Quinn, Julia 1970-
QUINN, Julia 1970-
Born Julie Pottinger in 1970. Education: Harvard University, B.A.; attended Yale medical school.
Home—Pacific northwest. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Avon Books, Inc., 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.
Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc.
RITA Award finalist, Romance Writers of America (RWA), 2001, for The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me; Top Ten Books of the Year list, 2002, RITA Award finalist, best long historical, 2003, for Romancing Mister Bridgerton; Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award finalist, best historical love & laughter, for To Catch an Heiress; RWA Top Ten Books of the Year List, 2003, for To Sir Phillip, With Love; RITA Award finalist, best romantic novella, 2004, for "Thirty-six Valentines"; RITA Award finalist, best romantic novella, 2004, for "A Tale of Two Sisters."
Splendid, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Dancing at Midnight, Avon Books, 1995.
Minx, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Everything and the Moon, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Brigher Than the Sun, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
To Catch an Heiress, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
How to Marry a Marquis, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins, and Mia Ryan) The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Lisa Kleypas and Kinley MacGregor) Where's My Hero? Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Duke and I, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Viscount Who Loved Me, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
An Offer from a Gentleman, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2002.
To Sir Phillip, With Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Also author of novellas, including "Thirty-six Valentines" and "A Tale of Two Sisters."
Romance writer Julia Quinn was born Julie Pottinger in 1970. During her senior year of college, she "realized that she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life," wrote a biographer on the Julia Quinn Home Page. After much thought, she decided to attend medical school and become a doctor. For two years, she took pre-med classes in order to qualify for medical school. During this time, she wrote her first two books, the romance novels Splendid and Dancing at Midnight. When the two books were sold just before she was to decide which medical school to attend, she delayed choosing a school for a year to write Minx, noted the biographer on her home page. Another year's delay resulted in Everything and the Moon. "Then she got a little nervous and thought that maybe she ought to give med school a try and so she picked up a scalpel, started dissecting cadavers, and learned more about the citric acid cycle than anyone (including most med students) wants to know," the biographer on her ho me page wrote. However, within a few months, Quinn "realized that she must have experienced a bout of temporary insanity and she withdrew from medical school" to concentrate on writing full time.
Specializing in Regency romance, stories set largely in early nineteenthcentury England, Pottinger chose the Julia Quinn pseudonym "so her books would be shelved next to those of the best-selling romance writer Amanda Quick," wrote Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs in a profile of Quinn in Time. "Although she hasn't discarded the con ventions of romance, Quinn is more than willing to tweak them," Grossman and Sachs wrote. Her heroines are not all wispy damsels waiting to be swept off their feet, but are a "plump wallflower" or a self-assured intellectual. Her heroes are not dark and brooding mystery men, nor are they sexually rapacious. "I can't think of anything in my books that any feminist would find objectionable," Quinn remarked in Grossman and Sachs's profile. "And I consider myself a feminist."
In Brighter Than the Sun, Charles Wycombe, Earl of Billington, falls out of a tree, drunk, at the feet of Eleanor Lyndon. Wycombe's sorry state is the result of finding out that he has little more than two weeks to get married or he will lose his inheritance (though not his title). Desperate, Charles proposes to Eleanor on the spot; she accepts, but only on the condition that they not consummate the marriage "until they know each other better," noted Beth Coogan on the Under the Covers Web site. However, Charles thinks he may be able to seduce her in the meantime. "What follows is a delightful romp," Coogan wrote, "and the disasters that befall them both before her decision and afterwards are laugh out loud funny."
Elizabeth Hotchkiss decides that she needs a husband in How to Marry a Marquis. Since her parents died five years prior, she has barely able to make enough from her job as a lady's companion to care for her three young siblings. "The only solution is for Elizabeth to marry for money," noted Ellen Hestand on the Romance Reader Web site, but prospects are few in Surrey, and she can't afford a season of prospecting in London. When Elizabeth spots a tiny red book with the title How to Marry a Marquis in Lady Danbury's library, an idea is sparked—she will use the techniques and tricks in the book to locate and woo a suitable mate. Elizabeth determines to try the book's suggestions on Lady Danbury's new estate manager, James Siddons. But Siddons is not what he seems—he is actually James Sidwell, Marquis of Riverdale and Lady Danbury's nephew, working undercover at the lady's estate to uncover a blackmailer's identity. Elizabeth finds that her practice sessions may lead to a genuine Marquis after all. "Tak en as a whole, this is a very fun, occasionally funny book with an extremely likeable pair of lovers," commented Hestand. "The writing is natural and effective, and the secondary characters have well developed personalities that add a lot to the story."
