Here Are ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3’s Biggest Differences from the Book

Based on Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton Season 3 of Netflix and Shondaland’s Bridgerton watches the friends-to-lovers romance between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) bloom. While their book comes fourth in the series after Benedict’s love story, the show has moved their installment up in the order of Bridgerton sibling romances. Francesca’s (Hannah Dodd) love story also intertwines more significantly in the expanded two-part season, with Part 1 releasing May 16 on Netflix and Part 2 June 13.

Ahead of Season 3 Part 1’s launch, showrunner Jess Brownell, producer Shonda Rhimes and author Julia Quinn confirmed that an important scene in which Colin cuts his hand would feature in the show. This scene first sparks Colin’s more-than-platonic consideration of Penelope as she bandages his hand. She had been sneaking a look at his diary and reading his writing about his travels, and he gets angry with her, which brings him to cut his hand.

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Other scenes and lines of dialogue transferred from Quinn’s pages to script and eventually screen, but changes have also been made to character plotlines, backstories, marriage statuses and more. Even those hovering around Lady Whistledown’s identity include different characters than Quinn’s book.

Here are the biggest differences between Bridgerton Season 3 and Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton:

Eloise doesn’t know that Penelope is Lady Whistledown

Eloise (Claudia Jessie) remains unaware of Penelope’s covert column-writing as the infamous author Lady Whistledown throughout the majority of Julia Quinn’s book Romancing Mister Bridgerton. Colin even nurses the suspicion that Eloise could be the woman behind the gossip-mongering quill.

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Cressida Cowper is already married

While Eloise has become close friends with Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen) in the wake of her big fight with Penelope following Season 2 of the show, the book focusing on Penelope and Colin’s romance has a different fate spelled out for the character. She goes by Lady Twombley as she is already married.

Penelope and Eloise have way more marriage mart seasons under their belts

At the age of 28 in Quinn’s novel, Penelope predicts a fate of spinsterhood for herself, and she has unsuccessfully taken on many more marriage market seasons in the years since she met Colin versus her embarking upon her third round in the show. Eloise, though held back a year unlike Penelope, has also gone through more seasons than in the show.

Colin is 33, which is an age fit for a man to marry in the books, though not so dramatically exaggerated as “old” like it would be for a woman his age. After falling in love with him upon first sight mixed with a stray bonnet that resulted in Colin’s falling off a horse into mud, a decade passes before any action in the way of friends to lovers takes place in the book.

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There is a fourth Featherington sister

In addition to Prudence, Philippa and Penelope, a fourth Featherington sister — Felicity — exists in the books, where she is best friends with Hyacinth, similarly to the bond Eloise and Penelope share.

Francesca’s story doesn’t overlap as much

Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Francesca, who was first portrayed by Ruby Stokes in Seasons 1 and 2, was recast for the third season of Bridgerton. Hannah Dodd took on the mantle for the sixth Bridgerton child and third daughter in the family for Season 3. Francesca gets a separate book — When He Was Wicked — to herself for her story, but her debut in the marriage mart overlaps with Penelope and Colin’s romance in the show’s third installment.

Colin doesn’t offer to help Penelope find a suitor

Colin does return from a long stint of traveling in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, but he doesn’t offer to teach Penelope charm and help her find a suitor. The part where Penelope overhears Colin say he would never court her is slightly different in the books because he says he would never marry her. His brothers Anthony and Benedict were present for this moment in the book too.

There is also no Lord Debling (Sam Phillips) in Quinn’s novel.

Lady Danbury’s brother doesn’t come to town, the Mondrich’s storyline also doesn’t expand

Bridgerton Season 3 sees Lady Danbury’s brother, Lord Marcus Anderson, come to town. He is not in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, nor is the plotline in which Will Mondrich (Martins Imhangbe) and his wife Alice (Emma Naomi) learn that their son has inherited the title of Baron of Kent.

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