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Bridgerton, which launched on Netflix Christmas Day 2020, has become a genuine phenomenon. The Regency era set show racked up some 65 million views in the first two weeks of streaming – the fifth most popular Netflix show of all time – and that number has only risen since.
Created by US mega producer Shonda Rhimes, it's easy to see why the show is such a hit: a sumptuous period drama detailing the drama of two well-to-do Bath households in the early nineteenth century, it boasts gorgeous costumes, stunning locales, even more stunning, racially diverse stars, deliciously twisty plotting, and needle-drops that feature string quartet covers of hot pop songs, like Ariana Grande's “thank u, next,” and Billie Eilish's “Bad Guy.” It's a salacious treat.
Romance novelist Julia Quinn provided the source material, with her Bridgerton novel The Duke and I inspiring the first season, which depicted the convoluted romance of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett (Rege-Jean Page), all narrated in the plummy, delectable tones of mystery society gossip Lady Whistledown (a perfectly cast Julie Andrews).
When will season 2 of Bridgerton become available?
If you're reading this, you've likely gleefully binged the tale and are wondering what next.
Netflix is currently in production, though fans will most likely have to wait until Christmas 2021 to watch, based on how Netflix’s standard practice of releasing new show seasons annually.
What are the next books in the Bridgerton saga about?
The best news, though, for those that thrilled to the first season of Bridgerton: there's plenty more where that comes from, with each of the subsequent books in Quinn's series focussing on a different member of the Bridgerton or Featherington family.
Whether you're hot for the mutton-chop sideburns of Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), inspired by proto-feminist Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), or swooning for the loveable Penelope Featherington (Derry Girl's Nicola Coughlan), there's a book to delight you in the series. Even better - the books are self-contained, so if you’ve a series fave you want to learn more about, you can skip ahead and happily read out of order.
A quick note: the books are remarkably readable (and indeed, enjoyable), but if you loved Julie Andrew's dulcet tones as Lady Whistledown in the series, we heartily recommend listening to the books on Audible, where Rosalyn Landor's crisp RP voice imbues her reading of the novels with the perfect haughtiness. Download the books with a free 30-day trial here (thereafter £7.99 a month).
Here's where each book goes next – and the series is likely to follow. SPOILERS BELOW (naturally)
The Duke and I
Who it focuses on: Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Bassett
The book follows the basic arc of the series: Daphne Bridgerton, newly 'out' in society, makes a pact with the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett, to pretend to be involved in a romance, in order to elevate her desirability and prevent women from attempting to woo him.
Of course they fall in love, though the plot development involving his dependence on the rhythm method to avoid impregnating her was somewhat unexpected from a Regency tale. We also meet spend time in the lives of the rest of the Bridgerton family, and the social-climbing Featheringtons.
The Viscount Who Loved Me
Who it focuses on: Anthony Bridgerton
He of the magnificent sideburns, Anthony is the eldest child in the Bridgerton family. In series/book one he was utterly disinterested in marrying, focusing on womanising instead.
However, in The Viscount Who Loved Me, Anthony finds himself head over heels. Only one problem: his intended's sister, Kate Sheffield, doesn't want him to marry into the family, and sets about preventing the marriage through increasingly meddlesome schemes. Naturally, the more Kate interferes, the closer she and Anthony get, until … well, let's simply say Anthony's dreams get rather steamy.
An Offer From a Gentleman
Who it focuses on: Benedict Bridgerton
Benedict (Luke Thompson in the series), the second eldest Bridgerton, spent the first series moonlighting at art parties (with quite a bit of sex happening at the edges).
In book three, the tactless Benedict (He's the one who put his foot in his mouth with artist Henry Granville, if you recall) falls for a mystery woman at a masked ball. However, as he tries to find her in real life, he simultaneously finds himself drawn to a beautiful, kindly housemaid, with a familiar face. Is it possible the two women are connected?
Download on audible here.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Who it focuses on: Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton
It was impossible not to fall in love with Penelope Featherington in the TV series: a gorgeous wallflower with an unrequited love for Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) who turns out to be the elusive Lady Whistledown. If you're rooting for her and Colin, then this book will intrigue you.
The two reconnect years after the events of the first novel... only her hidden identity causes problems for their union.
To Sir Phillip With Love
Who it focuses on: Eloise Bridgerton
Eloise Bridgerton may be our favourite character: smart, resourceful, courageous. But by book five she's written off by Bath society as a spinster. Enter Sir Phillip: a moody, disagreeable widow with two children looking for an obedient wife.
The book details their fledgling romance, as he contests with her high spirits and she draws him out. Think The Taming of the Shrew – only with better jokes, and more sex.
When He Was Wicked
Who it focuses on: Francesca Bridgerton
Francesca (Ruby Stokes) doesn't feature heavily in the Netflix series, as she's a little young for titillating romance.
Of age in When He Was Wicked, she's about to be married when she meets Michael Stirling, renowned rake and bachelor – who falls instantly in love with her. But she's desperately in love with her intended husband. Will Michael ever win her heart?
Parenthetically, Michael Stirling is our favourite of the many eligible suitors in the Bridgerton universe - such a dish.
It’s In His Kiss
Who it focuses on: Hyacinth Bridgerton
When she comes of age, Hyacinth Bridgerton (Florence Hurt) becomes the talk of the Ton: smart, beautiful, outspoken. She rubs the eligible Gareth St Clair up the wrong way.
But when Gareth's father seeks to ruin his inheritance and beggar the young man, Gareth's only hope is deciphering an old diary, written in Italian, that may preserve his fortune. And Hyacinth is the only one he knows who speaks fluent Italian...
On the Way to the Wedding
Who it focuses on: Gregory Bridgerton
The final book in the Bridgerton saga is perfect for anyone who loves a good, old-fashioned love triangle. Youngest Bridgerton, Gregory, is in love with Miss Hermoine Watson, but she loves another.
Her best friend, the pragmatic Lady Lucinda Abernathy, doesn't approve of Hermoine's love, and so seeks to help Gregory woo her. But then Lucy herself starts to find her heart race in Gregory's company... a suitably frothy, plot-twisty, romantic conclusion to the story of the Bridgerton children.