Character Comebacks: Helen Fielding Brings Back Bridget Jones
Since the first novel, Bridget Jones's Diary, was published in 1996, our fickle protagonist's affections have swung like a pendulum between arch-rivals Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver. It's been 15 years since the follow-up Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and seven since Fielding's 2005-2006 column ran in the Independent, where she first published Bridget's singleton saga in 1995. Each left Bridget in completely different scenarios. When Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the most narrative and the most emotional of the series to date, comes out on October 15, the inevitable question might be answered: Which boy?!
As part of our Character Comebacks series, we catch up with where Bridget's been and what new trouble she's about to stumble upon now.
How we knew her: A thirty-something London girl ("singleton"), Bridget obsesses about self-improvement as a means to find love, then falls victim to chronic procrastination and over-thinking (not to mention over-eating, over-drinking, over-smoking, and over-reacting).
Last scene: If you've only read the books, Bridget had coupled with top barrister and solver of all international Jones family scandals Mark Darcy, but she had stepped in it once again as others started to react to the hilariously inappropriate inscriptions she drunkenly wrote in all her Christmas cards. If you kept up with the 2005-2006 articles printed in the Independent, Bridget was in the hospital, having given birth to a son with Daniel Cleaver.
Where is she now: London, present day, Bridget's aged along with us during these many years away. She continues to seek mythical secrets to love, dabbling in modern-day tools such as Internet dating sites and social media. Though the nature of her drama has matured, her reaction is as endearingly naïve as ever.
Why we love her: She's so fabulously flawed, reflecting (in gross exaggeration, of course) our own ridiculousness, our own insecurities, our own inner pep talks. In a weird way, she gives us hope: on the one hand, that we're not as bad off as she is and, on the other hand, that we, like she, will weather whatever's bogging us down.
According to Fielding: Bridget’s return happened quite organically. There were things that were making me laugh about modern life in London, and as I wrote I realized the voice was Bridget’s. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it for a long time, so I could write without feeling self-conscious. The Bridget character makes me see the funny side of things, and feel that it's OK just to sort of muddle along being a human.
A sneak peek inside the new book:
7.06 a.m. Just remembered am on Twitter. Feel wildly puffed up! Part of huge social revolution and young. Last night I just didn't give it enough time! Maybe thousands of followers will have appeared overnight! Millions! I will have gone viral. Cannot wait to see how many followers have come!!
7.10 a.m. Oh.
7.11a.m. Still no followers.
Order Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy now.Return to the main story
Catch up with Danny Torrance
Catch up with Jake Brigance
Catch up with Jimmy Rabbitte