Penelope Featherington is the youngest Featherington child.
1813 Social Season
At the start of the 1813 social season, Penelope was presented to society, over her objections that she'd rather wait another year like her close friend, Eloise Bridgerton. Her mother insisted she be presented and Penelope was presented to the queen along with her two older sisters. Though she was disinterested in entering society, Penelope was intrigued by Colin Bridgerton. When Marina attracted many callers, including Colin, Penelope was happy to be entertained by them, listening as they recited poetry for her and playing with the dog one brought for her.
At the next event, Colin asked Penelope about Marina, who told him that she was sick. When Cressida Cowper saw the two of them talking, she spilled her drink on Penelope to try to get her out of the way. It didn't work as Colin refused to dance with Cressida, saying he was already going to dance with Penelope.
Penelope was shocked when she learned that Marina was pregnant, as she'd been taught you had to get married to get pregnant and Marina was not married. She shared this news with Eloise, though she pretended it was a maid who was pregnant. Penelope brought Marina a plate of sweets and asked her how she became pregnant. Marina explained that it started when a boy at church brought her some sweets. Over time, they came to love each other and that's how she got pregnant. She also shared the letters George had written. At a picnic, Eloise asked Penelope for more information and Penelope said the maid wanted to escape to the country and marry her love.
Penelope began checking the mail daily, looking for letters from George to Marina, consoling her when none came. She continued this even after Lady Featherington forced Marina to start going to events again in the hopes she'd find a suitable match and a quick marriage. She and Marina were both upset when a letter came in the mail signed with George's name, saying that he didn't love her and wanted nothing to do with her or her pregnancy. They were both unaware that Lady Featherington and Mrs. Varley had used Marina's other letters to copy George's signature and wrote the letter themselves.
Penelope learned that Eloise was trying to figure out the true identity of Lady Whistledown, which she supported though she told Eloise she couldn't help as she had events to attend. At one such event, Marina caught the eye of Colin Bridgerton. The two of them danced which upset Penelope, who had a crush on Colin herself. Seeing this caused her to snap at Eloise when Eloise came to talk to her about Lady Whistledown and what she suspected was true about her.
As she watched Colin and Marina get closer, Penelope tried to dissuade the two any way she could. She reminded Colin of his desire to travel and tried to direct Marina to other men, but none of her efforts worked.
Penelope's worry increased as Colin and Marina grew closer and then got engaged. Wanting to stop their marriage, Penelope went to Colin and revealed to him that Marina was already in love with another. Colin brushed off her concerns, saying he didn't care about what Marina did before they met.
In a last-ditch effort to stop them from making a mistake, Penelope found the letters from George and compared them to the last one. She then showed Marina that the signature on the last one was different, meaning it wasn't from George and he hadn't disavowed their relationship. Marina said that meant he still hadn't replied to her, which wasn't much better, and she still wanted to marry Colin. During this conversation, Marina came to realize that Penelope liked Colin. She told Penelope rather unkindly that she'd need to get over that, as Colin saw her as a sister while he saw Marina as a suitor.
When news broke that Marina was pregnant, her engagement to Colin was abruptly called off. As a consequence of their relationship to Marina, Lady Featherington worried that her daughters' prospects were all ruined. True to that, Penelope told Eloise that they hadn't had any callers for three days.
Eloise continued her search for Whistledown and then came to Penelope with what she'd learned. All her previous reports had been public until Marina. With her new information, she believed it was a tradesperson. Penelope told Eloise she could share what she'd learned at an upcoming event, one Penelope herself wasn't going to be attending due to the scandal.
Later, Penelope went to Marina to talk to her and found her passed out on her floor, having consumed a tea meant to induce miscarriage.
As Marina recovered, she came to see Penelope and told her the tea had done what was intended as she hadn't felt movement to indicate she was still pregnant. Marina also said Penelope was right about Colin and she hoped Colin would see Penelope for who she was one day. Later, Penelope stayed with Marina when she received a visit from Phillip Crane, George's brother. He brought news that George had died, along with a proposal for Marina, saying he knew George had compromised her honor.
Penelope went to visit Eloise and learned that Eloise had figured out that Lady Whistledown was Genevieve. Penelope was impressed that she could have a job and still write the letters.
Penelope then went home and, along with her sisters, fawned over the dresses Genevieve had brought for them. They wore the dresses and went to a ball. At the ball, Penelope spoke to Colin, who apologized to her for not listening to her warning about Marina. Then as she prepared to confess her feelings to him, he told her that he was leaving to start traveling soon, leaving her heartbroken.
