‘I started hyperventilating!’ Bridgerton author Julia Quinn on her surprise at the Netflix show

Julia Quinn (author) at the Bridgerton premiere

by Arabella Horspool |
Published on

When American author Julia Quinn began penning her first Bridgerton book, ‘The Duke and I,’ no one could’ve imagined that 20 years later, it would become one of Netflix’s most-watched shows of all time.

But here we are dearest readers! With the third season of Bridgerton on its way and the filming of the fourth is about to begin, we take a look at the life and work of the author behind the hit show.

Julia Quinn biography

Julia Pottinger (Quinn is her pen name) was born in New York in 1970, but she was raised in New England. She lives with her husband, Paul Pottinger and two children in Seattle, Washington.

She has two sisters, Emily and Violet, who was an illustrator that collaborated with her sibling on several projects, but sadly passed away in 2021.

How many books has Julia Quinn written?

With over 40 books under her belt, Quinn has found a love of writing historical romance books, many of which contain a few steamy scenes. She has written several series, most notably, Bridgerton, the iconic Regency romance that has been adapted for the screen by Shonda Rhime's production company Shondaland (which has produced hit shows Grey's Anatomy and Defending Anna to name a few) and written by Chris Van Dusen.

Quinn recalled the moment she found out her stories were going to be made for Netflix during an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show.

"People will ask me, 'How did you sell it?' and I'll say, 'I didn't do anything!' The way I understand it, Shonda ran out of books to read on vacation and somehow stumbled on one of mine. It's crazy to think that my life is forever changed because Shonda didn't bring enough reading material on vacation, but that's honestly what happened."


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Julia said, "Truly, I never thought this would happen to me. And I never thought it would happen to anyone because nobody was adapting romance novels, historical, or really even contemporary for screen other than Hallmark movies.

If somebody was going to do a period piece, they wanted to do another adaptation of Jane Austen or one of the Bronte sisters. Those are all wonderful, but the historical romance novels that are being written today are a little bit different. And there's a huge market for them. I don't think it's at all surprising that the person who would realize that would be Shonda Rhimes."

And when Julia found out that the legendary Julie Andrews was set to the be voice of her character the elusive Lady Whistledown, her reaction was pretty extreme!

"I started hyperventilating. I stopped breathing basically. I wasn't breathing for so long I legitimately should have died," she said.

It's clear that Quinn is pleased with how the show's been adapted: "It's wild. It's amazing. There are these fully formed characters to me, but then these actors bring them to life and make them even more. It's not that they're just taking my characters and being what I put on the page, they're taking them and they're making them into something bigger."

Actress Phoebe Dyenvor, who played Daphne (the romantic lead alongside Regé-Jean Page's Duke of Hastings in season 1) was just as delighted to work on the show as great friendships formed on set. “The most amazing thing about Bridgerton is the people. We all formed such close bonds and it really is a heavenly job in many ways. I’m drawn to people who make me giggle, and there was such a lot of giggling on set - which is probably why we all got along so well.”


Julia Quinn books in order

Although you don’t have to read these Julia Quinn books in order, you will get to know each character much better if you do. Some characters cross over into other series, so if you want to get the most out of your reading, we recommend stating from the beginning!

Bridgerton series

There are nine books in this series that show all eight of the Bridgerton children entering the marriage market to find love. As you can see, the show has skipped over book 3 (Benedict’s story), in favour of book 4, but hopefully, we will eventually see all of these stories adapted for the small screen!

The Duke and I (Daphne's Story, Bridgerton season 1)
The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony's Story, Bridgerton season 2)
An Offer from a Gentleman (Benedict's Story)
Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Colin's Story, Bridgerton season 3)
To Sir Phillip, With Love (Eloise's Story)
When He Was Wicked (Francesca's Story)
It's In His Kiss (Hyacinth's Story)
On the Way to the Wedding (Gregory's Story)
The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After: Epilogues

Bridgerton Family Book Series Complete Books 1 - 9 Collection by Julia QuinnAmazon
Price: $94.99

Why not treat yourself or a fellow fan to this fantastic Bridgerton Collection that includes all eight of the Family Series books, as well as the epilogue? If you plan on reading them all, it'll save you money in the long run, plus it'll look wonderful on your bookshelf!

Rokesby series

This series follows the Rokesby and Bridgerton families and is therefore considered as a prequel.

Because of Miss Bridgerton
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
The Other Miss Bridgerton
First Comes Scandal

Meet the Rokesbys, Bridgerton's aristocratic close friends and neighbours. You'll get to see what your favourite characters were like as children as a young Anthony, Benedict, and Colin make an appearance, as well as their parents Violet and Viscount Edmund Bridgerton.

Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes

Julia Quinn based Queen Charlotte’s character on the real Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who rose to power alongside her husband, King George, in the late 18th century. George was nicknamed ‘The Made King’ due to his mental health issues, which the show covers.

Unlike the Bridgerton books, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story was written by Shonda Rhimes and then adapted into a book by Quinn and Rhimes, which was released after the series had aired.

Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn and Shona RhimesAmazon
Price: $13.34

Delve deeper into the history between Queen Charlotte and King George in this official tie-in story. Recognizing her potential to reshape society, Charlotte embarks on a relentless journey, advocating for herself, her spouse, and her subjects.

Splendid Trilogy

Dancing at Midnight
"A Tale of Two Sisters" in Where's My Hero?

Lyndon sisters

Everything and the Moon

Brighter Than the Sun

Agents of the Crown

To Catch an Heiress

How To Marry a Marquis

This book collection contains two book series in one and a total of four books including: 'Everything and the Moon', 'Brighter Than the Sun', 'To Catch an Heiress' and 'How To Marry a Marquis'.

Two Dukes of Wyndham

The Lost Duke of Wyndham

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

This two-book series follows Jack Audley and Thomas Cavendish on their journey to becoming the Duke of Wyndham and their romances.

Bevelstoke Series

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

What Happens in London

Ten Things I Love About You

Tom Thorne Novels Bevelstoke Series by Julia QuinnAmazon
Price: $46.76

Julia Quinn ahs mentioned that she created this series because she wanted to continue the story of secondary characters including Miranda and Turner Bevelstoke, Olivia Bevelstoke,  Sir Harry Valentine and Sebastian Grey.

Smythe-Smith quartet

Just like Heaven

A Night like This

The Sum of All Kisses

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy

After making their first appearance in 'Minx' (Splendid trilogy), author Julia Quinn has built upon these characters and put the Smythe-Smiths on centre stage.

What to read after Julia Quinn?

Whether you’ve worked your way through all of her books (congratulations!) or are looking for something similar to the Bridgerton series, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite books that are similar to Julia Quinn’s work:
Reputation by Lex Croucher
Wideacre by Philippa Gregory
Sanditon: Official ITV Tie-In Edition by Kate Riordan

Julia Quinn social media

If you want to catch up with the latest news about Julia Quinn book releases, TV adaptations and behind the scenes content, you can follow her on Instagram: @juliaquinnauthor.


Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Yours at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who enjoys cooking and spending time with her many pets.

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