20 Shows Like ‘Bridgerton’ to Satisfy A Thirst for Historical Romance

Are you looking for shows similar to Bridgerton? If so, you’ve probably just finished watching Queen Charlotte at this point, right? Well, here comes a list of shows with the same vibe, era, or genre as Bridgerton that you might want to look at. Who knows, it might satisfy your need for historical drama romance or put it to rest indefinitely.


Downton Abbey
Photo Credits: Julian Fellowes, ITV.

This comes as no surprise. Those itching for a satisfying historical drama romance has probably already watched Downton Abbey. It was the historical drama show to watch before Bridgerton was even a thing. There’s a total of 6 seasons out that reached its finale in 2015.  Downton Abbey has spawned two movies, the most recent one released in 2022 titled Downton Abbey: The New Era. The show is mainly about The Crawleys and the issue of inheritance, among many other societal issues at the time. We watch the family live through tragedies like the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, Spanish influenza, and more. We would say that Downton Abbey presents itself with a more serious and polished note as we watch a prestigious family transition into a more modern lifestyle.


Photo Credits: Diana Gabaldon, Ronald D. Moore, Starz.

If you’re looking for something on the saucier side, Outlander could probably be the title to satisfy your needs. Like Bridgerton, Outlander comes from an ongoing series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. The show follows a nurse during WWII that magically gets transported to Scotland in the 1700s. She meets and falls in love with a Highland Warrior – Heughan, played by Jamie Fraser. She embarks on an epic rebellion that now spans seven seasons. The seventh season was recently released, so it is an ongoing show with season 8 set as its finale. With that said, you can either wait for that to be released or start your Outlander journey right now to catch it on time. There’s also a prequel focused on Jamie’s parents if you want to further entangle yourself in the family and storyline. You can read more about it here.


The Gilded Age
Photo Credits: Julian Fellowes, HBO.

Another more recent release, The Gilded Age, happens towards the end of the 19th century as a girl moves to New York after her father’s death. At the time, New York has just established itself as the world’s economic capital. New York seems to be a bustling city for those who are all about the hustle. This title shows a mix of family drama, neighbor drama, and personal affairs between two distinct families living in the city. Compared to Bridgerton, the characters of The Gilded Age are older, with more scheming going on. The title touches on the disparity between the middle and upper classes of society, among other issues deemed scandalous at the time. Regarding wardrobe and fashion, The Gilded Age does portray a similar style to Bridgerton, which you might also be interested in.


Photo Credits: Jane Austen, Andrew Davies, PBS, BritBox, ITV.

Based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon takes place in a small fishing village of the same name during the Regency era. We follow along as the fishing village gets turned into a seaside resort by the enigmatic Sidney Parker (Theo Baker). That and the high-spirited Charlotte Heywood’s (Rose Williams) new chapter in life. Some people have said that Bridgerton was a rip-off of Sanditon, so it is only fitting to put it on this list of shows similar to Bridgerton. Love, scandal, rivalry, and more to be had in this little fishing village by the sea. The villagers are filled with secrets, and each has hidden motives. As you continue to watch and uncover the secrets of everyone in town, you’ll find yourself invested for hours on end.


The Great
Photo Credits: Tony McNamara, Hulu.

Are you looking for a good laugh and a good time? Cue The Great on your TV and sit back. With Elle Fanning playing Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult filling in the shoes of Peter III. The show is set about 100 years before Bridgerton and is a satirical comedy-drama loosely based on the rise of Catherine the Great. This is an ongoing series with two seasons out for you to spend a weekend binging. Catherine despises the belief and customs of her new spouse’s country, and soon enough, we watch as she replaces her terrible and dangerous husband on the throne.  The Great is not something to be taken seriously, and the acting performances of both Fanning and Hoult are ridiculously good. You’ll be flying through the show in no time.


Photo Credits: Alison Newman, Moira Buffini, Hulu, ITV Encore.

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘harlot,’ it refers to a prostitute. Hence, you can pretty much imagine what this show is about. Harlots take inspiration from The Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold. It occurs in 18th-century London and revolves around the brothel owner – Margaret Wells. Margaret faces backlash from society and then moves to a new location to serve the elite with her harlots. Her motivation to do so stems from securing a place for her daughter in the brutal echelons of British society. Along the way, she makes rivals and enemies, all in the name of business. Sadly, the show was discontinued after three seasons. Even so, the rivalry, tension, and drama mixed with business and family are marvelously done.


The Crown
Photo Credits: Peter Morgan, Netflix.

