The Duke and I, Julia Quinn

I am a Netflix user. As a lot of European people I discovered Julia Quinn in January. Shonda Rimes created « The Brigerton » from her novels. We should discussed a lot about the distribution chosen by the production. It was very disturbing for me. The costumes are wonderful but they mixed periods and countries. The novels take place in 1813 in London…

It was very hard for me at the beginning to watch it, because my eyes were burned by all those disturbing choices. But I saw the show twice, the first time in French and the second time in original version. It’s a pleasant show if you disregard the unhistorical things. I think it was created for being nice for a large audience, a lot of sex scene, a large ethnic panel of actors, wonderful costumes. I really prefers when TV respects history as in the BBC « Pride and Prejudice » show.

I was curious about the author of the originals novels « the new Jane Austeen » if we believe the American newspaper reviews. I am fond of Jane Austen and I know very well her novels. She wrote about her time. So it was not very hard to understand that the Afro-American Duke or Queen, adult’s scenes were a Shonda Rimes adaptations.

So I bought « The Duke and I« , the original version. It was the first time I read a novel in English since The Lord of the Ring twenty years ago… Surprisingly (or not if I reflect a little) it was very easy to read. I finished it in three days. I read a less quickly than in French, but my reading speed is sufficient for my reading pleasure. I read a lot in English but university books, or scientific papers, texts harder than an historical novel. I know there is a lot of « read » in two sentences…

The book is better than the show. It is pleasant to read, the dialogues are efficient and hilarious. The characters are subtler, funnier. Daphne is 20 years old, it’s her third season, she is more mature, less innocent than in the show except about the conjugal private life. But she is curious about it, and try to figure it out what that could be.

The cover… yes I hid the ugly Netflix print…

It’s a pleasant novel, but it is not deserving the comparison with Austen work. We just have a few protagonists in the book, The Duke, Daphne, Anthony, Violet and Lady Withledown. A lot of the characters we saw in the show were picked up from the other seven novels or created as the Queen, the gamer Lord Featherington… The major difference between Austen and Quinn is that the first wrote about her time, and the second tried to do the same. If the questioning about the conjugal duties is very convincing, Austeen would never wrote about physical manifestation of desire even in the mind of her characters. Quinn forgot the reserve and the modesty which occurred in this time. It’s a pity.

Did you read this novel? What did you think about it or about the show?

French is my native language, and writing in English is hard and new to me. I want too upgrade my skills and practising is the better way to do this. I try to do my best ! You can comment about the book or about the language mistakes.

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