netflix The Bridgertons
Lady Whistledown isn’t done yet!
Longtime fans of the Bridgerton book series by Julia Quinn — which was adapted by Shonda Rhimes into the mega-hit Netflix show that premiered last year — haven’t heard from the revered author of the scandal-filled society papers since she was featured in a novella that published in 2004.
Almost 20 years later, Lady Whistledown has returned in The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton: Lady Whistledown’s Official Guide, published Tuesday.
“It was an absolute joy to revisit the books and characters for The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton. There were so many tiny moments I’d forgotten about,” Quinn tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.
“[The book] was conceived with Bridgerton readers in mind, but I think that Netflix fans who haven’t read the books will enjoy it, too,” she continues. “It provides a deeper understanding of the characters brought so skillfully to life on the show.”
In the original historical romance series set in Regency England, Lady Whistledown’s anonymous gossip sheet keeps the tongues of “the ton” wagging as the eight beloved Bridgerton siblings find love and fight off scandal. (In the show, Lady Whistledown is the anonymous narrator, with Julie Andrews serving as the voice actor.) Now, in The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton, fans are getting a much longed-for update of their favorite characters.
Each chapter focuses on one of the siblings — Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth — plus more main characters from the series, like Simon (Daphne’s love interest, played by Regé-Jean Page in the first season), Kate (Anthony’s love interest), Violet (the mother of the Bridgerton brood) and Lady Danbury. Lady Whistledown provides a witty introduction to each section, which highlight some of the funniest, most swoon-worthy quotes by and about the characters in the Bridgerton books.
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netflix Regé-Jean Page as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton
Case in point: Simon’s thoughts when he sees Daphne in The Duke and I, now highlighted in The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton. (In the Netflix show, Simon echoes these words during one of the most intimate moments between the lovers.)
Despite his composed demeanor,
despite all of his promises to
Anthony, he burned for her. When he
saw her across a crowded room, his
skin grew hot, and when he saw her
in his dreams, he went up in flames.
Unfortunately for fans, Quinn isn’t authorized to share details about the second season of Bridgerton. (The show was renewed through season 4 in April.)
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Roberto Filho The author
“I’m not allowed to give anything away about season 2, but I will say that I’m a consultant for the show,” she says. “And I warned the team that if pall-mall wasn’t included, I would ‘consult the heck out of’ the storyline.”
The author is referencing an intensely competitive round of pall-mall (a now obsolete game similar to croquet) that occurs in the second book in the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me, Anthony and Kate’s love story.
Like Daphne and Simon (the stars of the first book and first season), Anthony and Kate are both passionate and intriguingly flawed characters. And, as Lady Whistledown makes clear, the viscount is very much a “Rake.”
Liam Daniel/Netflix Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton and Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma in season 2 of Bridgerton
From Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, 20 April 1814 (as quoted in The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton, originally published in The Viscount Who Loved Me):
The topic of rakes has, of course, been previously discussed in this column, and This Author has come to the conclusion that there are rakes, and there are Rakes.
Anthony Bridgerton is a Rake.
A rake (lower-case) is youthful and immature. He flaunts his exploits, behaves with utmost idiocy, and thinks himself dangerous to women.
A Rake (upper-case) knows he is dangerous to women.
He doesn’t flaunt his exploits because he doesn’t need to. He knows he will be whispered about by men and women alike, and in fact, he’d rather they didn’t whisper about him at all. He knows who he is and what he has done; further recountings are, to him, redundant.
He doesn’t behave like an idiot for the simple reason that he isn’t an idiot. He has little patience for the foibles of society, and quite frankly, most of the time This Author cannot say she blames him.
And if that doesn’t describe Viscount Bridgerton—surely this season’s most eligible bachelor—to perfection, This Author shall retire Her quill immediately.
The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton is on sale now. Season 2 of Bridgerton will premiere in 2022 on Netflix.