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CuriousParker

Book vs. Series: On The Shelf

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I started reading this series in preparation of the new show. Highly recommend reading the versions with two epilogues. I’m hoping the TV series makes Anthony less of a jerk. Normally, when a character is an ass in one book they get the redemption edit in their own story. Anthony did not improve at all. 

I’m excited to see two actresses I know cast in the series. Both play the character of Clare on their respective shows, Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne) on Younger and Nicola Coughlin (Penelope Featherington) on Derry Girls. 

I look forward to finding out who will play Kate and her sister Edwina. The pall mall scene must be included in the series. 

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Oh, I hope we get extra pall mall. . . . I also hope we get a Smithe-Smith musicale

I'm super excited about this series, I love the books.  I wonder if we are getting a book per season (with other plots added in), there's no way we are getting the entire series at once, they cast the youngest siblings as tiny actors so they need to grow up before anything can happen.

So my big wonder is how they will handle the main point of contention in Daphne's marriage.  Her husband pulling out everytime because he doesn't want kids.   How do you put that into the show (although one of the Smithe-Smith books the hero only performs oral sex because of reasons. . . . . )

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58 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

So my big wonder is how they will handle the main point of contention in Daphne's marriage.  Her husband pulling out everytime because he doesn't want kids.   How do you put that into the show (although one of the Smithe-Smith books the hero only performs oral sex because of reasons

I bet they change it so that their main issue is something else entirely or we get a lot of heart to hearts between Daphne and Violet/one of her sisters. Isn't Francesca already married to her first husband when the books start? Or at least they could change it so that she is if I'm mis-remembering. She'd be my choice for advice (I like Violet but I'd rather see Daphne have this conversation with a peer than a parent), it would help show the sibling bonds, and Daphne can return the favor when Francesca starts falling for her second husband.

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Francesca gets married to her first husband after Daphne, I think after Anthony but before Collin.  She's younger than Eloise, so fairly young in the first novel.

I guess they could have some sort of journal explaining, or maybe just follow the Smythe smith and he just has oral sex.

Edited by meatball77
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On 9/13/2019 at 5:27 PM, meatball77 said:

I also hope we get a Smithe-Smith musicale

This was literally my first thought when I heard about the series — I want a Smythe-Smith musicale!

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I am looking forward to this series as a long time fan of the books.  I especially enjoy that they will apparently be going full Gossip Girl with Lady Whistledown doing VO, and well cast doing it as well.  

As this is Netflix, they could just show the issue with Daphne and her husband, as is, or perhaps show her writing a letter to someone asking advice that she doesn't send, so that we can see her inner thoughts on the subject without actually having her getting any input from outside sources.  I would hate to have this taken out of the story though, it's a good and realistic point of drama for a couple to have internally, and at the time it was one of the only forms of contraception available without a great deal of scandal involved.  I imagine being caught acquiring dodgy potions and whatever was available for condoms would have been quite a big deal, even if the couple were in agreement on the subject.  

I hope this show goes on and on.  I want to get to the more tangental stories in this series as well.  I want Smythe-Smiths!!!

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If they do Lady WHistledown voiceovers, how will they keep the surprise/suspense of who she is?  Until we actually find out in the books, there are several novels which have that as part of the background, and then, of course it's  a major plotline in the book where the secret comes out (trying to be a little vague in case someone hasn't read everything).  Are we always going to know who it is?  Or are they going to have two actresses, one for the writer herself and one for the voiceover?

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5 hours ago, Ailianna said:

Or are they going to have two actresses, one for the writer herself and one for the voiceover?

Gossip Girl did this so I'd imagine they'd take the same approach. Or they could have the actor do one voice for Lady W and one for her regular character.

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I find Julia Quinn books very hit or miss. I'm not so attached to the series (I've only read The Duke and I, The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown, and The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband) that I'll be super upset about how it's adapted. I'm just so curious about how they can possibly manage the tone of the show.

As a romance reader, I can put up with a lot of stupidity that just doesn't work on a TV show. In a book it's easy to skip past the bad stuff until it's good again and you don't lose the thread of the plot because for the most part, romances are fixated on the two leads. 

