There’s something extra romantic about period pieces. Perhaps it’s that it takes so little to tease and entice – just an ankle will do. Or perhaps it’s something about all the soft candle light. Maybe the poofy dresses and dapper men in dinner jackets? Well, whatever it is, Bridgerton scratched an itch we didn’t know we had, and since our binge ended, we’ve been left craving more. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of romantic period pieces to tide you over while we wait for season 2.
Starting this list of with a bang (sometimes literally) is one of the steamiest romances on TV. The series follows Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who in 1945 finds herself magically transported back to Scotland in 1743. There she encounters the heartthrob Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser and becomes deeply embroiled in the Jacobite risings.
Not only are the actors gorgeous, but one really becomes invested in their relationship, as well as in the politics of the show. The time-traveling adds a little more spice to what is otherwise already an engaging tale.
There are five seasons of the show out there to enjoy, so once you start you’ll have your fix of steamy historical drama and action for a while.
A historical drama set in 1914, The Promise tells the story of Michael, a medical student and his romance with Armenian dance instructor, Ana. Ana, though, already has a boyfriend – an American photojournalist out reporting on the war.
The love triangle takes place against the backdrop of a collapsing Ottoman Empire, and calls the priorities of all parties into question. Like all romantic period pieces, this one includes a little bit of history, and a lot of tension.
The Theory of Everything
This biopic from details the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking – particularly his time at Cambridge and his relationship with ex-wife, Jane Wilde – and was adapted from a memoir by Wilde. The film stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, and received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations after its release.
The Theory of Everything follows Stephen as he is diagnosed with motor neuron disease, and becomes reclusive, focusing only on his work. Despite the increasing hardships, Wilde declares that she intends to stay with Stephen even as his condition worsens. For those who enjoy learning about science as well as enjoying the warm fuzzy feelings that romance movies awaken, this is the pick for you.
For those who enjoy a side of revenge with their romance, this is an essential. Set in France before 1789, the historical drama tells the story of Madame de la Pommeraye, a wealthy widow who decides to enact a complicated plan for revenge after she’s spurned by her lover. To do this, she needs the help of Lady J, a former prostitute, who she tricks her erstwhile lover into marrying.
If you’re into the big dresses, tight corsets and elaborately styled hair that many period pieces showcase, you’ll enjoy this one.
A Little Chaos
Dorected by the late Alan Rickman, this romantic period piece follows Sabine, a skilled female gardener who lands the job of landscaping King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles.
Honest and beautiful, Sabine attracts the attention of the court as well as that of her employer with whom there’s a more than a little chemistry. He’s not the only man charmed by Sabine, however, and she soon finds herself entangled in relationships that could have political consequences.
this series, set in 1783, introduces Ross Poldark as he returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his life in ruins and his beloved engaged to his cousin. But Ross finds out that love and hope can be found when one least expects them, and i the least likely places.
This one’s what you need if you’re looking for an epic romance and some great acting that really brings like to the roles.Also based on a set of novels, if it leaves you craving more you can go ahead and pick up the books afterwards!
If you haven’t already watched Reign, it’s time you do.This series tells of the rise to power of Mary, Queen of Scots. Like Bridgerton, the score is a magical combination of classical and modern. The viewer is frequently delighted by the recognisable tunes that act as the soundtrack to the grand balls that take place in vast castles.
The costumes too, are a sight to behold. It seems, at times, that the entire budget was used to dress the actors in impressive dresses, because their performances at times leave much to be desired. The love triangles, intrigue, and romance however, make up for that with interest. It even becomes somewhat endearing – or at the very least something that can make one chuckle from time to time. If you enjoyed Bridgerton and Dickenson, this is one show that should definitely be on your list.
To mix things up a little, we need to include a historical drama that tells of some history you may be less familiar with if you grew up in the west.
Scarlett Heart tells the story of 25-year-old Zhang Xiao, who travels in time from modern-day China, back to the 18th century to be incarnated as one of her previous lives – 16-year-old Maertai Rouxi, the daughter of a Manchu general in the Qing Dynasty (the year 941). Now living the life of a princess, of course she falls in love with a few princes along the way and finds herself embroiled in the politics of the time.
This series has both Chinese and Korean adaptations, so you can take your pick!
If you’ve been craving Bridgerton like I have, one or all of these romantic period pieces are bound to be extremely satisfying viewing, and they should keep you going until the next time we meet with the Duke and Duchess and Lady Whistledown in 2022.