A show that elicits a strong response on social media for every episode and season it releases. This historical drama follows the life and reign of the late Queen Elizabeth. The audience has had a great time dissecting the show, piecing together real-life evidence to hunt them down as Easter eggs in the show. As a monarch that we have lived to witness, it is exciting to see a show that replicates what her life would have been like with political rivalries, familial complications, scandals, and more. Heavy is the head that bears the crown, indeed. The Crown is so interesting because it allows us to look closely at the British monarchy and its many flaws. With all its mind games, scandal, and intrigue, The Crown is a great watch to supplement your need for shows similar to Bridgerton. It’s a more modern and political take without all the elaborate dresses, balls, and fairytale romances.


Photo Credits: Alena Smith, AppleTV +.

Since we’ve touched on Jane Austen, let’s head into something of Emily Dickinson instead. Dickinson is a comedy-drama show inspired by the life of the renowned poet and writer, played by Hailee Steinfeld. In 19th-century Massachusetts, Emily finds fitting in with her imaginative mind and out-of-place opinions harder and harder. We watch as she goes on a journey of self-discovery in a society filled with limiting challenges and beliefs. The show ran for three seasons and ended because it was supposed to end, which is always a great sign. Additionally, there were continuously positive reviews and praise about it, so it is a great show to add to your watch list. If we were to relate it to Bridgerton, she would perhaps be a great friend to Eloise Bridgerton. They both have interestingly curious minds that continue to defy somehow the society they are brought up in.


The Tudors
Photo Credits: Michael Hirst, BBC Two, CBC Television, Showtime.

Now, if you enjoyed the spice and sensual moments of Bridgerton, here’s one which focuses more on that. The Tudors are set in 16th-century London during the reign of King Henry VIII, with characters like Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragorn joining in the fray of the court. Although more international conflicts and political issues were ongoing at the time, the drama focuses more on the king’s personal life and love interests. As we said, it is a sensual period piece, after all. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the titular king and has gone on for four seasons. As the show has already ended, you can easily take your time to watch it and fascinate yourself with the inner workings of the House of Tudor and its king.


Photo Credits: Debbie Horsfield.

Adding to the list of shows similar to Bridgerton, we have Poldark. This show was inspired by a series of novels by Winston Graham. The character – Ross Poldark, has just returned from war to find his father dead and his childhood crush married to his cousin. He hires a maid to get by and falls in love with her. The subsequent episodes and seasons detail the ups and downs of his family with death, love, marriage, war, children, and more. Poldark showcases the impact of historical events on an average person’s life and, subsequently, his family. The show is an interesting insight into picking up and moving on with life and its many unexpected challenges.


The Spanish Princess
Photo Credits: Emma Frost, Matthew Graham, Starz.

A limited series based on Phillipa Gregory’s historical drama novels, The Spanish Princess is a sequel to her novels The White Queen and The White Princess. The show follows Catherine of Aragorn as she visits England to finally meet Arthur Prince of Wales, her betrothed. But plans change, and unprecedented things happen. It so happens that this time, she finds out that the romantic correspondence she has been receiving was written by the prince’s brother, Henry. Additionally, the prince himself meets an untimely death, leaving her without a future husband. The Spanish Princess truly puts the drama in historical drama with twists and turns. Follow along as the Princess of Spain transforms into the empowering Queen of England.


Vanity Fair
Photo Credits: Gwyneth Hughes, ITV.

This time, let’s look into a miniseries within the historical drama genre. As a miniseries, Vanity Fair has only one season with seven episodes released, so you should be able to finish it up quickly. The show is based on a novel of the same name by William Makepeace Thackeray, released in 1848. We follow the rise of Becky Sharp in British society as she finds her way out of poverty and into their midst. There’s a slew of mind games, manipulation, forbidden romance, and fights that will allow her to lead her way into the glittering courts of King George IV.  Overall, even if Vanity Fair is relatively concise in its making, the performances and adaptation of the novel are rather superbly done. Did we mention that it is also set in the same period as the Birdgerton series? Be sure to add it to your list of shows similar to Bridgerton for a quick and casual watch.


The Cook of Castamar
Photo Credits: Tatiana Rodriguez, Fernando J. Munez, Buendia Estudios.

It may sound odd that we have a show about a cook rather than a noble or historical figure, but bear with us. We’re taking you to a Spanish historical drama this time, adapted from the novel of the same name by Fernando J. Munez. Set in 18th-century Madrid, we meet Clara Belmonte, the cook in question. Clara falls in love with the widowed Duke of Castamar as she works in his kitchens. She’s a talented cook who fears being in certain situations, better known as agoraphobia. This also means she lives, breathes, and cooks in the kitchen, not wanting to leave due to her anxiety and fear. The Cook of Castamar is a rather interesting take on the historical drama genre and will pull you in deliciously.


Photo Credits: John Alexander, MGM+, ITV.

