It is so simple to feel sorry for a single lady without ever considering that she can actually be in a much better situation than everyone else. Dating and marriage are never treated equally in a patriarchal society. To exhale a sigh of comfort after realizing what Agatha endured was something that happened 200 years ago would be a little naive. We are not discussing Lord Danbury, but rather how Agatha’s life was made specifically for him. There is no way to escape the male gaze anytime soon as it still rules significant portions of women’s lives. Agatha detested her husband in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. She was only waiting for his passing, and when it finally came, she felt relieved, but that feeling did not last long. because she was unsure of what to do with herself when he died. Although she detested him, she was unaware of any other way of life because it had never been taught to her.
Agatha was right when she declared that she had no idea who she was outside of her marriage. If you look closely, Lady Agatha Danbury possessed a grasp of politics and diplomacy that her husband could only dream of. Agatha’s efforts helped her family win the queen’s favor, enable them to host the season’s first ball, and perhaps pave the path for a more egalitarian society. In fact, Agatha showed us how misogyny may still exist in an environment when there is racial discrimination. Herman Danbury, who had struggled his entire life to be treated equally, was aware that he was at least as good as the other members of the ton. He was unable to show his wife the same politeness, though. He openly discounted her intelligence and occasionally took great joy in doing so. Do you recall the taunt about not staring like a peasant? Herman never gave Agatha’s needs any consideration; in fact, he was unaware that the least he could do for her was to show respect. She was merely an object that existed for his amusement and whim. Knowing this, Agatha put up with it until the day she would be set free. She was lost when the day eventually arrived.
Agatha did fall in love, possibly quite a few times, with Lord Ledger in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story being one of them. As Agatha claims, it was the first time that her garden had blossomed. She really did enjoy the guy. He was more considerate of Agatha than her husband ever had been and was polite and gentle. Even though she was aware that the relationship had to end at some point, she was nevertheless devastated when it did. Agatha would not understand the significance of this heartbreak’s lesson until many later. She deliberately chose the heartache. Herman Danbury was not a choice in any part of her life; nevertheless, she made a choice when she began an affair with Lord Ledger. She was aware of the dynamics in their relationship and made the decision to accept that it wouldn’t last long. Before she began meeting him so frequently, she was aware that the relationship would fail because he was already married. Despite how awful the heartbreak was, she persisted in doing it, proving that she was not taken by surprise. Making her own decisions and taking responsibility for the results put her in a situation where she had no one else to answer to but herself.
We think that Lady Danbury’s first praise for her qualities and intelligence came from Princess Augusta when she described her as a worthy rival. We don’t think Lord Ledger would have gone there, and her husband must never have said anything like that. We don’t believe her IQ was brought up throughout that chat, though he may have commended her beauty or charisma.
Agatha’s life was made even more difficult after Herman passed away when she learned she would end up being impoverished and lose the benefits of being married, including the property and the titles. Agatha needed to care for her kids as much as she needed to care for herself, therefore given her restricted options, the best she could do was enter into another marriage. Adolphus, the brother of Queen Charlotte, was also a wonderful prospect that she discovered. He was a nicer man than Herman Danbury; he loved her and cared for her, and their marriage would have greatly boosted her social standing. But Agatha was unable to succeed. She was aware that in spite of everything, she would not be treated equally. Even though he was a good man, Agatha did not want to get married to another man once more. She knew she desired independence above all else once she had a taste of what life could be like. Women are affected in a similar way by freedom; once they experience it, they can never let go. Agatha was actually left helpless after she rejected Adolphus, unable to support herself or her family. Her good intentions and sensitivity as a woman, however, turned out to be her savior. Charlotte made sure Agatha received what she needed—her son being given the name Lord Danbury—because she understood the need for a succession of titles for aristocratic families of color.
It is strange that Lady Danbury, who was aware of the difficulties of marriage, afterwards became such a successful matchmaker. Perhaps, like Charlotte, she regarded herself as the lone exception to the wisdom of partnerships over individual happiness. One of the few women in the Bridgerton universe who has managed to establish an agency of their own, separate from the pursuit of love interests, is Agatha Danbury. She had a good life that she made for herself. It was fascinating to hear her side of the story, and we’re excited to learn more about her life in Season 3 of Bridgerton.