Happy Valentines’ Day in Literature!

Dear students, happy Valentines’ Day! Although some of you might not be out on the town tonight, you can still add a bit of romance to your lives through true English student style – reading. Here are the top 5 Romance books apparently known to existence! Out of all the top tens I had a look at, these 5 seem to feature as the best reads for a real sense of romance.

Happy Love Day!

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen (1813)

This perennially delightful romantic comedy gives us timeless lovers and sly social satire. “You could not shock her more than she shocks me,” wrote WH Auden, who thrilled to read the “English spinster of the middle class/ Describe the amorous effects of ‘brass’”.

 

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë (1847)

“I will be myself” the passionate and moral governess tells her saturnine employer. “ Mr Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you.”

 

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë (1847)

Disdained on publication for its “vulgar depravity” and difficult characters, even the sniffier early critics acknowledge the “rugged power” of the romance between Catherine Earnshaw, and adopted gypsy Heathcliff with whom she feels a love eternal as the rocks beneath the moor.

 

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert (1856)

A kindly but unexceptional provincial doctor marries a woman whose expectations have been raised unrealistically by reading too many romantic novels and, perhaps inevitably, things end badly.

 

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James (1881)

On his deathbed, Isabel Archer’s cousin Ralph gasps, “Love remains. I don’t know why we should suffer so much. Perhaps I shall find out.” But readers still argue over the nature of her affection for her cruel and oppressive husband.

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