The very book that inspired the second series of the show, The Duke and I tells the love story of the oldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, Daphne, and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett. The pair befriend one another and enter a fake courtship in order for her to strike the interest of more suitors and for him to escape the eagle eyes of ambitious society mothers. Real feelings develop and Daphne and Simon quickly realise they want their ruse to become a reality.
And there’s good news for fans because the streaming platform has confirmed it will return for a second season, with production due to begin in spring.
For the uninitiated, the lavish Regency-set series is best described as a hybrid between Gossip Girl and Pride and Prejudice and is the story of Daphne Bridgerton’s scheme to avoid a loveless marriage with the doltish Lord Berbrooke by stirring up a fake romance with the Duke of Hastings.
Narrated by Lady Whistledown, a mysterious member of London’s high society who writes a regular column detailing the gossip from the coming-out season.
The contemporary production includes drama, diverse casting and the exploration of topics such as gender equality and sexual orientation.
Even the music follows suit in its own cross-genre way, the soundtrack is decidedly modern – the classical versions of pop songs, such as Ariana Grande's “thank u, next” and Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” juxtaposed over the buttoned-up social interactions of Regency London make the show that little bit more charming.
And we’ve got romance novelist Julia Quinn to thank for penning the very books that inspired the show, the first The Duke and I was published in 2000 and spans the years 1813 to 1827.
If you’ve binge-watched the entire series and can’t wait for season two, then work your way through these novels – they’re sure to fill the void.
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