What to read if you love Bridgerton

Can’t get enough of the Netflix period drama? Here are some books to extend the London season long into the second series.

A photograph of Lord Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma from Bridgerton. Image: Liam Daniel / Netflix
Lord Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma in Bridgerton. Image: Liam Daniel / Netflix

Ah, Bridgerton. Endless blossom-covered trees, heaving bosoms and conversations about honour. Shonda Rhimes’ pastel-hued period drama transports viewers to a fantastical Georgian London, where spring lasts forever and a marriage proposal is the only thing that matters. It’s proven divisive stuff: viewers seem to be either unable to get through the trailer or unable not to binge the whole thing in a matter of days. But if you’re in the latter camp, and hungry for more frills and Featheringtons, here is a reading list to keep you occupied through season two and beyond!

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (2002)

Bridgerton has won plenty of comparisons to the Noughties teen saga thanks to its mysterious narrator: Lady Whistledown. If you’re more about the gossip than the corsets, then diving into the 14-strong Gossip Girl series of books may satisfy. There are parallels to be drawn: young, affluent, beautiful people; jealous (and voracious) sexual appetites and a world where reputation is everything – it’s just the setting that’s 200 years out of step.

Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (2000)

We would be remiss, here, not to point out that Bridgerton itself is set on a collection of novels by the same name. Historical novelist Julia Quinn earned a seat at the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list with her eight books, which start with The Duke and I (now given a glossy new cover with faces you may recognise). Fans have already been swift to point out the similarities and differences between the television series and the books – as well as what clues the novels may hold for future seasons. Delving into Quinn’s written world is a sure-fire way of hanging onto those characters you’ve fallen for.

Sex! Birthrights! Overbearing matriarchs! Kevin Kwan’s riotously successful comedy may be set in modern-day Singapore, but the upper crust obsession with marriage and money makes it a worthy companion to Bridgerton. Kwan’s immaculate eye for detail means there’s plenty of lavish surroundings to gorge on, here, too – these weddings will make that of the Duke and Daphne look seriously meagre.

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