Yes, there's the whole 

Spoiler

Daphne rapes Simon

thing but I feel like they're just going to gloss over it and not include it in the show. Why open that can of worms when it's completely unnecessary to the story? 

I am conflicted about the colorblind casting. I'm generally in support of more non-white actors being able to get cast, especially in projects they generally do not get to be in. But this kind of historical romance is so much about whiteness, even if the characters aren't self-conscious about it. I just don't know how it's going to work. To me, it's different from even Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. Writers who were publishing their work during the time period the books were set were writing the world as they knew it. Romance writers are writing about a world of the past. And there's a layer of romanticization and fantasy that reveals things about what the writers think and what they think their readers want. It's not just the anachronistic "Spirited Young Lady" feminist leanings. In flouting a lot of the societal conventions of the time period and ignoring certain realities, it becomes a world lacking in particular context. 

If they have incredibly strong writers and directors with a vision, this could be great. If they fumble at all, it could be a complete mess. 

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I think they are going to have to abandon the train in the stories where all Bridgertons look alike (to the point of the brothers sometimes being confused one for another), as finding 8 appropriately aged and gendered actors who can act and also look all alike would be impossible.  So breaking that tangent off, I'm already predisposed to ignore some of the superficial things.  Like, if half the sibs are white, and two are black, one is South East Asian and one has an Australian accent, I'm prepared to completely ignore that they don't seem related and move on with the story.

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It looks like the entire Bridgerton clan has been cast like a family as are the Featheringtons.  It's outside characters that are race blind.  Lady Danbury, Simon. . . .

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That's good.  I appreciate color blind casting, but from my recollection all of the Bridgerton sibs are full siblings, sharing the same mother and father, and if they were fully diverse... that would have me side eyeing their mother pretty hardcore.  

 

If this were the Grace Burrows series where some of the children are illegitimate it would be different.

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I prefer the second book as well, the Sheffield women are awesome and I really like the story. I like Daphne and Simon too and "the perfect Duke who actually isn't" works well but I like the problems and conflict more in "The Viscount Who Loved Me"

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Yeah,  I liked the second book better as well.  It was actually funny.  The scenes with the super competitive ... what was it... Pall Mall or Cricket(?)... game were great.

My favorite of the entire series is Francesca's (When He Was Wicked).  So it is funny seeing her so young in this first one when in her book she is a widow already.

Edited by DearEvette
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There was more of an actual plot in the second book and character progression.  I didn't really feel that in the first book.  Daphne and Simon were friends, then in love and basta.  I really hope they flesh that story out a bit more and add more oomph to it.  

 I'm looking forward to the second season, assuming it follows the second book.  Plus, I like Jonathan Bailey who is playing Anthony. 

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19 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Yeah,  I liked the second book better as well.  It was actually funny.  The scenes with the super competitive ... what was it... Pall Mall or Cricket(?)... game were great.

My favorite of the entire series is Francesca's (When He Was Wicked).  So it is funny seeing her so young in this first one when in her book she is a widow already.

Bridgerton Style Pall Mall. Which is a bit like croquet. That felt very real to me, complete with strangers or newcomers being alternatively shocked at the family trash talk and befuddledly joining in. 

I assume they're going to have to flesh out more of the Daphne/Simon story otherwise I don't see how it can be an 8 episode season when it's a fairly short book. Obviously they have a lot of other subplots and characters going on that we didn't see because the book is just from the main characters POV.

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Colin/Penelope for the win! I wonder if they are going to do the Whistledown reveal?

I love the Pall Mall scenes. The sibling trash talk is fantastic. These books are just a great bit of escapism.

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Read this series eons ago. Will have to reread. I have no problem with diverse casting in general, but 1800s upper class Regency London? Stretching it.

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1 hour ago, Atlanta said:

Read this series eons ago. Will have to reread. I have no problem with diverse casting in general, but 1800s upper class Regency London? Stretching it.

I say go for it. They already get so many other things "wrong" and I don't see any reason to deny opportunities for people of color to play roles that they are usually left out from. It's fiction, I can suspend my disbelief plenty.

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Yeah, it's already super inaccurate so who really cares.  As long as real figures are cast appropriately it doesn't matter.  Obviously Queen Charlotte hasn't been cast as Latina or East Asian or something.

