Bridgerton: An A-Z guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

Lady Whistledown herself may have vetted this endeavour.

Rohini Nair December 28, 2020 11:48:45 IST
Bridgerton: An A-Z guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

Still from Netflix's Bridgerton | Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton

Beloved reader,

You must have, by now, taken in the delights of the newest entertainment offering for the masses — the series known as Bridgerton, whose provenance may be traced to the streaming platform Netflix, the production establishment known as Shondaland, and the books of Lady Julia Quinn.

Having experienced these eight edifying hours, you may be eager to learn how to navigate this world, to become a member of the ton, as it were.

Still your apprehensions, for we have compiled this little alphabetical guide to grant your endeavours the requisite direction.

XOXO

A:

Aristocracy — the elite class our story revolves around.
Arrogant — what a lady may initially perceive a gentleman to be, until she discovers through a mix of providence and persistence that he is really quite wonderful.
Ambitious — mammas, when seeking a match for their offspring.
Anthony — the eldest Bridgerton, and the Viscount after his father's death; characterised by sideburns, a glower, constant looks at his pocket watch, energetic romps with his lover, a readiness for duels, and significant blockheadedness.

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

The Bridgerton brood | All images courtesy Netflix

B:

Bridgertons — the family our story revolves around.
Balls — of which there are a plethora; assemblies for dancing, conversation, and the serious business of finding prospective spouses.
Bachelors — the creatures mammas and nubile daughters most have their eyes on.
Beauty — what a debutante must possess to be considered "a diamond of the first water".
Breeding — the all-important quality derived solely from one's upper crust lineage, that always holds our protagonists in good stead.
Benedict — the second Bridgerton son; characterised by his secret desire to be an artist, and the urge to defy the social conventions of his well-heeled world (which he does by attending parties of the less well-heeled variety).
Beaus — what the season's brightest debutantes might expect to attract in droves.
Banter — alas, something that our heroine finds in short supply in prospective beaus.

C:

Carriage/coach — preferred mode of transportation.
Callers — who a debutante hopes to see at her home the morning after a ball; preferably numerous, bearing gifts, compliments and flowers. See also, 'beaus'.
Chaste — what a young lady of good breeding must be, if she hopes to find a husband.
Chaperones — authority/accompanying figures who ensure a lady's reputation is not compromised.
Colin — the third Bridgerton son; earnest to a fault, and the unsuspecting object of Penelope Featherington's affections and of Marina Thompson's marital plans.
Corsets — a torture device that allows for the creation/emphasis of tiny waists and impressive décolletages.
Crystal — what any room, gown, and female throat or headdress must sport a profusion of, in Bridgerton.

D:

Daphne — the oldest Bridgerton daughter; our heroine, and the 1813 Season's Incomparable.
Danbury, Lady — a force of nature whose displeasure none can countenance incurring. Also the Duke of Hastings' godmother.
Duke of Hastings — a title presently held by our hero, Simon Basset, and before him, by his curmudgeonly father.
Derriere — a part of the male anatomy frequently bared/on display, most note-worthily by the Duke of Hastings.
Deportment — a vital part of a young lady's charms.
Diamonds — see also, 'crystal'.
Dowry — a vital part of a young lady's charms.
Debutantes — the young women deemed old enough to "go out" into society, and therefore of marriageable age.
Duels — A plot device for our heroine to get her gentleman; an interaction governed by these 10 commandments.

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

Queen Charlotte

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

Oh look, another ball!

E:

Eligible — the suffix most commonly attached to bachelors.
Eloise — the second Bridgerton daughter; characterised by her frequent and vocal rants against the patriarchy, a disdain for lengthier hemlines, and an obsessive interest in uncovering the identity of Lady Whistledown.
Estates — preferably large; what a bachelor must possess to be considered eligible; with tenants you may demonstrate your largesse towards in the form of gift baskets and suchlike.

F:

Featheringtons — the less classy family the Bridgertons live in proximity to.
Friedrich, Prince — the Queen's nephew and one of Daphne's more gallant suitors.
Feet — the part of a lady's anatomy a gentleman must sweep her off of, if he is to secure her hand in marriage.
Forgery — a handy skill when wanting to convince your pregnant young ward that her lover has abandoned her and she must therefore submit to your reprehensible plans for her marriage.
Flirtations — (usually) a means to securing proposals.

G:

Gossip — what the London populace thrives on, and which Lady Whistledown is only too happy to provide.
Gowns — garments requiring frequent trips to the modiste.
Grosvenor Square — the tony London neighbourhood the Bridgertons call home, when in the city.
Gambling — a recreational pursuit, mostly for gentlemen, that becomes a vice if you have one unlucky streak too many and let your debts mount, leading to a dreadful end for you and disgrace for your family.
Gentlemen — the only variety of males young ladies must consort with.

