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Jane Austen: “Bridgerton Shamelessly Plagiarized Pride and Prejudice”

Coup de gueule de Jane Austen au sujet des Chroniques de Bridgerton

Dear spectators of this day and time,

I would like to share with you how outraged I am about the piece of entertainment entitled “Bridgerton”.

Indeed, if the dresses and settings tend to imitate my time and day with panache – as these costume dramas usually do – I can only perceive in Bridgerton a feeble simulacrum of my work, Pride and Prejudice.

Daphne, the protagonist, just like my dear Elizabeth, is surrounded by unmarried sisters whose only concern in life is the family’s reputation and young bachelors, especially of good fortune. They even took my metaphor of the marriage market as a mere economical market, without ever using my favorite weapon: irony.

Just like the Bennets sisters, the Bridgerton daughters embarrass the heroine with their vulgarity and ill manners. Her beauty and grace won’t suffice, therefore, to find a good husband.

Another blatant proof that my work has been plagiarized is the utmost ressemblance between Daphne and an actress who embodied Elizabeth in an already dull version of Pride and Prejudice dating back to 2005: that is no coincidence. One is entitled of course, to admire a novel and pay homage to it. But to pillage it shamelessly, without an ounce of creativity, novelty or wit, pains me in the sorest manner.

Pests – who mock a young girl’s weight rather than her attire – are only pale twins of those you meet in Pride and Prejudice.

The dull romance of Bridgerton seems to care more about the characters’ good looks than their social status, personality and contradictions, and if those elements are dimly mentioned, they are, again, copied from my book.

Oh, I know that a show demands actors to be beautiful, but it shall not replace a beautiful plot.

If the mere goal of the show is to make young girls sigh and swoon, male musical bands who make the words “beautiful” and “wonderful” rhyme are quite sufficient. Why indeed impose upon the viewer eight hours of a retold story, when the producer could, with so much money in her possession, tell a new tale that would awaken her own times? But I guess it is easier to simply pillage an all-time bestseller.

I therefore speak directly to you, dear spectators, readers, authors maybe. I beg of you please create your own stories and romances. Do not dwell so much on pretty dresses and write prettier characters. Write a romance taking place on the corner of your street, at your neighbor’s, mock the paradoxes of your own time, God knows you’ll have many to choose from. Please take the time to create a never before seen-nor-read story, or do try to reinvent the usual archetypes and dare add to them the contradictions of this century.

I bid you goodbye and wish you to be moved by others than myself, who will prove brave enough to truly say something about their days, fellow humans and themselves.

Yours always,

Jane Austen

Read this article in French (if you know the language or you're just a masochist)

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