All of Bridgerton’s books in order and what happens in each
In 2000, Julia Quinn published her novel ‘The Duke and I’, a Regency romance which focused on the relationship between Simon Basset, a young Duke, and Daphne, the eldest daughter of an illustrious London family.
Two decades and a Netflix series later, audiences are still falling in love with Quinn’s stories. The second season of “Bridgerton” will be released on March 25, striking a different, but no less swooning, tone than the first for its approach to intimate scenes.
Quinn’s novel “The Duke and I” introduced readers to the Bridgerton family, consisting of eight children named in alphabetical order (from Anthony to Hyacinth). From this came seven more “Bridgerton” novels, each devoted to a different brother; several spin-off books; and the hit Netflix show “Bridgerton,” which first premiered in December 2020.
After the first season of the popular series aired, many fans were eager to read the novels that inspired the series. Quinn’s debut novel “Bridgerton” topped the New York Times bestseller list 21 years after its initial publication. Amid growing demand, book retailers struggled to keep stock in stores, and some individual hardcover copies were selling for over $700 online. As of March 2021, the books had been reprinted with a completely new cover – and are available again.
The Netflix show’s second season is based on Quinn’s second book in the series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), Bridgerton’s older brother, will meet his match in Kate Sharma, played by Simone Ashley. Along with new twists and plot points, the show brings Quinn’s lovers’ enemies and love triangle story to the screen.
To read Quinn’s original series and find out what might be in store for future seasons of the show, here’s a roundup of all the “Bridgerton” books in order.
Book 1: “The Duke and I”
Ah, the novel that started it all – and inspired the first season of “Bridgerton,” starring Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page.
In “The Duke and I”, Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, agree on a fake relationship to further their own agendas. The goal of their elaborate plan is to make Daphne appear more desirable to the other suitors, and get the marriage-conscious mothers off Simon’s back. But neither took into account a troublesome key variable: love.
Set in London in 1813, this book introduces readers to the high-society world of Bridgerton, where gossip travels faster than a horse-drawn carriage – and no one can get tired of Lady Whistledown’s columns documenting every delicious treat.
The inclusion of Lady Whistledown, the books’ gossip columnist, started out as an accident, according to Quinn’s website.
When Quinn began writing the story, she struggled to introduce explanatory information — facts that were necessary to understand the world of the Bridgertons, but that wouldn’t naturally occur in the dialogue. She came up with the idea of telling her protagonist’s story through a gossip column: Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers.
“It turned out to be the happiest accident of my entire career!” Quinn wrote on her website.
Volume 2: “The viscount who loved me”
“The viscount who loved me” returned to “tone” in 1814, a year after “The duke and me”. Readers follow what happens after Anthony Bridgerton – Bridgerton’s older brother, dubbed an “accomplished rake” by Lady Whistledown – announces his plans to finally marry.
Anthony sets his sights on newcomer Edwina Sheffield. The only thing standing in the way of an engagement is Edwina’s older sister, Kate Sheffield. Kate, who believes that ‘reform rakes’ don’t make good husbands, will do everything in her power to keep London’s most notorious away from her sister.
This book is the inspiration for season two, featuring Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran as Kate and Edwina Sharma, newcomers to the social scene from India. Jonathan Bailey reprises his role from the first season as Anthony Bridgerton.
Volume 3: “The offer of a gentleman”
Next in the London marriage market is Benedict Bridgerton, brother number two. Her book, “A Gentleman’s Bid,” is a classic Cinderella story, featuring an orphaned girl, an evil stepmother, and a crush sequence at a ball.
Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of an earl. After her father’s death, Sophie is forced into a servant role by her cruel stepmother. On the night of a masquerade ball hosted by the Bridgertons, Sophie is able to sneak away from her duties and attend. There, face hidden by a mask, she dances with the eligible bachelor Benedict before having to escape at midnight, leaving him to yearn for her.
“An Offer from a Gentleman” develops Benedict’s story. In the first season of Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” Benedict is portrayed as a creative and artistic free spirit, struggling to find a place for himself within the rigid structures of London society. In the book, Benoît struggles to forge his own identity separate from his larger family. Essentially, he wants to be more than a “Bridgerton”.
“Bridgerton” has already been renewed for a season three, so you can expect to see Benedict Bridgerton (played by Luke Thompson) cross eyes with Sophie in a ballroom at some point in an upcoming season. Sophie was not cast.
Book 4: “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”
The fourth book in the “Bridgerton” series focuses on Bridgerton’s cheeky third brother, Colin. Her love interest is a character you already know and probably love: Penelope Featherington, the red-haired, yellow-clad friend of the Bridgertons.
While Eloise Bridgerton is her closest friend, Penelope has always had a crush on Eloise’s older brother, Colin.