H:

Happily ever after — a variety of ending/conclusion that is most sought after.
Horse-riding — a necessary skill for gentlemen to show off their grace, and for young women making desperate dashes to foil duels.
Hems — see also, 'gowns', 'Eloise'.
Housekeeper — a member of the staff you want to keep happy.

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

The Featherington sisters

I:

Inheritance — an attribute that significantly impacts a gentleman or lady's standing in the marriage market.
Incomparable — the debutante/s deemed the most promising of a particular season; as in "Daphne was named the Season's Incomparable".
Independent — a state of being young ladies of good breeding need not aspire to.
Interference — something our heroine will brook no amount of in her life, especially when emanating from the quarter of her misguided oldest brother.

J:

Julia Quinn — author of the Bridgerton book series.

K:

King — George III

L:

Lady — a sobriquet that imparts a certain standing to a young woman, which in turn determines the value placed on her chastity and honour.
Lady's maid — a member of the staff whose duties include everything from helping her mistress get dressed to offering lessons on human reproduction, as necessary.
London — the city where our characters reside for the season.
Love — what an idealistic young heroine may hope for.
Letters — missives that help the plot along at crucial stages.

M:

Mammas — creatures who fill even the most intrepid bachelors with dread.
Masturbation
Marriage — a means of controlling women in a patriarchal society; a variety of ending/conclusion that is highly sought after.
Matchmaking — a device meant to lead to marriage.
Marina — Thompson; Lord and Lady Featherington's ward, and one of the season's promising debutantes.
Modiste — sought-after seamstress, usually one with a French accent.

N:

Nigel — Lord Berbrooke; an early and easily dispensed with villain suitor for Daphne.
Nobility — see also, 'aristocracy'

O:

Opulent — what a home, ball or garment must be.
Opera — suitable avenue of entertainment.
Oats — what a gentleman must sow in his youth so he may enjoy a more sedate and sensible later adulthood.

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

The formidable Lady Danbury with Simon, the Duke of Hastings

P:

Patriarchy
Penelope — the youngest (and nicest) Featherington daughter, and Eloise's confidant.
Pianoforte — an instrument a young lady must excel at in order to be called accomplished.
Proposals — all-important offers of marriage that successful flirtations culminate in.
Promenade — a socially sanctioned activity eligible men and women may engage in, before and after a proposal.
Pin money — small sums handed out to women to spend while the men in their lives control the purse strings; pocket money. Which a young woman may use for bribing a coachman into taking her on a midnight adventure to save a writer she admires.

Q:

Queen — Charlotte, wife of George III.
Quick engagements — too-short courtships that may call a lady's chastity into question, or point to the strength of a couple's impetuous love.

R:

Rebel — see also, 'Eloise', 'Benedict'
Rose — see also, 'Lady's Maid'; assists Daphne.
Rumour mill — something a lady would never want to stir/be the subject of.
Rake — not a good thing for an eligible gentleman to be, unless of course he was reformed by a lady; see also, 'arrogant'.
Regency — era in which this story is set.

S:

Simon — see also, 'Duke of Hastings'
Sex
Special licence — permission procured for a quick wedding when your reputation is in danger of being besmirched because you were observed going into the gardens unchaperoned with a man.
Suitors — see also, 'beaus', 'callers'
Staff — people who magically smoothen your day-to-day life.
Spinsterhood — the terrible fate that awaits young ladies who are unable to secure husbands.
Siena — much-in-demand opera singer; feisty paramour to Anthony.
Swoon — a fainting spell induced in a young lady by a too-tight corset; a state of rapture brought about by a (titled) reformed rake.

Bridgerton An AZ guide to help you navigate the world of the Regency era Netflix series

(Far right) Colin and Marina, with the Featheringtons in the background

T:

Tea — an essential and life-giving beverage (except when steeped with juniper berries).
Ton — high society.
Title — A desirable suffix to one's name, that promotes entrenched class hierarchies.

U:

Underwhelmed — your state of mind when you realise that none of the flagrant depictions of lovemaking in Bridgerton come close to the chemistry of a sparring, rain-soaked Elizabeth and Darcy, or have the same swoon quotient as a hand flex.

V:

Violet — the Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton; matriarch of the central clan.
Virtue — see also, 'chaste' and 'lady'
Vow — a vengeful oath you make over your cruel father's deathbed which prevents you from marrying the young lady who has so entranced you ever since you set eyes on her.
Viscount — see also, 'Anthony'

W:

Whistledown, Lady — the all-knowing, all-seeing writer of the ton's widely read scandal sheet.

X:

X — the intangible yet impervious barrier that prevents inter-class marriages.

Y:

Yellow — a colour most unsuited to Penelope Featherington's complexion, and yet one her mother insists on dressing her in.

Z:

Zest — of lemon; an ingredient essential for the delicious gooseberry pie you're serving the eligible Duke you hope will soon be your son-in-law.

Updated Date:

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