Bridgerton series remains faithful to Julia Quinn’s novels, although it also makes some notable changes in some key areas.With the success of the series, many new fans of the production are likely to turn to books while they wait for the second season, which, in essence, are quite formal romances of the regency period. Thus, they will find that Quinn’s version of the story is different in some significant ways.
In any adaptation, maintaining a balance between remaining faithful to the source material and presenting new ideas is a delicate task. Bridgerton makes this transition very well, introducing very interesting new elements.
Check out the main differences between the books and the Netflix series!
Daphne and Simon’s relationship is quite different in the books
Bridgerton shows Daphne in her first season of eligibility, after the Queen’s good words make her the most desired lady in high society. Her prospects drop significantly thanks to her older brother Anthony’s relentless intrusion, but she still manages to find a partner.
The core of Daphne and Simon’s story is the same in both versions, but the streaming production has made some major changes. For a start, Daphne is in her second book eligibility season, not the first, and she has a lot more trouble attracting the eyes of promising suitors.
Daphne’s brother, Anthony, does not care so much about his sister’s marriage and is not the cause of his unfortunate circumstances. He even assists with Simon and Daphne’s strategy in the books, on the condition that they don’t spend a lot of time alone.
Lady Danbury also plays a slightly different role in the duo’s story, as she is not the same maternal figure for Simon in the books.
The series also brings some notable improvements in the relationship between the couple. Simon is much more coarse and rigid in the books, starring in some truly reprehensible moments when he claims to own Daphne. This is what causes the most remarkable moment in the history of the two.
In the book, Simon goes to bed drunk one night after Daphne confronts him about walking away during sex. After he falls asleep, Daphne takes advantage of her state in a scene that has been widely condemned, in support of sexual abuse.
Marina Thompson is completely different in books
Marina Thompson is completely different in the two versions. In the series, she is a protagonist of narrative status almost equal to that of Daphne, offering a mirrored image in various ways of the Duchess’s own story. Thus, Marina struggles with complex problems of ethics and self-preservation in a world that was not designed to protect her and, as a result, she becomes an emotional centerpiece of the story.
In the end, she agrees to marry Phillip, the brother of her deceased lover, who was the father of her son.
This marriage to Phillip is the only real similarity between the Bridgerton series Marina and the books. In Quinn’s novel, she is only briefly mentioned later as a seriously depressed woman who dies after a suicide attempt. Phillip ends up romantically getting involved with Eloise in the books, long after the death of his ex-wife. In the novel, Marina was related to the Bridgertons, not the Featheringtons.
Lord Featherington is already dead in the books
Bridgerton’s first season ends with the alleged death of Lord Featherington – a character who is already dead at the start of The Duke and Me, the first book in the saga. However, his presence makes sense in the series, as it gives Marina Thompson a reason to stay with the Featherington family after her pregnancy.
Plots that are not in the books
Quinn’s book series features a brief appearance by an opera singer named Maria Rosso, former lover of Anthony Bridgerton. However, her role in the novels is miniscule and her relationship with the viscount seems to have been nothing more than a brief affair.
Maria was adapted for the character of Siena Rosso in the show which, although similar in her occupation, plays a much more important role in the story.
In addition, one of the biggest differences between the Bridgerton series and the books is the inclusion of more characters of real character. Queen Charlotte plays an important role in the plot, interfering in Daphne’s affairs and in the search for Lady Whistledown’s identity. She even tries to arrange Daphne for her foreign nephew, Prince Friedrich. None of these elements of royalty appear in Quinn’s books.
Finally, the Bridgerton series makes a major change in the world of history by presenting an alternative history of race relations in England in the Regency era. The show features a UK where, at some unknown point in the relatively recent past, reparations were paid to black citizens in the form of money, power and political titles.
This aspect of the world is mentioned very briefly in some dialogues. The books don’t have that alternative story, and all of their main characters are presumably white.