Romantic declarations of love are one of the best parts of romantic storytelling. In films, television and literature, no matter the genre, the heartfelt sharing of one’s heart is as important as the overall story. While film and television add to the sensory experience with cinematography and music, don’t underestimate the power of the written word. Reading a declaration of love can be just as satisfying as watching it unfold on a screen. So much goes into literary declarations of love. The genre does not matter. Whether it’s mystery, fantasy, or classic fiction, the declaration of love is simply the icing on an otherwise perfect story.
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Character development, pacing, plot, and, of course, the interactions between those destined to fall in love are all important ingredients to perfect declarations of love. However, it’s not that simple. Writers must also focus on mood building and word choice. This is particularly important. Each interaction between characters needs to bind them together and strengthen their connection. So much so that, ultimately, the novel simply swims in the characters’ emotions. We can’t just read their conversations or thoughts about their emotions. We need to feel the emotions so when that declaration of love at last occurs, we sink along with the characters.
There are so many fantastic works of literature with perfect declarations of love. Whether a gentle declaration, such as in Jane Austen’s Emma or a passionate, desperate plea, such as Scarlett’s declaration to Rhett in Gone with the Wind; when done right, a literary declaration of love will leave you sighing in delight. Inspired by some my favorite books, and ranging from classics to more recent releases, below are 8 of my favorite breathtaking declarations of love in literature.
Declarations of Love:
8 Breathtaking Moments in Literature
#1 Persuasion by Jane Austen
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.”
Of course, Frederick Wentworth’s love letter from Jane Austen’s Persuasion is on this list! Anne may pierce his soul but Captain Wentworth pierces mine. Without a doubt, the honesty of his words is everything we want in a romantic declaration of love.
#2 North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
“….whenever I exult in existence henceforward, I may say to myself, “All this gladness in life, all honest pride in doing my work in the world, all this keen sense of being, I owe to her!” And it doubles the gladness, it makes the pride glow, it sharpens the sense of existence till I hardly know if it is pain or pleasure, to think that I owe it to one–nay, you must, you shall hear–to one whom I love, as I do not believe man ever loved woman before.”
Be. Still. My. Pitter. Pattering. Heart. John Thornton’s declaration of love to Margaret Hale is heart-wrenching. It’s fall-to-your-knees angst. It’s desperate and almost accusatory. How dare Margaret be everything he ever dreamed? Yet, there she is and thus, destiny cannot be denied. Despite Margaret’s refusal, and his vow to leave her be, this romantic declaration of love echoes throughout the pages of North and South until its inevitable conclusion!
#3 Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
“For there are no limits to the stars; their numbers are infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by them. An amount too
boundless to count.”
Engrossing. Spine-tingling. Romantic. Just a few words that hardly do Kerri Maniscalco’s Hunting Prince Dracula justice. The adventures of Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell continue in this gothic tale of murder and mystery set in Romania in the late 19th Century. While Thomas often makes swoon-worthy comments about his feelings for Audrey Rose, this declaration of love was so deeply sincere as to become my favorite.
#4 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain if fate were to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
There are many declarations of love in Jane Eyre. There were heartfelt and sweet declarations. And there were passionate entreaties. However, it’s Jane’s ardent declaration of love at the end that is my favorite. I adore that it’s Jane that must convince Rochester he is worthy.
Who can resist a woman who does not fear to speak her mind or heart? Not Rochester, that is for sure!
#5 In the Time of Love and Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Fermina…..I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.”
After a half-century apart, two lovers find their way back to each other. Both lived lifetimes during those years; many of them marred by darkness and despair. Yet, their love comes full circle, giving them a second chance at love. Or, perhaps, it was simply the right time for their love.
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Content Note: The main character has hundreds of affairs with women and there are disturbing passages in how women are treated/discussed.
#6 Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
“I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted — and then I realized that truly I just wanted you. The girl behind the scrawled letters. I loved you from the moment I read them. I love you still.”
Oh, Will Herondale! His timing truly is deplorable. But these words! So fervant, spilling from him with joyous abandon. This declaration of love was everything Tessa ever wanted….if only it hadn’t been too late!
#7 Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington
“You are the thing I dread the most in myself, Violet, because…..I love you so much that I can’t trust myself. I’d die for you, give up all my power for you. I’d give you my soul in an instant, even if it meant I had to spend eternity in torment – just for one moment with you as mine.”
Lincoln’s love for Violet is a tangible, soul-searing emotion. The very thing that makes Violet and Lincoln soulmates also keeps them apart. However, this passionate declaration of love is also the very thing that saves Violet’s life. Now, that’s a love worth embracing!
#8 The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
No journey of self-discovery is complete without learning selfless love. Santiago finds that in Fatima; however, he cannot stay. So, he takes his leave of her with promises to return and a declaration of love guaranteed to make you sigh in delight.
It was hard to whittle this list down to only eight. Literature is replete with romantic declarations of love just ready to steal your breath! Whether in gothic fairy tales, or a science fiction fantasy, let yourself fall in love with those romantic moments!
Tell me, what are your favorite breathtaking declarations of love in literature? Drop me a line in the comments below!
Top photo: North and South (2004). Photo Credit: BBC