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Book Review: The Duke and I

The original book cover and the Bridgerton book cover of "The Duke and I" by Julia Quinn
Image courtesy of Julia Quinn

The Duke and I, the esteemed novel by Julia Quinn, recently made the New York Times Bestseller list. The recent uproar surrounding this 21 year old novel is heavily linked to the popularity of the Netflix original series Bridgerton, which was based off the first novel in the series.

Set during the Regency era, Lady Whistledown’s gossip column narrates the book and reveals the most intimate secrets that members of society have tried to keep from each other. There are strict rules that young women must follow if they hope to marry well — and stay off of Lady Whistledown’s radar. While these rules appear to prevail over everything else, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be those who attempt to change the rules themselves. Daphne Bridgerton, now in her second year on the marriage market, is having an incredibly difficult time finding a suitor. All of this changes when she meets Simon, the Duke of Hastings, for the first time. Simon, having suffered a poor childhood, with a father who never accepted him and no mother to nurture him, has written off marriage from his life. However, despite his adminancy on the subject of marriage, young women continue pursuing him. Daphne and Simon quickly realize they can help each other and decide to partake in a fake courtship to make Simon appear unavailable and help Daphne appear desirable once and for all for the male suitors. However, this intricate plan of pretending to court — and remain uninterested in one another — can only last so long before they’re found out by society or someone catches feelings. Will true love come between the perfect ruse Daphne and Simon have created?

Like most everyone else, I watched the Netflix series Bridgerton in just a few days. Everything about this show drew me in and left me wanting more — this truly was what Gossip Girl would have been in the 1800s. Impatiently waiting for season two, I decided to begin the Bridgerton book series. These books will keep you entertained for hours and leave readers wanting more from the Bridgerton family. There are eight books in the series, each focusing on a different Bridgerton sibling — plenty of drama to keep you entertained while awaiting the new season of the show. This Regency romance was incredibly well written — though there are moments you may hate certain characters, you cannot help but become overly invested in their lives and the intricate social scene that surrounds them.

By Rylee Petty, Staff Writer


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