10 years after the first novel, Colin finally sees Penelope in a different light – and learns that the shy girl next door has secrets he never could have imagined.
Luke Newton, who plays Colin in ‘Bridgerton,’ told TODAY what Colin sees in Penelope. “She gives him a sense of this warm feeling that reminds him of his home. When he spends some time alone with Pen, he feels like he’s really himself,” Newton said of the characters’ connection.
In “Bridgerton”, Penelope’s alter ego as Lady Whistledown is revealed at the end of the first season (though Easter Eggs have emphasized her identity throughout the season). Penelope’s secret takes longer to come out in the books and is part of the plot of “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”.
“Bridgerton” has been renewed for a fourth season. Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton have already laid the groundwork for their characters’ eventual romance.
Book 5: “To Sir Phillip, With Love”
The next Bridgerton to find love is Eloise – and she’s on quite the journey.
After corresponding with a widower and famous scientist named Sir Phillip Crane, 28-year-old Eloise decides to take a leap of faith and accept his written proposal. She leaves the family home to marry a man she has never met. What more do we expect from Eloise, independent and free-spirited?
“Bridgerton” may already be hosting “To Sir Phillip, With Love” events. Philip Crane appeared in season one as Marina Thompson’s husband. He marries Marina in order to protect his honor: she is pregnant with her brother’s child and her brother died on the battlefield.
As of season two, Marina Thompson and Phillip Crane are still married – although by the time book five opens, Marina is already dead. No word on how the “Bridgerton” series will approach Marina and Phillip’s wedding.
Eloise Bridgerton is played by Claudia Jessie in the Netflix series. Marina Thompson is played by Ruby Barker and Phillip Crane by Chris Fulton.
Volume 6: “When he was bad”
“When He Was Wicked” offers a total change of scenery, swapping the ton of London for a Scottish castle. The book also spotlights a character you might not recognize from the show: Francesca Bridgerton, who was absent for most of the first season (she was visiting her aunt in Bath, if you remember).
While her sister Eloise is bold and outspoken in her opinions, Francesca is more reserved. But under her cool air, she brings just as much spirit.
“When He Was Wicked” introduces readers to two new characters: cousins John Stirling and Michael Stirling. When Michael sees Francesca for the first time, it’s love at first sight. The only problem? He meets her at a dinner party celebrating her impending marriage to her cousin, John. Thus begins a long love story.
In the series, Francesca is played by Ruby Stokes.
Volume 7: “It’s in his kiss”
Arriving alphabetically, the seventh book follows Bridgerton’s youngest child, Hyacinth.
In this book, Hyacinth – described as “devilishly intelligent” and “devilishly outspoken” – crosses paths with Gareth St. Clair, grandson of none other than Lady Danbury. Hyacinth offers to help Gareth translate an old diary written in Italian which may contain information needed to secure his future.
In the series, Hyacinth, who is about 10 years old in the first season, is played by Florence Hunt.
Book 8: “On the road to marriage”
To end the series, the eighth book follows Bridgerton’s youngest son, Gregory. And it starts in a sprint, literally. As the title suggests, Gregory finds himself running down the aisle to stop a wedding. But from whom? To answer this question, the story goes back in time to two months ago.
Gregory aims to find true love, just like his parents had. He sets his sights on Hermione Watson, but unfortunately she is already in love with someone else. Hermione’s best friend, fiancée Lady Lucinda Abernathy, offers to help convince her. But soon, Lucy begins to fall in love with Gregory herself.
Gregory Bridgerton is around 12 years old in the first season of the Netflix adaptation and is played by Will Tilston.
Here are other books on the adventures of the Bridgerton family.
Following the success of the eight novels in the “Bridgerton” series, Quinn released more stories about the fan-favorite London family, as well as an entire prequel series about the Rokesby family, close friends of the Bridgertons.
“The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After”
As each of the eight books ties things together in a neat arc with an epilogue, readers wanted more. So in 2013, Quinn gave fans an updated look at the lives of all eight couples by writing an additional epilogue for each, as well as a bonus scene focusing on family matriarch Violet Bridgerton.
“The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton”
Technically, ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton’ is written by Julia Quinn – but Lady Whistledown could call herself the real author.
The 2021 book compiles Lady Whistledown’s insights into the book series’ characters and features 13 new Whistledown columns. Each chapter focuses on a different character, opening with an introduction in classic Whistledown wink-and-head style, and highlighting their best quotes and moments.
Quinn told TODAY that the book brings additional insight into the characters that many viewers have fallen in love with through the screen.
“The TV show, what it gives you that the books can’t, is an incredible visual. You have this ability to really focus on each character at a time, I think. But the books can bring more internal dialogue and internal thoughts,” Quinn said.