Season 2 of the hit Netflix show Bridgerton was the most streamed premiere since it’s Season 1 release. So we figured we’d gather some other great reads from the Regency era to introduce even more high society members for you to fall madly in love with.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that an arrogant bachelor insistent on a wife who meets the strictest of requirements—deserves his comeuppance. The Honourable Mr. Jeremy Malcolm is searching for a wife, but not just any wife. As the target of matchmaking mothers and desperate debutantes, he’s determined to avoid the fortune hunters and find a near-perfect woman, one who will meet the qualifications on his well-crafted list. But after years of searching, he’s beginning to despair of ever finding this paragon. Until Selina Dalton arrives in town. Selina, a vicar’s daughter of limited means and a stranger to high society, is thrilled when her friend Julia Thistlewaite invites her to London, until she learns it’s all part of a plot to exact revenge on Mr. Malcolm. Selina is reluctant to participate in Julia’s scheme, especially after meeting the irresistible Mr. Malcolm, who appears to be very different from the arrogant scoundrel of Julia’s description. But when Mr. Malcolm begins judging Selina against his unattainable standards, Selina decides that she has some qualifications of her own. And if he is to meet them he must reveal the real man behind…Mr. Malcolm’s List.
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for. A fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
Abandoned by her parents, middle-class Georgiana Ellers is spending the summer with her stodgy aunt and uncle at their home in the English countryside. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who delights Georgiana with her disregard for so-called “polite society.” Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana quickly falls in with Frances and her wealthy, wild, and deeply improper friends, who introduce her to the upper echelons of Regency aristocracy, and a world of drunken debauchery, frivolous spending, and mysterious young men. One, in particular, stands out from the rest: Thomas Hawksley, who has a tendency to cross paths with Georgiana in her most embarrassing moments. Sparks fly, but Thomas seems unimpressed with the company she is keeping. And soon, Georgiana begins to wonder whether she’ll ever feel like she fits in—or if the price of entry into Frances’s gilded world will ultimately be higher than she is willing to pay.
An estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention–and maybe just win each other back in the process. Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since. Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent. Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses–and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?
England, 1865. As one of England’s most notorious newspaper columnists, Lady Katherine Bascomb believes knowledge is power. And she’s determined to inform and educate the ladies of London on the nefarious and deadly criminals who are praying on the fairer sex. When her reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer, however, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her newfound notoriety—only to witness a murder on her very first night. And when the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming, rather than informing, the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong. Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham’s refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his own career, and he blames Katherine. To avoid bad publicity, his superiors are pressuring him to solve cases quickly rather than correctly. When he discovers she’s the key witness in a new crime, he’s determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they’ll need to catch a killer.
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities. And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one. Ugly duckling turned swan? Abducted by handsome highwayman? Rescued from drudgery by charming prince? No, no, and . . . Heh. Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six-year-old woman who’s never even been kissed? This one.
The Great on Hulu
A royal woman living in rural Russia during the 18th century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.
The Crown follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
The Gilded Age on HBO
A wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family embarks on a mission to infiltrate the wealthy neighboring clan dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell, his rakish son, Larry, and his ambitious wife, Bertha.
An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743.
Dickinson on Apple TV
Set in the 19th century, it explores the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.
A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII.
Have you picked your next Regency era read/watch already? Let us know in the comments!