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There is at least one verified black member of the gentry/aristocracy.  Dido Elizabeth Belle was the daughter of a sea captain (who was the younger son of an Earl) and a black woman.  He left her to to be brought up in the household of her aunt and uncle, an Earl and a Countess.  By reports she was brought up as a daughter of the household, I assume she did not move completely unfettered in society but given that she was written about and also sat for portraiture she probably was able to be in polite company.  Since her father was a younger son and she herself was illegitimate she was not considered a "lady" but she was acknowledged as a member of the gentry class  -- which is a step below nobility but definitely above commoners.  She was also an heiress in her own right.  Although her father was not titled, he was rich and left her all his cash.

There was a movie about her, Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

 

Edited by DearEvette
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According to this tweet by Nicola Coughlan it is "VERY SEXY" so I'm glad to hear they're sticking to their romance novel roots. 

I've been reading the series in preparation for this and I have to admit that I like the prequel series much better than the OG series. But that also means I won't feel particularly upset by any changes they make.

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15 hours ago, pigs-in-space said:

According to this tweet by Nicola Coughlan it is "VERY SEXY" so I'm glad to hear they're sticking to their romance novel roots. 

I've been reading the series in preparation for this and I have to admit that I like the prequel series much better than the OG series. But that also means I won't feel particularly upset by any changes they make.

It's the publication year.  There have been big changes in romance since her books were published.

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That is an excellent point.  JQ's writing has always been good, but the cliches and tropes for romance novels have changed significantly since the original Bridgerton books were published, so there are a lot of things in them that don't hold up well, or are more.... iffy to today's audience.  The books are definitely good, we wouldn't be having this series otherwise.  I do think that JQ has grown as an author over the years as well.  Her writing gets better instead of falling into the trap of retreading the same ruts in the road as some do.

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On 11/24/2020 at 8:20 PM, Atlanta said:

Read this series eons ago. Will have to reread. I have no problem with diverse casting in general, but 1800s upper class Regency London? Stretching it.

Leaving aside the celebrated Hamilton, my local Shakespeare theater in Washington, DC has been employing a diverse cast for a number of their plays where, in the past, you would typically find primarily white actors in the lead roles. And, I'm getting the impression that casting out of the usual mold is becoming more common. Isn't there a new version of David Copperfield starring Dev Patel?

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I noticed the frequent shots of bees...presumably a book call-out since the Bridgerton patriarch died of a bee-sting.

And of course Sir Phillip Crane made an appearance, although this time his wife is not a distant Bridgerton cousin. I honestly would like to see them completely change Eloise's character arc, as I found Sir Phillip in the books to be a boor. I'd prefer to see poor Marina actually achieve some happiness with her new husband. 

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Yes the bee motif wasn't subtle for anyone who's read the books. 

I mentioned on the episode thread that they changed it so that Daphne had her debut on the show, which makes sense since they wanted to include the Queen and that she went from Diamond to Pariah because of Anthony and Marina. Whereas in the book she'd been out for two years and had no scandal but she thinks everyone thinks she's nice but boring. It's Simon that thinks three older brothers have been both inadvertently and knowingly blocking some less than brave souls from coming forward.

 

 

 

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I can't believe I watched 3 episodes before I realized I had read the first book.  The sham arrangement to get through a London "season" seemed so familiar, I began to wonder if it was just a common trope.  I didn't know it as Bridgerton but The Duke and I.  Luckily I don't remember any of the details (except the HEA ending), so whatever changes they make to the show will not bother me. 

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15 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I can't believe I watched 3 episodes before I realized I had read the first book.  The sham arrangement to get through a London "season" seemed so familiar, I began to wonder if it was just a common trope.  I didn't know it as Bridgerton but The Duke and I.  Luckily I don't remember any of the details (except the HEA ending), so whatever changes they make to the show will not bother me. 

It’s also a very common trope! One of my faves. 😄

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7 hours ago, Featherhat said:

Yes the bee motif wasn't subtle for anyone who's read the books. 

I mentioned on the episode thread that they changed it so that Daphne had her debut on the show, which makes sense since they wanted to include the Queen and that she went from Diamond to Pariah because of Anthony and Marina. Whereas in the book she'd been out for two years and had no scandal but she thinks everyone thinks she's nice but boring. It's Simon that thinks three older brothers have been both inadvertently and knowingly blocking some less than brave souls from coming forward.

