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Netflix’s Bridgerton Season 3 is loosely based on Julia Quinn’s “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”.

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 Review

Learn how Bridgerton Season 3 compares to its source material, the novel, “Romancing Mister Bridgerton“.

(Minor spoilers from the books might follow.)

Bridgerton Season 3 – Key Differences Between Book and Show

  • In the Julia Quinn novels, Romancing Mister Bridgerton is the fourth book in the Bridgerton Series following Daphne, Anthony, and Benedict. The story happens simultaneously with book 5 and book 6.
  • At the beginning of the book, Penelope is 28 and Colin is 33. In the t.v. series, Penelope is in her third season and Eloise is in her second season which put them closer to 20 or 21.
  • Penelope and Eloise are considered old maids and spinsters in the books.
  • Kate and Anthony have 3 children meaning Violet and her unmarried children have moved to Number 5.
  • Eloise is busy writing letters in secret (her own romance happens simultaneously in book #5, To Sir Philip, With Love). In fact, she writes so much that Colin thinks she might be Lady Whistledown.

“‘I think she’s Lady Whistledown,’ he blurted out…. She is always writing things down…. She locks herself in her room for hours on end, and it’s after those periods that her fingers are covered with ink.'”

  • Francesca in the books is 26, has been married and widowed four years with her romance also happening simultaneously (book #6, When He Was Wickedwith Francesca gamely plays matchmaker and even suggests that her eventual suitor should meet Penelope.

“She went on as if he hadn’t spoken. ‘I think I shall introduce you to Eloise’s friend Penelope…. I believe you might like her.'”

  • Cressida Cowper is now Lady Cressida Twombley, a widow.
  • Penelope has a younger sister, Felicity, who is best friends with Hyacinth Bridgerton. In fact, Portia Featherington in Romancing Mister Bridgerton suggests Colin as a possible suitor for Felicity.

“Penelope managed to blink just before her eyes bugged right out of her head. ‘Colin Bridgerton is not going to marry Felicity!'”

Bridgerton Season 3 – Colin’s Journal

In Julia Quinn’s novel, Penelope visits Number 5 to visit the Bridgerton ladies when she spots “a bound book lying open on the table” and after “she inched towards it and glanced down without actually touching the pages,” she reads a couple of his entries from his trip to Cyprus. Putting it lightly, these are extremely tame in nature compared to the journal entries that Penelope reads on Colin’s desk in the Netflix tv show.

The scene in fact plays quite differently on screen compared to the book. In the book, Colin is so angry that she has been reading his journal that she had “never heard him use such a tone” and Quinn describes him as demanding, visible furious, snarling, and “his eyes flashing so furiously that Penelope stumbled back a step”.

It makes it all the more interesting when Penelope tells Colin that she would like to read more of his writings in the Netflix show. Does seem rather “odd” unless there is supposed to be a sexual undertone to the request in the show that I failed to pick up on. But then again Penelope is in no ways the inexperienced and uneducated virgin that Daphne was in Bridgerton Season 1 when Duke of Hastings was instructing her in how to pleasure herself.

Bridgerton Season 3 – Francesca and John Stirling

Bridgerton Season 3 Francesca

Fans of the Julia Quinn books will appreciate the history of Francesca’s love story in When He is Wicked. Being able to see Francesca’s courtship by John Stirling in Bridgerton Season 3 is a bittersweet surprise and delight. While fans of When He is Wicked will know that something special is in store for Francesca, the chemistry and cuteness between Francesca Bridgerton and John Stirling is so iconic that they almost surpass this season’s star couple, Penelope and Colin.

In fact, I would argue that from the moment John Stirling and Francesca Bridgerton meet in Episode 3 “Forces of Nature” of Bridgerton Season 3 they are this season’s lovers fans will be rooting for.

For fans of the books this is a bittersweet moment because of just how adorable they are together. We know our time with this couple is limited unless Shonda Rhimes makes a dramatic change to the Bridgerton series. (Yes, they made a dramatic change in Season 1 making Marina Thompson Crane a Featherington relation and not a Bridgerton relation which left fans wondering how a correspondence between Sir Phillip and Eloise can start.)

Bridgerton Season 3 – Smythe-Smith Musicale?

In Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Colin and Penelope attend the infamous Smythe-Smith musicale events where Lady Danbury accidentally knocks Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith’s violin off a table with her cane.

These musicale events are always a source of laughter and entertainment in the Bridgerton books and the Smythe-Smith family have their own book series starting with Honoria’s Just Like Heaven which features the same scene of Lady Danbury knocking the violin off the table or as the author describes the violin as being “trampled by an elephant.”

Unfortunately the stories do not cross over in Bridgerton Season 3. We hope to see some of Honoria and the Smythe-Smith family in later seasons when Gregory will be at university (if the show lasts that long).

Bridgerton Season 3 – What is to Follow?

  • Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 will debut on Netflix on June 13, 2024.

There will include 4 more episodes to round out the season that will continue to focus on the newly engaged couples, Penelope and Colin and Francesca and John.

  • Future Seasons of Bridgerton? There is plenty of material for all the Bridgerton children and of course fans could easily see favorites Violet, Lady Danbury, and Queen Charlotte doing a sequel to Queen Charlotte.
  • Other Julia Quinn Books to Screen? Personal favorites I would love to see translated to the screen would be the hilarious What Happens in London (we could easily enough create a connection to Lady Danbury or Queen Charlotte or the Bridgerton family) and Honoria’s Just Like Heaven.

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Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 Review

Bridgerton Season 3 How it Differs from the Books