On today of all days, the wedding of Prince William (British royal family) and Kate Middleton, I'm thinking about looove. So what're the top five romances in novels?
Here's what I think:
1) Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It just has to be, really - they're one of the most famous couples ever. But it's not Colin Firth striding out of ponds that's made this story so hot, it's the masterful writer behind it. This is a classic example of 'the course of true love never did run smooth', and Pride and Prejudice set a whole new precedent and sparked numerous romantic novels, plays and films where the protagonists begin by disliking each other.
2) Dona and Jean-Benoit Aubéry in Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier. Although Rebecca is du Maurier's most famous novel, Frenchman's Creek will always be my favourite. The snatched romance between a Lady and a French pirate is one that is often overlooked in lists such as this one. It's a really beautiful novel, and I owe it thanks on a personal level for inspiring my latest story The House of Make Believe.
3) John Ridd and Lorna Doone in Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore. If this isn't a classic love story, I don't know what is. John and Lorna, first separated by their warring families, then by the rigid class system, get caught up in the wars, feuds and battles that give this book such a kick. I love it especially for its host of baddies, the violent outlaws the Doones, contrasted with the simple goodness of the Ridds, farming folk. The characters are vibrant, the action is quick. I love it to pieces.
4) Jane and Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. This is one of the first novels of its kind because it covers so many genres: romance, moral, mystery, gothic, supernatural... Jane Eyre also boasts a strong heroine and a less-than-perfect hero. In times when everyone's drooling over impeccably behaved vampires, it's more than a little refreshing.
5) Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and Cathy Linton and Hareton Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I love this novel for many reasons - the gothic feel, the tragic story of Heathcliff and Catherine's love - but what I like best about it is the way it stretches over the generations. Brontë could easily have ended it with Catherine's death, or even before that, but she chose instead to show us all how consequences pile up and effect the next generation. Apart from all this, it's a lovely romance and gets extra points because it's not only one love story but two!
Don't agree with me? Think I missed something important? Give me a yell, or even better, have a go at this on your own blog to remember the day of the royal wedding!
Good luck William and Kate!