While I prefer Daphne's book problems, it just feels fresher and less like Drama with a capital D, I appreciate this introduces the more encompassing changes to the show's universe better. 

8 hours ago, pigs-in-space said:

I noticed the frequent shots of bees...presumably a book call-out since the Bridgerton patriarch died of a bee-sting.

And of course Sir Phillip Crane made an appearance, although this time his wife is not a distant Bridgerton cousin. I honestly would like to see them completely change Eloise's character arc, as I found Sir Phillip in the books to be a boor. I'd prefer to see poor Marina actually achieve some happiness with her new husband. 

My assumption about changing Marina's background is that the producers didn't want Eloise marrying her deceased cousin's husband one day. Particularly if they keep Francesca marrying her deceased husband's cousin eventually.

Can someone remind me of Marina's book story? Am I remembering correctly that she was originally engaged to Phillip's older brother and then Phillip inherited whatever lands, duties and a fiance when the brother passed? I remember learning she suffered from depression and maybe post partum. Did we learn anything more about her? 

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13 minutes ago, bijoux said:

Can someone remind me of Marina's book story? Am I remembering correctly that she was originally engaged to Phillip's older brother and then Phillip inherited whatever lands, duties and a fiance when the brother passed? I remember learning she suffered from depression and maybe post partum. Did we learn anything more about her? 

I just read this one and it heavily hints that she was always prone to depression but ppd definitely seems to have been a contributing factor that exacerbated her condition. I didn’t think the book handled that storyline particularly well. Yet another reason I hope they change it completely.

You’re correct that she was originally meant for Phillip’s older brother.

Edited by pigs-in-space
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Did Philip love his wife or was she just the mother of the children who died?  

Considering they chose to expand on her character this season, I would love to see her have a better future in the series but since they stupidly kept so many of the Simon and Daphne book issues, I don't hold out much hope. 

I've only read the first two books so could anyone tell me if Penelope did anything on the level of what she did to Marina and Colin in the series?  While I did know she was Lady Whistledown, that's all I knew.  I didn't think she published things that would actively ruin lives of her friends?  I don't know how the series is going to come back from that?  Just conveniently get rid of Marina so we don't have to think about it? 

Assuming this gets a second season, I'm curious to see who they cast as Kate.  I'll be looking forward to a funnier love story which I liked so much more than Simon and Daphne's.  

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3 minutes ago, Door County Cherry said:

Did Philip love his wife or was she just the mother of the children who died?  

Considering they chose to expand on her character this season, I would love to see her have a better future in the series but since they stupidly kept so many of the Simon and Daphne book issues, I don't hold out much hope. 

He didn’t love her.

I’ll let others weigh in on the rest as I got bored somewhere along the way and stopped in the middle of the series. All I recall is Penelope was usually very complimentary and easy on the Bridgertons but I could be forgetting stuff.

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1 hour ago, Door County Cherry said:

I've only read the first two books so could anyone tell me if Penelope did anything on the level of what she did to Marina and Colin in the series?  While I did know she was Lady Whistledown, that's all I knew.  I didn't think she published things that would actively ruin lives of her friends?  I don't know how the series is going to come back from that?  Just conveniently get rid of Marina so we don't have to think about it? 

Assuming this gets a second season, I'm curious to see who they cast as Kate.  I'll be looking forward to a funnier love story which I liked so much more than Simon and Daphne's.  

The worst LW moments were actually in a couple of anthologies that JQ wrote with other authors, although she wrote all the LW parts. "Further Adventures of Lady Whistledown" and "Lady Whistledown Strikes Back". In one of them she joins in a witch hunt for a "who stole the necklace" plot and ends up openly putting innocent people on her "suspect list" and revealing a lot of unfair personal information about the various protagonists including labelling this guy who had just come back from the Napoleonic wars and clearly had PTSD type thoughts, a fortune hunter, even though he had been doing his best to be honourable about trying to find a girl with just enough dowry to start a farm. Obviously he falls for the richest heiress there. That left a bad taste in my mouth. 

