When Netflix released Bridgerton in late 2020, success was to be expected. Created by the same product Grey’s AnatomyAnd the How to get away from the killing And other successful works, the series knew how to understand the tastes of its audience with measured accuracy. Luxurious fashion, irresistibly attractive staff and generous romantic stakes – Forbidden, loving, passionate of any kind – they bring to life the novel of the period that caught the attention of Jane Austen fans and those who hadn’t heard of her before. Yes, success was inevitable. But what little expected – including Julia Quinn, The writer who made the story – was the scale of that triumph.
A few months after its debut, The Adventures of Bridgertons turned into the most-watched series on the platform, a record flavor and a cultural phenomenon. Fans of Daphne and Simon discover that behind the boom there is a literary story awaiting them. These are nine books that Julia Quinn (a graduate in art history) has been publishing since 2000, which she explores The Romantic Adventures of Eight Brothers of English Nobles in the Early Nineteenth Century.
Speaking, Quinn (51-year-old American) speaks with warmth more like a reading obsessed friend than a well-known writer. Laughing fluently, he justifies himself when sipping coffee, and displays without an iota of arrogance an encyclopedic knowledge of the romance novel genre.
Julia Quinn on the set of Bridgerton: Here with Simon, Duke of Hastings (British actor Regé-Jean Page).
In social networks, his photos with the production team show that he is One more fanaticHis eyes stunned like those of his followers. Its simple existence does not abandon it, but in it there are plans and ideas that are not worth millions only: it gives new life to a genre that still carries curious and literary stigmas.
You get more credit if you avoid the happy ending: they teach us that tragedy is more important. How many award-winning comedies?
Julia Quinn, writer
How did you start your relationship with literature?
Since I was little I have been a great reader: I was the girl who stayed awake with a flashlight under the covers at night next to a book. And when he got back from school, he would always stop by the library. I became a writer because I love reading: that simple. Not all great readers become writers, but every great reader is a reader..
At what point did you discover writing would be your profession?
I sold my first two books to a publisher in the same month that I was accepted into the medical profession. It was so crazy. in the end, I dropped out because I was so passionate about writing that if I had continued my studies I wouldn’t have had time. At first I postponed them for a year, then it was two … I panicked and had a crisis of twenty: my friends were about to graduate and I felt lost, which is funny because my books are published. Finally, I was convinced the best thing was to write full time, which is what I’ve been doing since then.
At what stage was the idea of the Bridgerton saga born?
– The first book, The Duke and MeIt was published in 2000. I don’t remember how the idea came about, but I do remember how the character of Lady Weaseldon was born. When you write a book, you sometimes have the context data that you need in the story, but that’s cumbersome if you drop it all at once. Then it occurred to me to invent a character: a gossip columnist whose role was to give information so I wouldn’t have to. I enjoyed writing passages, although it brought challenges: I got the calendar of 1813 with the actual Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the gossip would be released on, and calculated when each event occurred in the books to match columns of opinion. Later the idea of playing the puzzle arose and that the other characters did not know who the writer was, which became one of the most popular aspects of the saga. It was a very happy accident.
Bridgerton: The sex scenes between Daphne and Simon caused controversy.
– All scenes in the book revolve around the protagonists, Simon and Daphne, while the show includes new characters and sub-plots. How did you see this change?
It was a great idea because there are things that work well in books but not TV and vice versa. In my novels there are minor characters that I give them a life of their own, but I never enter their heads or have scenes outside of the protagonists. But television requires a wide range of stories. What the book did was it took characters who later became more important in the saga and gave them to them from the start, and planted the seeds for later disputes. They read all of the books and this allows them to think in perspective. A verbatim adaptation will not work either.
The first book in the Bridgerton saga (Orano op-ed), now re-released with characters from the series on the cover.
The special thing about your work is that you play with elements of period novels, such as the role of the woman. Did you feel there was a need to “refresh” some of the cliches?
– The genre has always evolved. When they explain to me that my heroines are feminists, my answer is that if you read other books of this kind, you will find many feminist figures as well, even if that word did not exist at the time. What I look forward to is to remain historically realistic: My personalities are feminists in that what society allows them their life experience allows them to imagine. They are revolutionaries because they start asking questions.
-How does this work?
On Netflix, Eloise wonders what it’s like to go to college. I don’t think it would occur to her to apply to Oxford and ask for admission; It is something very out of context. But the fact that you question your own reality is a start: admitting when something is unfair is revolutionary. Giving characters these feminist feelings is historically correct. When we look back, there are some women we call pioneers. But we must also celebrate those who enabled this empowerment: Before these extraordinary feminists tore down walls, there were others removing bricks to make it easier to throw them. This is how I think, women.
The Romantic period seems to generate a very special attraction in the 21st century. Why?
The historical time that I choose for my novels, which falls at the beginning of the nineteenth century, is one of the most popular times for romance novels. Partly because we have grown up reading Jane Austen, or seeing adaptations of her work. But it also lies at a fair point far enough away to feel like a fairy tale, but not so far that the characters’ actions are incomprehensible or difficult to empathize with.
If someone said, “There weren’t Simon’s skin-colored dukes,” I would reply that there probably weren’t many attractive single men who didn’t have syphilis either.
Julia Quinn, writer
The fact that these narratives are often resolved by “eternal happiness” makes them a target for criticism. How do you stand in front of them?
The happy ending is the definition of a romantic novel. If it doesn’t exist, then it isn’t. It may be love, or it has certain elements of romance, but it’s something different. What happens is that you get more credit if you avoid the happy ending: We learned that tragedy is more important. How many award-winning comedies? It’s a shame: darkness is great, but it’s not the only thing that exists. Then There is a certain contempt for the happy ending, but that with the romance runs deep.
Because it is mainly written and read by women. It is something we do as a community: We undervalue the things we consider “feminine”.. It is believed this way although many people are reading these books and they are financially very profitable. Selling these novels allows publishers to publish poetry: they support it with romance. I hope Bridgerton’s success as a chain helps change these preconceptions. Lots of people watched the show without knowing that they were going to see a romance novel and maybe now they are looking for something else like that.
The series changed the characteristics of some characters to be more comprehensive. For example, the black nobility of the British aristocracy in the nineteenth century. How did you see this?
-I think it’s cool I feel grateful. The creative team of the show expanded my world in a way that I couldn’t. I am just one person and the diversity is confined to myself, while the authors of the series form a diverse group in gender, sexual orientation, race and religion. All of them were able to bring their imagination into the world of narration and I appreciate it.
Julia Quinn, happy with Bridgerton Collection.
Were you concerned that it was being questioned as being historically untrue?
When we talk about romance, the only thing that matters is feelings. The show did a great job of displaying that on screen in a way that more people can now relate to as part of that experience. If someone said, “There weren’t Simon’s skin-colored dukes,” I would reply that there probably weren’t many attractive single men who didn’t have syphilis either. If you are already in fantasy land, why not let more people feel that they deserve your happy ending? My interest in writing is feelings, and second or third, being historically correct.
-There is a bang scene where Daphne forces the Duke to have sex. Did you expect the success of the show to lead to a debate about consent?
– It’s not a simple scene. Some have suggested that they should be removed, but these characters are not perfect and I think they are very important to the story. It is wonderful to analyze the reaction the scene evoked over time; It is a window into the evolution of our society. But the important thing is to see it in the context in which the characters live because it is about power and how it is distributed. Society taught Daphne that her job is to marry and have children, and her husband denies this, adding to the fact that he has complete dominance and that he can do whatever he wants with her. Many are terrified of wondering what would happen if the sex was changed, but it’s not that simple because one of them has all the power.