‘Bridgerton’ season 2 confirmed: The books behind the Netflix series

Eva Waite-Taylor
·5-min read
<p>If you can’t wait for the new series, prepare to lose yourself in these titles too</p> (The Independent)

If you can’t wait for the new series, prepare to lose yourself in these titles too

(The Independent)

It would appear that much of the Netflix-viewing population has at least watched one episode of Bridgerton, the streaming service’s steamy new period romance by Shonda Rhimes.

And there’s good news for fans because the streaming platform has confirmed it will return for a second season, with production due to begin in spring.

For the uninitiated, the lavish Regency-set series is best described as a hybrid between Gossip Girl and Pride and Prejudice and is the story of Daphne Bridgerton’s scheme to avoid a loveless marriage with the doltish Lord Berbrooke by stirring up a fake romance with the Duke of Hastings.

Narrated by Lady Whistledown, a mysterious member of London’s high society who writes a regular column detailing the gossip from the coming-out season.

The contemporary production includes drama, diverse casting and the exploration of topics such as gender equality and sexual orientation.

Even the music follows suit in its own cross-genre way, the soundtrack is decidedly modern – the classical versions of pop songs, such as Ariana Grande's “thank u, next” and Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” juxtaposed over the buttoned-up social interactions of Regency London make the show that little bit more charming.

And we’ve got romance novelist Julia Quinn to thank for penning the very books that inspired the show, the first The Duke and I was published in 2000 and spans the years 1813 to 1827.

If you’ve binge-watched the entire series and can’t wait for season two, then work your way through these novels – they’re sure to fill the void.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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‘The Duke and I’ by Julia Quinn, published by Piaktus

The very book that inspired the show, The Duke and I tells the love story of the oldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, Daphne, and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett. The pair befriend one another and enter a fake courtship in order for her to strike the interest of more suitors and for him to escape the eagle eyes of ambitious society mothers. Real feelings develop and Daphne and Simon quickly realise they want their ruse to become a reality.

Buy now £7.37, Amazon

‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’ by Julia Quinn, published by Little, Brown Book Group

The second instalment in Quinn’s series focuses on Anthony Bridgerton, who has been head of the family ever since his father died – taking care of all responsibilities, except for finding himself a wife, opting instead to be London’s most eligible bachelor. He decides it’s time to settle down and find a suitable match, but under one condition that he can’t love her. After finding the perfect candidate he becomes more interested in her sister, Kate, who provides a very welcome distraction. It’s a story of love, as well as one of the impacts of grief, loss and trauma.

Buy now £8.36, Bookshop

‘An Offer From A Gentleman’ by Julia Quinn, published by Little, Brown Book Group

The second-eldest Bridgerton, Benedict falls in love with Sophie Beckett at his family’s costume ball, but their dreamy dalliance is cut short when Sophie leaves at midnight. Following a chance encounter two years later, their romance picks up once more. In this classic Cinderella tale with a twist, Quinn delves into issues of social class.

Buy now £7.14, Abe Books

Romancing Mister Bridgerton’ by Julia Quinn, published by HaperCollins

Set in 1824, 11 years after the first novel, at age 28 wallflower Penelope Featherington is now considered a spinster. But when Colin, the third Bridgerton child, returns from abroad, a once platonic relationship has the potential to be turned into something more. The best bit of all? Quinn finally reveals the identity of the mysterious Lady Whistledown.

Buy now £5.99, Hive

‘To Sir Phillip, With Love’ by Julia Quinn, published by Piaktus Books

Following multiple rejections, Eloise Bridgerton is considered a spinster, but unlike her siblings, this does not bother her much. After spending a year exchanging letters with Sir Philip, a widower and distant relative, he asks her for her hand in marriage. The only issue is they’ve never met in person.

Buy now £8.19, WHSmith

‘When He Was Wicked’ by Julia Quinn, published by HaperCollins

A more intense and deeper novel than the others in the series, When He Was Wicked is the story of Michael Stirling who finally meets the woman who he wants to marry, Francesca Bridgerton, the only issue is she married his cousin. Years later, Francesca is widowed and Michael has another chance.

Buy now £8.79, Amazon

‘It’s in His Kiss’ by Julia Quinn, published by Piaktus Books

Centred around the most outspoken and intelligent of the Bridgerton daughters, Hyacinth, It’s in His Kiss tells the story of her relationship with Gareth St. Clair. The pair often find themselves at odds until a mysterious old family diary brings them together. Expect a love story with plenty of sarcasm and quick-witted lines.

Buy now £8.79, Amazon

‘On the Way to the Wedding’ by Julia Quinn, published by Piaktus Books

Winning the 2007 RITA Award for best long historical romance, On the Way to the Wedding is the final entry in Quinn’s Bridgerton series. Gregory Bridgerton, a true romantic, finds himself in a love triangle when he recruits Lucy to help him win her best friend Hermione. But in the process, Lucy and Gregory fall in love, but it’s a little too late because Lucy is at the alter.

Buy now £8.36, Bookshop

If this doesn’t satiate your lust for literature, read our round-up of the Women’s Prize for Fiction winners from the past six years