After the ball, Penelope went home with her mother and sisters, where they learned her father was dead. She went to Eloise and cried on her shoulder while Eloise consoled her. Eloise then told her what happened when she went to save Lady Whistledown, leaving Lady Whistledown able to write her papers. Penelope said she'd make the next season more enjoyable.
Start of the 1814 Season
Penelope waited anxiously by the window on the day the newly debuting ladies were set to be presented to the queen. She kept watching until she received a signal. Then she went to the print shop, where she posed as an Irish servant working for Lady Whistledown and negotiated with Mister Harris to do her printing. She then returned home and hid her money under the floorboards in her room.
While spending time with Eloise, Penelope admitted she was still writing to Colin, though everyone else had begun to ignore his letters. Penelope was surprised to learn that Eloise no longer had good feelings toward Lady Whistledown, because she only repeated what she heard and likely only wrote about those things because she wasn't an active participant.
At Lady Danbury's ball, Penelope talked to Eloise, who was hiding from potential suitors. When Eloise told Lord Stanley and Lord Cho that her dance card for the night was already full, Penelope looked at it and saw that all the name were fake. Penelope tried to leave the ball, but Eloise interrupted her, forcing her to stay. That night, after pretending to have gone to bed, Penelope left her house and went to the print shop, where she put a rush on the next issue.
At the queen's ball, Eloise panicked and told Penelope that they needed to leave because she'd accidentally charmed the queen. Cressida then approached and asked Eloise if being named the diamond would stop Eloise from hanging out with Penelope and find better friends. Eloise said she would rather die, remaining loyal to Penelope. Penelope then told Eloise that she didn't share Eloise's difficulty with social events. She liked to watch people and had learned a lot just from that. They also talked again about Lady Whistledown, with Eloise reiterating that she hadn't missed her while she was gone, but her return only reminded Eloise that she was trapped, with everyone watching her and comparing her to Daphne. Penelope said that no one noticed her, which Eloise saw as a good thing.
Penelope talked to Eloise more about Lady Whistledown. Eloise said that she would prefer it Whistledown wrote more about women's issues, because Eloise had more interest in that than ton gossip. Eloise believed she could persuade Whistledown to do more if she could track her down.
At the Royal Races, Penelope talked to newly-returned Colin about his travels. She asked him about being lonely and he said he wasn't because he was never alone. Penelope started to ask who he was with, but they were interrupted by Eloise, who pulled Penelope away. Eloise told Penelope she knew how was printing Lady Whistledown's pamphlets as she'd found another pamphlet using the same fond and paper type.
Penelope attended Lady Danbury's soiree with her mother and sister. She asked Colin about the lady he was with while traveling and he clarified that he actually meant himself, as it had given him the chance to start a conversation with himself, something her letters had encouraged him to do. He'd actually sworn off women. Penelope said she was a woman, but he said she was his friend and didn't count.
Later, Eloise told Penelope she'd found another clue. All the Ks were slightly misshapen, so she'd know for sure she had the right place if the next issue had misshapen Ks. Penelope immediately went out and bought a new K for the printing press. While she was shopping, she was spotted by Genevieve Delacroix and immediately fled.
Working with Genevieve and Visit to Aubrey Hall
While he family was at Genevieve's to get a dress altered, Penelope made excuses for why she was out shopping. Genevieve made it clear that she would keep Penelope's secret, saying she believed a lady's business to be her own. When the next Lady Whistledown came out, Penelope came to visit Genevieve. The pamphlet had been very complimentary of Genevieve and Penelope said she was there to ask a favor of Genevieve in exchange for Penelope boosting her business. She was worried she'd get spotted again and wanted Genevieve's help avoiding that. She arranged for Genevieve to sew her writing into dress seams to get them to the printer.
As the Bridgertons prepared for their annual Hearts and Flowers ball, Penelope talked to Eloise, who had some pamphlets, saying she must have been wrong about the printer as the Ks were no longer smudged. Eloise said she was actually interested in the contents of the pamphlets. When Eloise mentioned talking to Theo, Penelope was horrified that Eloise had been going to that part of town. Colin said that he had been unable to dissuade her and hoped Penelope could while he was visiting Marina.
Penelope and Eloise ended up at a table with several other young ladies. When talking about finding matches, Eloise said they could all simply say no to their mothers, but Penelope knew it wasn't that easy. They also talked about Whistledown, saying they didn't think she'd publish anything that week as they were all in the countryside together and would know anything she reported.
Later, when Eloise fled upstairs after leaving a dance early, Penelope tried to follow her, but Eloise said she wanted to be alone.
