Bridgerton on Netflix takes place during the Jane Austen Regency period but this is far from Jane Austen.
Though it deals with the marriage market and the plight of women; it tells a very different than those found in Jane’s novels. Multiple nude or barely clothes scenes would surprise our Jane- probably shock her. Though “billed ” as historical fiction – it may be closer to historical fantasy. Produced by Shondaland, Ms. Rhimes creates a beautiful visual feast for the viewer. The cast is diverse with Queen Charlotte, who wears the most outrageous wigs, as a woman of color. Though it has not been proven, many historians believe that she had African ancestors. Marriage “games” are depicted as quite emotionally taxing, giving women a year or two at most to make a satisfying match. Love is rarely a qualifier for marriage but Lady Bridgerton hopes that each of her 8 children will find the love she found in her own marriage.
There are many subplots as well as the main romance between the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton. There is an unwed pregnancy, affairs with lower class mistresses, a homosexual artist hiding behind a sham marriage, an attempted abortion, and suicide, and a murder!
This is seen from the eyes and poison-pen of Lady Whistledown who publishes a gossip sheet. The great mystery is to find the identity of this woman. The plight of women is quite sad- especially for members of the lower classes.
The viewer can’t help but think of Jane- and how her strong women protagonists who were able to marry for love. In Bridgerton, women often must make the best deal they can. It is enjoyable to watch; the performances are marvelous and the cast is very attractive— and the twist at the end will bring a smile to every face!