The Duke And I by Julia Quinn
I am not a romance reader but @bridgertonnetflix was the exact tonic I needed (along with many gin and tonics) during lockdown. A very dear friend has always adored @juilaquinn and this is her prized 2000 UK edition. Romance is a genre denigrated as not being very literary and honestly I held that view and was intrigued – would I love this because of the show? The narrator in my mind whilst reading was the inimitable Julia Andrews and Simon was MOST DEFINITELY @regejean . I also had the Bridgerton musical as my mental soundtrack (I blame you @mlebear and @abigailbarloww). Watching before reading, something I usually don’t do, didn’t take away from either iteration, it enhanced both.
What I was not expecting was the wit and sensuality. I bellowed with laughter, the writing is genuinely beautiful, the author evokes that sumptuous and luxurious feel with real emotion and passion. The sense of family, the hilarity of the mothers chasing eligible bachelors, the grandeur of the balls is cleverly evoked. Discussion of what classical society deemed as traits of femininity and women’s tenuous position surprised me. In the book the nuances in character and context are prominent. It’s similar to pride and prejudice ( ah the BBC adaption. The others are not worth mentioning am I right?)
If you loved the Netflix version, this book is worth a read. It made me take out my dresses and dream of attending a marvellously lavish soirée (dress pictured made by my insanely talented mother and sister. The lace makes me swoon). @juliaquinnauthoryou are bloody talented. Please accept my apology and applause.