Penelope was shocked to learn that Prudence got engaged to Jack at the ball. Prudence wondered if Lady Whistledown would write about it. Penelope said she could ruin their family if she did, but Prudence be believed she was just jealous. Penelope then spoke to Colin, who wondered how things could have gone differently if Lady Whistledown hadn't written about her before saying there was no use dwelling in the past.
Penelope and Eloise watched Prudence tell the other young ladies about her wedding plans. Penelope said that Prudence getting engaged meant her mother more or less forgot she existed, but she did appreciate Jack ensuring their family's future. Penelope went with Prudence and Portia to Genevieve's to get Prudence's trousseau. While she was there, she used coded language to ask if Genevieve had gotten the new pamphlet she had written. Genevieve said yes, but it had bene a busy week. Genevieve also asked Penelope if Lady Whistledown could promote her business again, but Penelope just reminded her of what she'd already done for her.
At the lake, Penelope talked to Colin, who said Prudence seemed happy. Colin expressed interest in Jack's mines and proposed introducing himself as he wanted to find purpose in his life. Penelope said he had plenty of time for that.
Penelope later talked to Eloise about what she had missed at the lake, but Eloise said she'd already heard. She also said she was busy with wedding errands and wouldn't be able to promenade with Penelope. Penelope was suspicious of Eloise's behavior, so she quietly asked Eloise's maid where she'd been that day, pretending Eloise had left something behind and asked her to retrieve it. The maid informed her that Eloise had been in Bloomsbury, a bad part of town. When Eloise went back there, Penelope followed her and watched her from a distance as she talked to Theo.
Edwina and Anthony's Wedding
Desperate to learn more about Theo, Penelope summoned Genevieve to her house and asked Genevieve what she knew. Genevieve said she didn't know anything and began to worry that she was risking her business by helping Penelope. Penelope said her business hinged on it as well.
Penelope attended Edwina and Anthony's wedding with her mother, sister, and Jack. Before the wedding, she, Colin, and Eloise talked about how opulent the wedding was, even fancier than Daphne's. During this conversation, Penelope also expressed worry over Eloise continuing to visit Theo. Eloise said she'd visited him again, but she was only interested in his thoughts, so it wasn't scandalous.
When the wedding was abruptly called off, Penelope mingled with the other guests in the gardens. She overheard people gossiping about Edwina and why she'd called off the wedding. She and Eloise then talked about Theo again. Eloise wondered what if she wanted more with Theo than an intellectual bond. Penelope warned her of the potential consequences of marrying below her station. Eloise said she just wanted to know what she was feeling because not knowing was torture. She asked if Penelope had ever left anything like that. Penelope said no, but looked over at Colin.
Penelope then talked to Colin. She told him he'd find his purpose someday and said she was also looking for hers. During this conversation, Colin realized Marina was right about Penelope caring for him. Penelope spotted Eloise as she left to go see Theo. She tried to stop Eloise, but Eloise just asked her not to tell anyone.
Reporting on Eloise
In the aftermath of Anthony and Edwina's cancelled wedding, Penelope was promenading with her family when they came across the Bridgertons. Portia was surprised to see them out and about so soon after their scandal. As they walked away, Penelope expressed her sincere condolences to the family.
Penelope then met with Eloise, who was frightened because the queen believed she was Lady Whistledown and was threatening her to admit it. Penelope said they would find a way to convince the queen that it wasn't true. Eloise wanted to warn Theo, but Penelope said she needed to stay away from Theo and the print shop until the next Whistledown was published and then they'd have proof it wasn't her. Penelope went straight from here to see Genevieve, who was worried that the queen had gotten involved. Penelope reminded her that their arrangement was mutually beneficial. She asked if Genevieve had any possible solution, as she wanted to protect Eloise and wasn't sure she could convince the queen if she tried to turn herself in. Genevieve suggested that she could write something about Eloise that Eloise would never write about herself. Penelope said she couldn't do that to her friend.
However, after Eloise said she was considering turning herself in and giving the queen the ally she wanted, Penelope wrote her next pamphlet, then broke her quill and burned it, as she had reported that Eloise was socializing with political radicals.
Eloise quit writing as Lady Whistledown after this report. When Prudence expressed desire for Whistledown to return and report on her wedding, she and Philippa speculated on why she stopped. Penelope said maybe she was done ruining the lives of others. When Portia decided to use some of the money they'd gotten from the members of the ton to invest in the mines to throw a ball, Mrs. Varley asked about the Bridgertons and Sharmas. Prudence and Philippa liked the idea of the drama it would cause, but Penelope reminded them that Kate was still unconscious after falling off a horse. Portia decided to invite them anyway.
