Adapting Bridgerton

Essays on the Netflix Show in Context


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About the Book

The beloved television show Bridgerton breaks racial barriers as it explores an alternate history in which biracial Queen Charlotte elevated people of color to dukes and earls, welcoming new perspectives in Regency London.
Essays in this work examine in detail the hit Netflix series. Topics covered include Bridgerton’s unique, racially conscious casting and its effect on common tropes and roles; the overt sexuality in the context of prim Jane Austen films and historical shows like Downton Abbey, Outlander, and recent nineteenth-century adaptations; dueling; art; manners; dress; social conventions; feminism; privilege; power; dreamcasting; colorism; and yes, the sex scenes.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches English at Mission College and San Jose City College. The author of 90 popular culture books and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9331-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5234-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents


Valerie Estelle Frankel 1

Section I: Identity and Intersectionality

Beyond the Pale: Genre, Race, and Intersectional Feminist Tensions in Bridgerton

Tracy H.Z. Reese 9

Casting the Future in Bridgerton’s Past

Amy Cook and Jessica Hautsch 22

Is “the price we pay … worth the fight?” Undermining the Marriage Plot

April Toadvine 39

Hornier Than Thou: Revisioning Female Empowerment

Maria Juko 52

“You can choose to love me as much as I love you”: Identity, Intentionality, and Agency

José I. Rodríguez 65

Whiteness Is the New Black: Alt–London and the EDI Industrial Complex

Tré Ventour-Griffiths 89

Section II: Period Arts, Society, and Culture

A More Colorful History Built on Thin Ice: How Modernizing History Creates Moral Issues

Marie Michlová 109

(Un)Romancing the Ton: Respectability, Leisure, and the Pursuit of Pleasure

Viviana Castellano 119

Benedict’s Gaze

Sarah Stegall 134

Off to the Modiste: A Costume Analysis of Season Two

Valerie Estelle Frankel and Madeleine Loewen 147

Section III: Comparability with Popular Works

Spice Sells: Bridgerton, Sex, and the Jane Austen Brand

Kaitlyn Reid 171

A Regency Lady and an Edwardian Woman: Tensions Between Social Performances of Femininity and Female Empowerment in Period Pieces

Joy E. Morrow 186

Bridging the Gap Between Modern Life and the Period Piece: A Directorial Comparison of Bridgerton and Downton Abbey

Schuyler Becker 199

Natasha Rostova, Mr. Malcolm, and the Duke of Hastings: Comparing Introductions to Racially Inclusive Regency Fantasy

­Amanda-Rae Prescott 212


Valerie Estelle Frankel 227

About the Contributors 231

Index 233