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Bridgerton Author Defends Divisive Changes Made to Netflix Series Storylines

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Julia Quinn, whose historical fiction novels have been adapted into Netflix’s huge hit Bridgerton, does not seem bothered by changes made the the source material in order to make it work better for television. Whether it’s bits that didn’t make it into the final cut, or more explicit changes made to the series’ timeline and some characters’ personalities, Quinn seems to acknowledge that not only does executive producer Shonda Rhimes know what she’s doing, but also that TV is a totally different medium than books, and sometimes, things are going to change just as a matter of course.

Quinn works closely with Rhimes — so much so that the recent Queen Charlotte spinoff was actually created for television, and then adapted backwards into a book, rather than the other way around. Next up is the third season of Bridgerton, in which producers decided to break with publication order for the books. Rather than focusing on Benedict, whose story would be next in line if the series followed the timeline of the books, season three centers on Penelope and Colin.

“I think they had just felt they had laid down so much groundwork because we already know Penelope,” Quinn told Insider. “We haven’t met Benedict’s love interest. I suppose people are gonna say, ‘They could have introduced her.’ But the fact of the matter is, we haven’t. And what I try to tell people is, look, once a character has their season, we don’t see them as much, right? So, if you love Benedict, you want him to wait as long as possible.”

Here’s how Netflix describes Queen Charlotte, the new prequel series set in the world of Bridgerton, which is also the first Bridgerton project to be showrun by Shonda Rhimes:

Centered on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, this Bridgerton-verse prequel tells the story of how the young Queen’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton.

From Shondaland and Creator Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne. Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.

Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all. The series also stars Golda Rosheuvel, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh, Polly Walker, Ben Miller, Bessie Carter and Harriet Cains and Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown. The series is inspired by Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels.

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