Belgravia is the name of the wealthy district in London during the 18th-19th century, and this show is based on the historical novel written on it with the same name. The book was written by Julian Fellowes, a major writer and producer on Downton Abbey and The Gilded Age. This makes Belgravia a must-watch if you are into those two shows. Furthermore, it is set in the same era as Bridgerton, so you’ll find a lot of balls, family drama, and politics between families. We get an insight into the lavish lifestyles of the grand families in British society while secrets get uncovered with revenge and romance intertwined between its characters. The show even starts with a ball, which is always a fun event to watch rather than participate in.


The Pursuit of Love
Photo Credits: Emily Mortimer, BBC One.

Here’s another drama miniseries by Nancy Mitford’s novel of the same name. Not going to lie; this one is really short. There are only three episodes, each with a runtime of about an hour. This was done on purpose, each episode signifying the story’s start, middle, and end. The show was set in pockets of time between WWI and WWII. We follow the life of Linda Radlett and her cousin Fanny Logan as they navigate through life, each having their own motivations and goals. Linda’s goals are to find the perfect man and finally settle down, which is proving hard to do. Her longing for love and inclination to sexual pursuits are fun to watch indeed. Lily James’ performance as Linda makes the show fun and exciting. Her performance makes three episodes go by very quickly indeed. The Pursuit of Love does have a strong romance theme to it. Hence, it is a great choice to settle down with if you want more romance after watching Bridgerton.


Photo Credits: Laurie McCarthy, Stephani SenGupta, TheCW.

This time we follow Mary, Queen of Scots, during her younger years in the 16th century. We watch her arrival in France and her marriage to Prince Francis. As we watch her grow into her role as queen, her bonds with her handmaidens and those around her grow as well. As queen, there are all sorts of political conflicts, power struggles, manipulation, secrets, and more to uncover. Some she may emerge victorious from, and some she may fail. Its various ups and downs make it a brilliant show to watch as a substitute for Bridgerton, aside from the romance sprinkled in between. One thing’s for sure. There’s always something to uncover behind the glitz and glamour of royalty as well as the people that surround themselves with it.


Miss Scarlet and The Duke
Photo Credits: Rachael New, Alibi.

An Irish-British period crime drama of a pair of Victorian investigators – Eliza Scarlet and Detective Inspector William Wellington. Eliza finds herself in a difficult position when her father passes away. She then decides that she would continue operating his detective agency. Detective Inspector (also known as The Duke) from Scotland Yard comes to her rescue. Together, the two wander around London, solving crimes and mysteries that come knocking on their door. The show is currently still ongoing and has released a total of four seasons with relatively favorable reviews. We watch as the two characters deepen their relationship with a little dip in romance amongst all the crime-solving. Miss Scarlet and The Duke is an interesting duo that will get you invested quickly. Mark my words; it is worth placing this show on a list of shows similar to Bridgerton.


Pride and Prejudice
Photo Credits: Jane Austen, Sue Birtwistle, BBC1.

Indeed, it would be remiss if we did not include one of the original works of art when it comes to period drama pieces. Sure, the movie is a great enough supplicant if you want a short venture into the world of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. However, the series is a more fleshed-out form that many appreciate and adore. Pride and Prejudice, inspired by the Jane Austen novel of the same name, sees Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Ms. Bennet. There are six episodes to the show, which, in retrospect, is not a lot, but definitely enough to tell their story. Elizabeth Bennet, a strong-willed woman, encounters Mr. Darcy, an arrogant, wealthy man, and they develop a strange relationship. It feels like a tale as old as time, with two people at odds falling in love. One of the original enemies-to-lovers tropes, if you will.


Gentleman Jack
Photo Credits: Sally Wainwright, HBO, BBC One.

We don’t see much queer representation in historical drama or period timepieces, so Gentleman Jack is a wonderful touch. The show is based on the collected diaries of Anne Lister, which takes place circa 1832 in Yorkshire, England. She inherits an estate from her uncle and discovers that two brothers have stolen the coal mine on her land. It becomes a struggle for power to get back what is rightfully hers while she starts up some romance with another woman on the side. There are reportedly 4 million words that she has written in somewhat cryptic diaries that dictate her journey in exploring her sexuality and more. Gentleman Jack is an excellent addition to the roster, as Anne Lister is known as one of the modern pioneers of lesbianism in a time when it was essentially forbidden.


Photo Credits: Daisy Goodwin, ITV.

We’ve discussed the early life of various monarchs on this list, so here’s another one to end it. Victoria details the early life of Queen Victoria as she ascends the British throne at the tender age of 18. She falls in love and marries Prince Albert, bearing his children. The series details her struggles and challenges as the youngest monarch of Britain while navigating life as a mother. Regarding historical accuracy, Victoria may be far off, but if you’re interested in the Bridgerton-like romance of royals, it’s a great watch. The acting performances of Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes are worthy of praise, which is always worth a watch. And that’s 20 shows similar to Bridgerton! Hopefully, your desire for historical and period dramas has at least been sated with the numerous variety included.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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