Julia Quinn Bridgerton

Bridgerton author Julia Quinn has revealed her true thoughts about *that* gender swap

‘There would be a side of the fandom that would be disheartened to see their favourite characters changed’

One of the biggest plot twists during the finale of season three of Bridgerton was the decision to gender swap one of the key characters, a stark contrast from the original books by Julia Quinn. After the two get married John Stirling introduces Francesca to his cousin Michaela, who was originally a man called Michael in the books.

In the original novels, Francesca and Michael fall in love after the death of John Stirling, and so in the Netflix series, it appears Francesca will have a queer storyline. Such a drastic change was something showrunner Jess Brownell was anxious about, but explained the positive reaction Julia Quinn had to the new Bridgerton storyline.

Via Netflix

In an interview with Teen Vogue, she explained: “The fact of the matter is, the fan base is not a monolith, and you’re never going to please every single side of the fan base. In, for example, deciding to tell a queer story with Francesca, I spoke with Julia Quinn, I got her blessing.

“We talked about the fact that with almost any single book, there would be a side of the fandom that would be disheartened to see their favourite characters changed. I don’t think that there is any book that wouldn’t happen with, so for me, again, it came back to story, and it came back to character. Because Francesca’s book resonated with me in the way that it did, it felt like a natural adaptation.”

She added: “I didn’t want to just insert a queer character for queer character’s sake. I want to tell a story that accurately reflects a queer experience, and the first time I read Francesca’s book, I really identified with it as a queer woman. Maybe not in the way Julia Quinn intended.”


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Julia Quinn also dismissed any speculation that the show had to keep her original book pairings in a Facebook post: “I have seen many online rumours that it is in my contract that they must keep the book couples. I’m not sure where this came from, as I have never said anything to that effect. That said, I am confident that Shondaland is going to do an amazing job!”

Bridgerton season three is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image via Netflix.