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Was there a real Lady Whistledown?  The women who inspired their creation of ‘Brigerton’

Was there a real Lady Whistledown? The women who inspired their creation of ‘Brigerton’

In the popular Netflix series ‘Brigerton’, Lady Whistledown is an intriguing and mysterious figure who spreads gossip in Regency high society. Although the character was created by Julia Quinn for her book series, many wondered if she existed in real life.

The historical figures who inspired the character of Lady Whistledown in ‘Bridgerton’

It turns out that the figure of Lady Whistledown has historical references that take us back to ancient England. In fact, at that time gossip existed in print, mainly in the form of magazine or newspaper columns, rather than independent sheets, as Penelope does in the episodes of the series.

According to experts, Lady Whistledown could be inspired by many historical figures, one of which was Lady Charlotte Bury. After the death of her husband, Colonel John Campbell, Lady Charlotte was appointed lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Wales, Caroline of Brunswick-Wulfenbüttel.

Famous for writing various books, Lady Charlotte began keeping a diary in which she recorded the princess’s daily activities, both her best and worst moments, as well as those of other members of the court.

This collection was published anonymously, but Lady Charlotte was soon suspected of being responsible. Although many doubted that she was the author because her name also appeared in the text, she never denied being responsible nor did anyone else claim to be the author of the text.

The pamphlet ‘The Female Tatler’ also featured high society gossip

On the other hand, in the 18th century there was a column called “The Female Tatler”, a century before the Regency era (in which Bridgerton is set), where the juiciest gossip of high society was captured. The person behind it was supposedly a woman called Mrs. Crackenthorpe.

According to the “History Extra” portal, the sheet appeared in 1709 and circulated for about a year, but this did not prevent the creation of more than 100 editions of it, since it was published three times a week.

In addition to the gossip, there were sharp observations about well-known society figures involved in scandals and the restrictions placed on women at the time, after the author warned that marriage was a “fatal trap.”

The identity of Mrs. Crackenthorpe was never officially revealed, but there was a theory that this literary character was actually a man and not a woman as many would have believed. In fact, a lawyer named Thomas Baker and political pamphleteer Delarivier ‘Delia’ Manley were the main suspects, although there was no hard evidence that they were the masterminds behind this project.

In short, although ‘Brigerton’ is a fictional novel, the hunger for gossip and its writing was a reality before and during the Regency.

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Source: univision

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