Eloise told Penelope she was going to find Lady Whistledown, with Theo's help. Penelope tried to warn her off the task, saying people had been gossiping about Eloise for weeks and her family would be in a worse position if she wrote more about them. She told Eloise to move on and let the scandal pass.
At the ball her mother threw, Penelope stood on the edge and talked to Eloise, sharing gossip about those around them after Eloise said she'd ended things with Theo. After talking to Eloise, Penelope ended up going with Colin to another room, where he showed her that Jack's necklaces were counterfeit and there were no gemstone mines in Georgia. Portia and Jack entered the room and Portia pretended to be shocked at the news. Colin threatened Jack, saying he needed to return all the money he'd taken and leave town immediately or he would reveal Jack's con. He was only refraining so long for the ladies' benefit. After this, Penelope and Colin returned to the dance and danced together. Colin said he had more planned if Jack didn't comply. Penelope thanked him for looking out for them.
Penelope later left the ball and found Eloise in her room, where Eloise had uncovered evidence that she was Lady Whistledown. Penelope apologized, but Eloise was angered that Penelope betrayed her to make money. Penelope said she felt horrible, but this was all she had. And she'd given it up for Eloise. Eloise said Penelope sequestered herself away to write because she couldn't stand up for herself in reality. In turn, Penelope said at least she did something, while Eloise was all talk. Eloise said she never wanted to see or talk to Penelope ever again and left.
Penelope returned to the ball, where she overheard Colin telling some other men that he would never court Penelope. That night, Penelope started writing her next report, telling everyone she was back.
A vastly intelligent girl with a sharp wit and warm heart, Penelope would prefer to quietly sway near the perimeter of any ballroom rather than take center stage. She's been born into a family who will never truly understand her--as if dealing with the cutthroat, mean girls of 1813 Regency London weren't enough.
Penelope has a crush on Colin Bridgerton, the third eldest Bridgerton sibling. So deep is her devotion to him that she betrayed Marina, her own cousin, by exposing her pregnancy to save Colin from what she saw as Marina using him to avoid scandal and trapping him in marriage with a child that was not his.
When he returned from his travels the following year, he invested in Jack Featherington's gem mines, only to find out they were fake. He revealed the truth to Penelope and derided Jack for lying and taking advantage of the Featherington ladies, who were without a husband or father to protect them. As he danced with Penelope, he promised her he would protect her always. However, later that same evening, she overheard Colin declaring that he would never think about courting Penelope. Penelope ran off in tears.
Penelope is the daughter of Lord and Lady Featherington, and is sister to Prudence and Philippa. Though her sisters are not the most poised or beautiful girls in society, Penelope is often looked upon as the ugly duckling. Her family pokes fun at her skin and weight, and often critiques her for her studies and writing.
Penelope and Eloise Bridgerton were close friends. However, their relationship was strained by Eloise's frustration at Penelope's desire for a husband, which conflicted with Eloise’s own dedication to her studies. When Eloise debuted, Penelope became her constant support and offered a listening ear. What Eloise didn't know was that Penelope was Lady Whistledown, and had been publishing scandals about Eloise's family. When the queen suspected Eloise of being Lady Whistledown, Penelope tried to save her by publishing a scandal about Eloise consorting with political radicals, to make it look like Eloise was innocent, since no one would think Lady Whistledown would write about herself. Things took a turn for the worse when Eloise recognized Penelope's witty banter at the Featherington ball, and realized she was actually Lady Whistledown. Eloise confronted Penelope in private, accusing her of hurting people for her own selfish ends, and ended their friendship.
Marina and Penelope quickly became friends when Marina first arrived, but their relationship was strained when Penelope heard about Marina's plan to seduce Colin and get him to marry her. When Marina refused to spare Colin from her plan to escape the fate of an unwed mother, Penelope published news of her pregnancy in Lady Whistledown, secretly betraying her.
Penelope maintains a secret identity as Lady Whistledown, who writes a newsletter spreading all the ton's gossip.
Notes and Trivia
A more complete gallery with pictures of Penelope Featherington can be found here.
|Bridgerton, Season 1|
|#01||"Diamond of the First Water"||#04||"An Affair of Honor"||#07||"Oceans Apart"|
|#02||"Shock and Delight"||#05||"The Duke and I"||#08||"After the Rain"|
|#03||"Art of the Swoon"||#06||"Swish"|
|Bridgerton, Season 2|
|#01||"Capital R Rake"||#04||"Victory"||#07||"Harmony"|
|#02||"Off to the Races"||#05||"An Unthinkable Fate"||#08||"The Viscount Who Loved Me"|
|#03||"A Bee in Your Bonnet"||#06||"The Choice"|