Out today: A new Bridgerton epilogue by Julia Quinn (The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After), and in observance, I’m sharing a poem I wrote about the series. Yeah, that’s right. Serious fangirl stuff, writing a poem. When He Was Wicked was one of the first romances-from-the-actual-romance-section that I read. I didn’t know many authors in the genre then, and often chose randomly, not even reading the back cover blurb. I do remember reading the dedication in WHWW (something like, “For Paul, even though he thought it should be called Love in the Time of Malaria.”)–it made me laugh, it made me buy the book.
Several people have told me When He Was Wicked is their least favorite of the series, but I loved it. It both charmed and moved me, and the snippets of letters at the beginning of each chapter were a novelty that worked for me. Starting in the middle of the series, I was intrigued by the structure of the concurrent story lines and wanted to know more. I rarely “glom” an author, but I did with all the previous Bridgerton books, plus Quinn’s early novels.
That, plus the alphabetical nomenclature of the Bridgerton clan, plus a familiarity with Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies are all responsible for the following:
THE BRIDGERTON ODE
A is for Anthony, chief of the Bridgerton clan,
reputed a rake, but really, a most prudent and rational man—
unless he’s behind in croquet, and then he turns mad—
Or maybe that’s Kate’s fault; she makes him feel a green lad,
out of his element and off from his norm.
Never mind: together, they weather the storm.
though the offer he makes she finds quite alarming.
His mistress? He doesn’t get it just isn’t enough,
not until he unmasks her Blind Man’s Bluff.
No pumpkins nor palaces needed for this fairy tale,
just My Cottage in the country (and a brief stint in jail).
C is for Colin, green-eyed writer and rover,
Penelope’s first crush she never got over.
Someone should have warned him—blown a whistle, perhaps—
that he’d fall for the quiet girl missed by other chaps.
The pudgy girl next door, in the citrus-colored gown?
The one he swore not to marry? Quite a scoop for Whistledown!
even a sham courtship’s tough with a lurking big brother.
A self-controlled Duke it might drive to the edge,
or off to the dueling field after a tryst in the hedge.
Let the men stammer and posture and bait,
then send in the Bridgerton girl to set them all straight.
either written or spoken, which (let’s face it) can be rough on a guy.
Plants are so quiet—maybe that’s why Phillip loves botany—
but when the time comes to say “I love you”—well, oughtn’t he?
Hiding out in the greenhouse won’t make it all better;
the girl and her brothers will make sure you court to the letter.
from all except Michael, who thinks her forbidden.
Just back from India, the rake’s not feeling that merry:
Malaria’s bad, but then there’s this other fever to carry.
Frannie’s susceptible, too, far more than she thought,
but who can resist a man who keeps your tea water hot?
If it doesn’t take at first sight, you should give it a shove.
Lucy is mystified: Must love befuddle, bemuse?
Why can’t it be orderly, like a neat line of shoes?
But love demands risk, often again and again;
it gives aim to the aimless, summons the rebel within.
ever taking the lead, in waltz or treasure hunt.
You just have to love her—that, or strangulation;
Gareth chooses the former and is soon lost in translation.
If love’s like a musicale, no surprise some notes go amiss,
but hope of family and comfort is what’s in her kiss.
And Q—that’s for Quinn, if a few letters we skip
to honor our author, the Queen of the Quip,
and say thanks—
for siblings quibbling (you do it the best)—
for heroines quirky—
for heroes a-quest—
for quite the quintessence of romance—
each quiver and thrill,
and to risk sounding querulous…
Ms. Quinn, please—
back to your quill.
Okay, it’s no tattooed quote, but it is some form of devotion! Gregory’s stanza is my favorite, I think. Come to Facebook if you want to find out what happened when I sent the poem to Julia Quinn. And I might just put it up on Pinterest, too, but give me a couple of days. Thanks for reading!