Will you write stories about Harriet, Elizabeth, and Frances Pleinsworth? - Julia Quinn

Will you write stories about Harriet, Elizabeth, and Frances Pleinsworth?

I get asked this question all the time. There is a Short Answer and a Long Answer. The Short Answer is: “No.” The Long Answer explains why.

Readers first hear about the younger Pleinsworth girls in It’s in His Kiss, when Gareth and Hyacinth attend the Pleinsworth poetry reading. I was trying to make the event as ridiculous as possible, so at the last minute our hosts decided to instead perform an original play called The Shepherd, the Unicorn, and Henry VIII. Written, of course, by Harriet Pleinsworth, a 16-year-old with a gloriously fantastic imagination.

Fast-forward several years to when I was writing the second book of the Smythe-Smith Quartet. The heroine of A Night Like This was a governess, and Harriet, Elizabeth, and Frances Pleinsworth were her students. And they managed to steal every scene they were in.

And then finally, in The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, I brought back those Smythe-Smith events from the first half of It’s in His Kiss (and even make mention of both Hyacinth and Gareth — for more on this connection please see my Author’s Notes). The scene with The Shepherd, the Unicorn, and Henry VIII was finally staged in all its glory, and was, to quote myself: “by far the most fun scene to write in the book.” Honestly, it was one of the most fun scenes I’ve ever written, period.

I am sure readers can feel my love for Harriet, Elizabeth, and Frances just as they are. Which brings me to the Long Answer to why I won’t be writing stories for them: I love them too much as children to “grow them up” for romances of their own.

P.S. Daisy Smythe-Smith (Iris’s younger sister) also won’t be getting a story. But in her case it’s because she has no sense of humor. How do you write a book about someone with no sense of humor?

Did You Know?

Many of the Bridgerton characters — and parties — make appearances in the Smythe-Smith series. For one instance, at the annual Smythe-Smith musicale in Just Like Heaven, Marcus gets hideously jealous of Honoria even talking to Colin Bridgerton. This is the very same musicale from Romancing Mister Bridgerton where Lady Danbury refers to “the miserable cellist” — Iris, of course.

And more. Lots more.

🐝 + 🎵 = ❤

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