Find some romance and scandal in Victorian society


The wallflower turned spinster, Ms. Penelope Featherington. (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

By Savannah Epperson, News Editor



You have just watched the trailer for “Bridgerton”, season three. While you are still disgusted with Colin and the way he talked about Penelope, you are intrigued. You want to know more. Now you have to read the book to see how Miss. Penelope Featherington handles the third Bridgerton brother.

“Romancing Mister Bridgerton” is a plus-size romance story set in London, England in 1825, a time where being plus-size is unacceptable in society. The author, Julia Quinn, really shows just how strong the women of the time were, and her novel is relatable for most plus-size women today. This ? is not a new issue – it has been around for centuries – however, Quinn creates a world where the characters face adversity and acceptance in equal parts.

“Bridgerton” is a wildly popular Netflix show set to release its third season in April, and Quinn’s novel is the fourth book of the series that the show is based on.

The cover of “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”, one of many in Julia Quinn’s series. (Book cover courtesy of Avon publications)

Penelope is a twenty-eight-year-old spinster, and plus-size on top of it. Penelope constantly endures backhanded compliments and open criticism from her family and others in the Ton. 

Colin is a thirty-three-year-old bachelor who is constantly traveling to avoid his mother’s marriage machinations. Colin broke Penelope’s heart when she was younger by loudly proclaiming he would never marry her. Now, he is back in London and the two become friends – and eventually something more. 

Quinn’s novel is a beautiful romance with an inspiring main character. Readers will sometimes want to cry their heart out at the way Penelope is treated and rip their hair out over Colin. Nonetheless, the character development is strong.

Penelope is a strong, unbending force who endures so much scorn from her peers. She finds her own way even before Colin and does not need him to be successful. She may seem shy on the outside, but she is witty and funny and so beautiful on the inside. She is also beautiful on the outside, even if her peers do not believe it.

Meanwhile, Colin is a sweet, strong, and smart man who realizes when he makes mistakes and faces up to them. He believes himself to be without purpose, yet has lovely words to share with the world. Penelope always encourages him and accepts him, and readers will too when they come across the commentary on how Colin feels like he has been reduced to his charm and pretty face. He wants to do more with his life than charm the ladies. 

The third brother, Colin Bridgerton, full of wanderlust. (Photo courtesy of Netflix) (Photo by LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

The story is well-written, though Quinn includes plenty of ups and downs. There is the typical Bridgerton scandal, and the drama and tension between Colin and Penelope is impeccable.

It must be said, though, that Quinn created a hilarious cast of characters who make the story come to life: the sharp-tongued Lady Danbury, who announces a contest to find Lady Whistledown. The sweet and young Felicity, who loves Penelope dearly even when her mother tries to place Felicity above her. The hilarious young Hyacinth, who enjoys fighting with her siblings and exchanging witty remarks with those who choose to engage her. Finally, the long-suffering head of the Bridgerton household, Violet. She spends her time trying to make her children happy and accepts them as they are, in full.

This book is excellent because of the strong main characters who find their own happiness. They support one another and help each other grow and thrive. The commentary on Penelope’s outsider status and Colin’s charm brings the whole story together and creates real, flawed characters that come off the page. The tension and drama that builds and builds until it explodes helps to move the story along. This story is not cliche or overdone, it is Colin and Penelope’s story and theirs alone. Then the hilarious cast of characters that support them and help them grow and thrive. All these beautiful parts make a very cohesive and sweet whole. 

Those who were not going to watch season three of Bridgerton should now. It will be worth it.