Among Quinn's more popular works are the Bridgerton series, a collection of novels focusing on the Bridgerton family. In the first book in the series, The Duke and I, Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, has just returned from a six-year trip abroad, taken to avoid his now-deceased father. Emotionally scarred, Simon has vowed never to marry. When he meets Daphne Bridgerton, sister of former schoolmate Anthony Bridgerton, he convinces her to pretend that they are courting. "Simon figures this will keep the match-making mamas at bay, and Daphne figures Simon's attentions will make her more attractive to other suitors," wrote Blythe Barnhill on the All about Romance Web site. "The only problem is that soon they only have eyes for each other," Barnhill remarked. Walaika Haskins, writing on the Romance Reader Web site, called The Duke and I "a refreshingly witty tale with a hero and heroine whose emotions are fueled by intelligence rather than by ungovernable body parts, although there's plenty of that, too. Add in an interesting array of meddlesome family members and The Duke and I definitely ranks as a keeper."
The Bridgerton series has also spawned some spinoffs, such as The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown, a quartet of novellas by Quinn and fellow writers Suzanne Enoch, Mia Ryan, and Karen Hawkins. Each novella is about a different romantic couple, but all are connected by the "wry, thoughtful observations" of the "astute Regency-era gossip columnist," Lady Whistledown, whose gossip columns form a consistent theme running through the Bridgerton novels, noted Kristin Ramsdell in a review for Library Journal. "All in all, these Regency bonbons are filled with the wit and charm that mark the authors' full-length novels," commented a Publishers Weekly critic.
Quinn readily acknowledges that humor is an important part of her books. Haskins, in her review of The Duke and I, noted that "It is a credit to Quinn that she was able to tightly weave together the hilarious with the serious without readers feeling as though they'd switched novels." In an interview with Briana Yamashita in Publishers Weekly, Quinn stated that "It's been a personal goal of mine to write a book that is funny and entertaining but that weaves in some more darker, serious themes. To me," Quinn continued, "it was a wonderful creative challenge to try to do that because, in the end, if you write a very funny book, people will like it. But if you can write a very funny book that also touches their emotions, people will remember it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, August, 2001, Kristin Ramsdell, review of An Offer from a Gentleman, p. 89; January, 2002, Rex Klett, Jackie Cassada, and Kristin Ramsdell, review of An Offer from a Gentleman, p. 51; February 15, 2003, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Further Observations of Lady Thistledown, p. 122.
Publishers Weekly, February 24, 1997, review of Everything and the Moon, p. 88; October 6, 1997, review of Brighter Than the Sun, p. 81; May 14, 2001, review of An Offer from a Gentleman, p. 58; January 20, 2003, review of The Further Observations of Lady Thistledown, p. 63; May 12, 2003, review of To Sir Phillip, with Love, pp. 49-50; May 12, 2003, Briana Yamashita, "The Strongest Link: Talks with Julia Quinn," interview with Julia Quinn, p. 50; June 23, 2003, review of Where's My Hero? p. 52.
Time, February 3, 2003, Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs, "Rewriting the Romance: Bodice Rippers Are More Popular Than Ever, and Julia Quinn is Taking Them into the Postfeminist Future," interview with Julia Quinn, p. 64.
All about Romance Web site,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (March 12, 2004), Blythe Barnhill, review of The Duke and I; Sandy Coleman, review of Romancing Mister Bridgerton; Andrea Pool, review of An Offer from a Gentleman; Jennifer L. Schendel, review of The Viscount Who Loved Me; review of How to Marry a Marquis; Rebecca Ekmark, review of To Catch an Heiress; review of Dancing at Midnight.
BooksnBytes Web site,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (March 12, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of An Offer from a Gentleman.
Curled up with a Good Book Web site,http://www.curledup.com/ (March 12, 2004), review of Romancing Mister Bridgerton.
Julia Quinn Home Page,http://www.juliaquinn.com (March 12, 2004).
Myshelf Web site,http://www.myshelf.com/ (March 12, 2004), review of Everything and the Moon.
Road to Romance Web site,http://www.roadtoromance.ca/ (August 23, 1999), review of How to Marry a Marquis.
Romance Reader Web site,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (June 29, 1998), Jean Mason, review of To Catch an Heiress; (April 7, 1999), Ellen Hestand, review of How to Marry a Marquis; (January 13, 2000), Walaika Haskins, review of The Duke and I; (January 14, 2001), Diana Burrell, review of The Viscount Who Loved Me; (July 29, 2001), Karen Lynch, review of An Offer from a Gentleman; (July 28, 2002), Shirley Lyons, review of Romancing Mister Bridgerton.
Under the Covers Book Reviews Web site, www.silcom.com/~manatee/utc.html/ (December 9, 1997), Beth Coogan, review of Brighter Than theSun; (December 9, 1997), Kimberly Borrowdale, review of Brigher Than the Sun; (September 24, 1998), Robin Peck, review of To Catch an Heiress; (February 9, 1999), Harriet Klausner, review of How to Marry a Marquis; (January 15, 2000), Harriet Klausner, review of The Duke and I; (February 26, 2000), Sharon Laird, review of The Duke and I.