#9: Catherine and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights (1847)
Emily Brontë was a genius and you can see it in her rich description of the moors and characters. Still, it is her vivid imagination that created the villain that is the Byronic Heathcliff. And he is a villain. But aside from his monstrosities, is his intense devotion to Catherine. They are two entwined souls that cannot be parted even in death. Their selfish love for one another and Heathcliff’s villainy that follows after losing his love makes for an unforgettable read.
RELATED | Ten Novels for Fans of Jane Eyre
#10: Benedick and Beatrice, Much Ado about Nothing (1598/1599)
Aside from tragedy, Shakespeare was also quite skilled in the romantic comedy, Much Ado about Nothing his particular best (in my biased opinion, of course). The love/hate relationship between Benedick and Beatrice where they are tricked into thinking they are in love with each other is hilarious!
#11: Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson, A Room with a View (1908)
Like all the best literary love stories, the novel is more than just a romance. There are greater themes involved such as Forster’s critique of Edwardian culture. Still, it is at heart, a love story about a repressed Edwardian girl who breaks down her walls to find true love.
#12: Sir Percy and Marguerite, The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905)
For those looking for a fun classic love story, then The Scarlet Pimpernel is a great choice! This is an adventure novel with a romance that is sure to keep you entertained! Marguerite and Sir Percy is another literary couple you will be sure to fall in love with if you haven’t already!
#13: Sydney, Lucie, and Charles, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Certainly the most serious of Dickens’ novels (another novel about The French Revolution), it is also one of the most romantic. Sometimes, unrequited love stories can become the most beautiful and haunting such as Sydney’s selfless love for Lucie. If you’re not so excited for such a serious Dickens, however, you can always try one of his other novels, all with some kind of romance to enjoy! Nicholas Nickleby, Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend, and David Copperfield are all great choices.
#14: Aragorn, Eowyn, and Faramir, The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955)
Walking away from the movies, Arwen plays a very small role in the novels. Like minuscule (though she has a cool story in the appendix). For me, in the books anyway, the romance was always about Eowyn and Aragorn. The language used to describe her from Aragorn’s point of view is breathtaking. She’s this lonely figure that becomes a warrior, all while having unrequited feelings for Aragorn. Because he can’t return her feelings due to Arwen, she meets Faramir later on and the two fall in love. What is so lovely about this is that she can find peace with Faramir, the only one in the books to not be tempted by the Ring. He has a pure essence that makes this one love triangle (if one could even call it that) extraordinary.
#15: Kit Tyler and Nat Eaton, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (1958)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a classic, award-winning children’s novel that is really for adults. Trust me, it’s SUPER romantic (with more than one love story to root for). In this historical fiction novel, Kit leaves her home in Barbados to stay with the last of her family in America. She’s an outsider in the midst of Puritans, and the only place she feels at home (outside of a Quaker woman) is with Nat, the son of the sea captain. He even names his ship after her! The love story between Nat and Kit is an underrated one that definitely deserves more appreciation. I’m still waiting for my film adaptation…
RELATED | Ten Literary Men that Make me Swoon
What are your favorite epic love stories in classic literature? Sound off below…Pin this article to read later! And make sure to follow us on Pinterest.