first of a trilogy. I planned to write about Daphne, Anthony, and Colin. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I gave Daphne seven brothers and sisters.”
Still, the characters are important to her. “I think that if you want to take a romance novel from good to great, it’s all about the characters,” Quinn shared in an interview on Shondaland.com. “There is a time and a place for the Great American Novel, and there is a time and a place for clever, well-written entertainment. I love writing the latter, and I love reading it, too.”
Quinn has figured out a solid formula for creating her leading men, too. “A guy simply cannot be sexy if he doesn’t respect women,” she says in the interview. “If you want to be a hero in one of my books, you have to believe in the heroine and respect and cherish her strengths and abilities. It doesn’t mean he can’t get all protective and macho from time to time — I mean, who doesn’t love that? But ultimately, he’s got to think she’s the bomb, and not just because he likes the way she looks on his arm. And of course, it doesn’t hurt if he gets down on one knee and declares that she’s the missing piece to his soul.”
There are eight books in the Bridgerton series.
When Quinn started writing Bridgerton, it was supposed to be a tight trilogy. One thing led to another and eight books emerged. “Because I hadn’t originally planned to write eight books, I didn’t really plot out the entire arc of stories very well. As a result, there were a few times when I found I’d written myself into a corner. I’d put characters in places that were extremely inconvenient to the current story I was writing. Also, I didn’t have a very good system of keeping track of smaller details.”
The historical romance series has fans around the world. It’s been translated into 32 languages, and now streaming on Netflix.
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