The Tragic Story Behind The Buccaneers' Source Material

The Tragic Story Behind The Buccaneers' Source Material
Image credit: Apple TV+

The sad story behind Bridgerton's competitor.


  • The Buccaneers is coming to Apple TV+ in early November
  • The series is based on the novel of the same name, with a plot somewhat reminiscent of Bridgerton
  • However, there is a tragic story behind the novel and its author

The wait for the new season of Bridgerton is becoming increasingly excruciating. Principal photography for Season 3, based on the fourth novel in the series, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, was completed in March of this year, unaffected by the double strike in Hollywood two months later. Regrettably, neither Netflix nor the producers have made any official announcements since then.

While we're waiting, a potential competitor seems to be on the horizon. Next month, the British period drama The Buccaneers, based on the eponymous novel by the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Edith Wharton, will be released on Apple TV+. However, unlike Bridgerton, the novel has a significantly more tragic backstory.

Potential Bridgerton Rival

The primary difference from the Julia Quinn book series is that the story introduces an American perspective to the events in London's high society.

The narrative centers around five American women whose affluent families have earned their wealth through new entrepreneurial ventures rather than inheritance, as is the case of Britain's aristocratic families. Nonetheless, the protagonists' fathers want their daughters to attain status and European titles, while British noble bachelors are not opposed to getting access to some newfound wealth to sustain their idle lifestyles.

Unlike Bridgerton, The Buccaneers places considerable emphasis on the clash between the views and perceptions of progressive American and traditionalist British societies, which will be a major source of conflict for the ladies and their suitors.

What's So Special About It?

What makes the new series unique is that it was developed by a crew consisting mostly of women. The novel was adapted by showrunner Katherine Jakeways, the primary director is Susanna White, and the soundtrack was produced by American drummer Stella Mozgawa.

Also, anticipate a large number of songs by female artists, from Olivia Rodrigo to the enchanting Ms. T-Swizzle (you may know her as Taylor Swift).

Tragedy Behind Source Material

But unlike Bridgerton, a contemporary series of novels by Quinn, who is thankfully in good health, The Buccaneers has a considerably more heartbreaking story behind it.

A novel that criticizes the social norms of the powerful while masterfully narrating a love story, The Buccaneers was the last novel written by its author, Edith Wharton, who died of a heart attack in 1937 at the age of 75. Sadly, the novel was never finished and was published as is in 1938.

In 1993, Marion Mainwaring completed the novel based on Wharton's detailed outline. Even though that version was not well received by critics, it became the foundation for the future series.

The first three episodes of The Buccaneers will be released on Apple TV+ on November 8.