The Buccaneers: A Period Romance

Article | Issue: Dec 2023

A TV adaptation of Edith Wharton’s romance novel The Buccaneers has premiered on 8 November on Apple TV. BILJANA BOGLEVSKA reports.

Love and romance should never run out of supply amongst young readers and lovers of streaming shows that are so keen to provide such pleasures. In the spirit of the popular Netflix series, Bridgerton, Apple TV decided to get on the period romance bandwagon and recreate, The Buccaneers, the last unfinished novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Edith Wharton.

This novel is set in the 1870s when Wharton was only a little girl. Wharton had a tendency to write about unhappy marriages, where the clash between society’s expectations and the desire for true love is ever present. Her first novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, proved to bring her much success and notoriety at the time.  

The Buccaneers follows the lives of New Yorker’s Nan and Jinny St George, who along with their guardians decide to launch themselves onto the gullible British aristocracy. Sent on a mission to get wealthy husbands with titles, the Buccaneers aspire to attain far more than mere matrimonial vows, they are set to change the delicate views of society in the process. 

The series premiered on November 8 and is full of plot twists and romance and a freshly recreated old world of aristocracy promising a binge worthy watch for young viewers. The show explores the pursuit of love, societal expectations, and the courage to defy established norms. The cast includes Kristine Frøseth, as ‘Nan St. George,’  Imogen Waterhouse as ‘Jinny St. George’ and Christina Hendricks as ‘Mrs. St. George,’ among others. 

Authored by the creator of the series, Katherine Jakeways, and helmed by director Susanna White, both of whom also assume roles as executive producers, The Buccaneers is further enriched by the contributions of Beth Willis.  

The heart of The Buccaneers lies in the clash of cultures as the American girls disrupt the stiff upper lip of 1870s London, challenging centuries-old traditions. The Buccaneers stands as a testament to the enduring allure of period romances, offering a rich tapestry of emotions, societal commentary, and a fresh take on classic storytelling. 

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