Bridgerton book vs series
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Along with 82 million other households, I demolished Bridgerton back in the limbo week between Christmas and New Year. To see to what I thought of the series, check out my review here.
What followed was me looking into the book series because of course I wanted to see what would happen next to the characters. The series is based off one of the eight books in the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn.
There are eight books all together, one for each Bridgerton sibling. The series starts with a look into Daphne's love life, much like the Netflix series.
Already the TV show has been given the go-ahead for a second season. This week it was announced the Duke wouldn't be joining but seeing as the next focus is on Daphne's eldest brother Anthony, the Duke wouldn't be in it much anyway.
I started the book series from the beginning, The Duke and I, to see the differences with the TV series. Would I recommend reading the books? No.
My friend told me the other day that the fact I did an English degree means I may be a bit of a book snob, but I don't think you need to be a book snob to think that these books are just a bit...meh.
I kept a list of the differences from the series as I read along so I'll work through them now but first of all let me warn you, there are spoilers in this piece from season one only so if haven't watched that yet, go to the series first then return to this.
Just like the Netflix series, this book follows the relationship between Daphne and Simon. The difference is that that's all it focuses on.
Yes you see how they fall for each other after pretending to be courting. And yes you see all the fertility issues that eventually work themselves out, but you don't really get to see the other characters very much at all.
So rather than having the lives of Daphne's brother's explored, they simply serve as the protectors of their sister when Simon messes her around. If anything it makes them quite 2D because that's all we see of them. I also found them quite annoying too because every time they showed up they were doing the same thing so they became pretty robotic.
As for the Featherington family and Marina's pregnany, there is none of that whatsoever.
My issue with this meant that the book was just a bit boring because it was just a love story. There was nothing else too it. I think Netflix have added more to the other characters because without that, it wouldn't have been the success it was - but who knows.
Simon's relationship with Ms Danbury is much of a focus less too. If anything she's hardly in it which I found a real shame because she added so much to the series.
In the TV show she is the narrator throughout the whole series. Her voice pops up now and then to stir the gossip and we see the gossip unravel and the impact it has on certain characters.
In the book, she opens each chapter with a part of her gossip column. I think this works well for the book-structure. However, because all there is for her to gossip about in the book is that one central relationship, it means that the role she plays is less important and therefore you could take her out the book and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.
As this book only focuses on one relationship I'd better get to the point of comparing how they're presented in the book vs series.
It's way more obvious from the early stages that they're falling for each other in the book. Whilst we're waiting until episode four for little hints of them starting to like each other which keeps it exciting and intruging, by 38% of the way through the book (I read it on a kindle) we're getting lines like 'The devastating Duke was devastating her heart' and 'Daphne knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that she was falling in love'. I mean wow - it really lays everything out on the table with cringey over-the-top lines.
These declarations so early on means that it lost the excitement for me very quickly because it was obvious what was going to happen.
As for the fertility issues, Daphne works out herself why he's pulling out early, rather than the maid having to tell her. The way she works it out in the book means she doesn't have the same level of naivity to begin with and therefore the development of the character is much smaller.
The rape scene is different though, and more obviously rape I think. Simon is very drunk and she essentially seduces him when he's completely out of it - how he could get hard in the first place if he's that paralytically drunk is beyond me but we'll move on. She completely takes advantage of the situation for her own gain.
Also, Simon only manages to mutter 'Oh Christ, I'm going to, I can't' and that's it - really showing how far gone he is. Whereas in the series they both seduce each other, they're both very with it, and he actually wants to her stop. I think if anything the book discussed consent more because you see the thoughts of both characters - I liked that because I felt the series completely glossed over the fact she raped him.
The aftermath of the rape is different too. She goes to London alone in the book, appearing to be the abaondoned wife whilst he hides away at one of his estates. This goes on for months before they are reunited and eventually make up.
Bridgerton got a lot of talk around it's sex scenes and this features in the book too, but definitely not in a good way.
I found them cringey and boring, and completely lacking any sort of excitement that people liked from the show.
Lines like 'I want to be in your heart, I want to be in your soul' and 'And when he was settled fully within her body, he knew he was home.' I mean...everyone said how badly written Fifty Shades of Grey was and I don't think these scenes are written much better.
Julia finishes each of these books with an epilogue to look at the future of the characters. In this case she showed us that Simon and Daphne have four kids and then they're surprised to find they're expecting one more with Daphne at the age of 41 (which classes as a geriatric mother now, nevermind in Regency London).
Their marriage is full of love and it all seems very perfect.
What really annoyed me with this was that we find out a spoiler around the brothers and who they end up with. What I would say is that this of course isn't Julia's fault because if I hadn't seen the series, this wouldn't be a spoiler because it would just be a name, but because we see more characters in the show, the epilogue gives away some big details for the future of the characters. So if you want spoilers then read ahead, but I'm just going to ignore the books and focus on the series from now on.
I'm not reading any more of these books and I think that says it all really. I found them very basic and boring. I know that each one will focus on each Bridgerton sibling, but I want more than 300 pages focusing soley on Anthony so I'll give it a miss.
If you loved the series I don't think the books match up so I'd just wait and see what Netflix do with the rest of it. If Julia's taken eight books to cover the love life of each character individually, I think Netflix will have it all out in four seasons and that will be more than enough.
If you want some easy-to-read basic love stories then knock yourself out, but don't expect much more than that.
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