She's usually only mildly snarky about the Bridergtons and definitely snarky about the Featheringtons as an outlet. But never to ruin them just pointing out the ridiculousness. I think she was trying to get her mother to dress her differently by calling herself a "singed daffodil".  

ETA If they get that far I can't imagine then having Eloise and Phillip Crane in this after a whole involved storyline with Marina but who knows? 

Edited by Featherhat
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13 minutes ago, Featherhat said:

If they get that far I can't imagine then having Eloise and Phillip Crane in this after a whole involved storyline with Marina but who knows? 

My biggest fear is that they send her away, she's not in the second season, she has a few kids, she dies in a later season and then we move into Eloise's story. 

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Does anyone remember Eloise having scholastic aspirations? @pigs-in-space, is that mentioned in the books? From what I remember, Eloise was successfully avoiding marriage without detection for years because she didn't want it until she started corresponding with Phillip and was somewhat triggered by Penelope's and Colin's marriage. 

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27 minutes ago, bijoux said:

Does anyone remember Eloise having scholastic aspirations? @pigs-in-space, is that mentioned in the books? From what I remember, Eloise was successfully avoiding marriage without detection for years because she didn't want it until she started corresponding with Phillip and was somewhat triggered by Penelope's and Colin's marriage. 

I actually think there's a line where she specifically says she isn't a blue stocking but I don't know where it is. She likes writing letters to people but that's really it. 

IIRC in To Sir Philip With Love she's not actually against marriage just that she doesn't want it if she can't have a true love match like all her siblings and friends (which is common in later books of romance series). She had a number of proposals which she's allowed to reject and has a reputation as "picky" and at 28 was okish with aging out of the "marriage mart" as long as she had Penelope with her and they could eventually get a spinster cottage together or something. Because everyone knew Pen would never marry and had never even had one proposal. But yes when Penelope and Colin suddenly get married her future gets a lot bleaker and she's shocked by Philip's proposal because they hadn't met but kind of thinks they get a long in their letters and he's her last chance and runs off without telling anyone. Shenanigans then ensue. 

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So I bought Romancing Mister Bridgerton after finishing the show because I wanted to see Penelope/Colin's story... Geez, that was boring. The opening chapter was utterly charming...and then it just went into one repetitive conversation about Lady Whistledown after another (who is she? Is it you? No, it's her! No, it's somebody else! Let's talk about her some more! Everybody talk about her!). Even if I hadn't been clued in by the show, it would have been obvious who it had to be; there would have been no payoff in the story if it wasn't one of the two main characters, because that much fixation on a secondary character when there was really nothing else going on with the main ones would have been a waste of time.

I liked that both of them were relatively untortured, especially as romance novel characters go (the back cover says she "stumbles upon his deepest secret;" what--that he writes journals? Pffft.). I generally liked how the Whistledown part played out in the second half post-reveal...but they had little chemistry, I had no idea when the falling in love happened on his side (she asks him to kiss her...then they fool around in his carriage, so they have to get married, and...that's it? He's in love with her now?), and there was no real plot (halfway through I was thinking, "Is anything ever going to happen???"). I assume they're going to have do a major rewrite for the show, and come up with an actual story where the characters...have things to do.

Hopefully that one isn't representative of the quality of the rest of the books (though I see on Goodreads it has a very high rating, presumably because of readers' affection for Penelope).

Edited by TheOtherOne
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Yeah, I thought it was nice, but with all the build-up surrounding the mystery it felt like a cop-out: It's clear that it has to be Penelope, but the book is cheating to create "suspense." Colin and Penelope have nice enough rapport, but it seemed all rather pedestrian. Quinn has various issues as a writer that go beyond just the usual quirks of the romance genre, but "Romancing"...just isn't that interesting IMO.

I actually think Anthony's book is the strongest. He's not the easiest character, but at least the tension between the main couple is real and the conflict actually stems from both their personalities/goals and it's interesting how they try to work it out. There are various instances where they are just cruel to each other, but at least it's acknowledged as terrible behaviour and not swept aside like with Daphne and Simon.

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It's funny. I checked out my ebooks and it turns out I have Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and To Sir Phillip with Love, so I decided to start with the first, since it comes that way chronologically. And I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not a wild romp, but I love the way Colin and Penelope are discovering themselves and each other as they go. 

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