April 19, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

‘Bridgerton’ author Julia Quinn comments on $800 hardcovers

After the Christmas Day release of “Bridgerton” on Netflix, demand for the books behind the series has skyrocketed — and so has their cost, with paperbacks out of stock, as first reported by People.com, and original hardcovers on sale for up to $800.

Julia Quinn, the author of the book series, responded to the news in an email to The Times, clarifying that her books have never been issued to stores as hardcovers. The only hardcover editions are from the Doubleday Book Club, so there is a limited number in circulation — hence the markup. “If you are a collector, I suppose you might want to buy one of these hardcovers,” Quinn said. “But if you’re just looking for a book to read, please, save your money and wait for the paperback to be reprinted. Or get an e-book.”

Asked if there were any new, post-series “Bridgerton” books on the horizon, Quinn was noncommittal: “It really just depends if I have a great story to tell!”

The TV drama, from executive producer Shonda Rhimes, is set in 19th century England, a world in which bejeweled debutantes in dire need of sex ed vie for the attention of men while trying to steer clear of Gossip Girl-like Lady Whistledown, whose column on the upper crust’s most intimate secrets could ruin their chances at landing a husband.

The first of Quinn’s eight-part series was published in 2000. As the author has noted, she and Avon Books, the romance imprint of HarperCollins, originally envisioned a trilogy. Readers, however, begged Quinn for more. Now, the juggernaut includes the series, a collection of short stories, a novella about the Bridgerton siblings’ mother and a series of prequels.

Quinn wasn’t even shopping around the rights to the series when she found out that Rhimes wanted to create a TV show based on her novels four years ago, she said in O the Oprah Magazine. Now, booksellers are struggling to keep up with demand. Paperbacks are out of stock till late January at Barnes & Noble. On Amazon, hardcovers have been going for as much as $890 this week.

Despite the series’ success, some longtime fans have complained about its color-conscious casting, noting that in the novel, the male lead has blue eyes. Others argue that the show’s efforts don’t go far enough.

But Quinn, who was a consultant for the project, supports the choice to cast Black actors as characters written as white people in its source material — including Regé-Jean Page’s portrayal of Simon, Duke of Hastings.

“They just made something absolutely incredible that’s both the original and isn’t the original — it’s more,” she said in O.