Love rests on no foundation. It is an endless ocean, with no beginning or end.
-Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

Do you believe in love at first sight, or how about soul mates? Do you believe in true immortal love, love that defies the limits of time and space? I myself would like to believe that something so powerful and pure exists somewhere in this endless universe. But, then again, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’d love to think that there is a perfect love out there for all of us, and we just have to be patient while we are on the journey that will take us to it. But in reality, I’m also a child of divorce and have a difficult time believing in something that I have yet to witness. Maybe it’s all just chemicals in our brain messing with our emotions, all in an attempt to keep our species alive and reproducing.

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Either way, it is a part of our culture and species that has fascinated the human race since the beginning of time. We have composed epic songs and poems about it, written about it in great works of literature, and attempted to dissect it into little tiny pieces so we can observe it under a figurative microscope. Let’s face it. We are obsessed with the phenomena of love. But what is it that keeps us coming back to the question of whether true love exists? Science has certainly attempted to explain it away by now with facts and figures on chemicals in the brain and what causes their release. So, why do we still believe, even if it’s in a tiny corner of our being, that this magical force called true love exists?

Perhaps it’s because no matter how much it’s poked, prodded, and dissected there’s still evidence that there’s something more to it, something ethereal and mysterious. Throughout history, there have been couples whose love and devotion to each other seems to defy all logic. They have a soul-deep connection that seems to surpass even the limits of space and time. Their love’s a thing of wonder and magic; a force so powerful that it can unite or divide countries, change the course of history, even conquer death. To witness, it’s almost akin to witnessing a miracle. You may have scoffed before but when it’s right there in front of you, you can’t help but believe. And so we humans are forced to acknowledge the intangible and mysterious force called love.

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In this week’s top list, I have gathered some of these remarkable love stories together for you. These are the lovers who have caught our attention and made us believe in the possibility of true love. Their stories and their love for one another have stood the test of time, igniting a spark of hope that true love does exist in all those who have heard their tales. So, sit back, relax, and let me remind you of the power of true and enduring love. It’s out there somewhere. We just have to have faith.

CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN

30 Love Stories in History and Literature That Will Restore Your Faith in True Love

Photo Credit: Дар Ветер. See License.

ABELARD AND HELOISE

BONNIE AND CLYDE

SCARLETT O’HARA AND RHETT BUTLER

30 Love Stories in History and Literature That Will Restore Your Faith in True Love

Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) in Gone With the Wind. Photo: MGM

TRISTAN AND ISOLDE

Tristan and Isolde. Painting: Herbert James Draper, 1901

ELIZABETH AND DARCY

Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightley)and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) in Pride and Prejudice. Photo: Focus Features

FRANKLIN AND ELEANOR

Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt

PAOLO AND FRANCESCA

Paolo and Francesca (Dante’s Divine Comedy)
Painting: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, oil on canvas, 1819

JANE AND ROCHESTER

Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) and Rochester (Michael Fassbender) in Jane Eyre
Photo: Focus Features

JUSTINIAN AND THEODORA

WALLIS SIMPSON AND KING EDWARD VIII

Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. Photo Credit: National Media Museum

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE

Orpheus and Eurydice Painting: Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein-Sub, 1806

LANCELOT AND GUINEVERE

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

Antony and Cleopatra Painting: Lawrence Alma-Todema, oil on panel, 1885

LAYLA AND MAJNUN

Layla and Majnun Source: Walters Museum

MARY AND PERCY SHELLEY

Mary and Percy Shelley Source: engraving by George J. Stodart, 1853, after monument by Henry Weekes

NAPOLEON AND JOSEPHINE

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine Painting: Jacque-Louis David and Georges Rouget, oil on canvas, 1805-07

ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE

Odysseus and Penelope Painting: Francesco Primaticcio, oil on canvas, 1563

PARIS AND HELENA

Paris and Helena Painting: J. L. David, 1788

PIERRE AND MARIE CURIE

Pierre and Marie Curie

POCAHONTAS AND JOHN SMITH

Pocahontas and John Smith

PRINCE RAINIER III AND PRINCESS GRACE

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III

PYRAMUS AND THISBE

Pyramus and Thisbe. Source: Uffizi Gallery

ROMEO AND JULIET

Romeo and Juliet. Painting: Ford Madox Brown, oil on canvas, 1870

SALIM AND ANARKALI

SHAHJAHAN AND MUMTAZ MAHAL

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

LADY JANE AND LORD DUDLEY

Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley. Engraving: Charles Robert Leslie, 1827

JOHN AND ABIGAIL ADAMS

John and Abigail Adams

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING AND ROBERT BROWNING

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning

VICTORIA AND ALBERT

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Painting: George Hayter, 1840-42

Do you believe in true love? What couples from history and classic literature do you love? Sound off below…

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