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Ten Period Drama Heroes To Love (That Aren’t Mr. Darcy)

Photo: Columbia Pictures
Photo: Columbia Pictures

I understand we all love Mr. Darcy. I mean, he is the epitome of the romantic hero. I love him, too. Yet, there are so many other great book characters from the same time period that are equally amazing. These romantic heroes (adapted to the screen in period dramas) are just as capable of stealing our hearts. They may not rise shirtless from a pond, but they can still make us swoon. The heroes on this list are from books that were luckily enough adapted to the screen.

Ten Period Drama Heroes To Love

1. Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre: He is probably among the top ten romantic heroes of all time. His brooding demeanor and secretive mystique still draws the ladies to him. As Jane proved, once you fall in love with him you can’t go back.

2. Colonel Brandon, Sense & Sensibility: Brandon was the underdog for Marianne’s affections, but he won her in the end. In fact, his kindness and devotion won the hearts of ladies everywhere. Who wouldn’t enjoy being carried in the rain or read poetry to by Alan Rickman?

3. Gilbert Markham, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: This other Bronte hero is not talked about like Mr. Rochester nor is he the rake like Heathcliff. Markham was just a man who fell in love with a woman. He loved her despite her dark past and accepted her.


4. Mr. Tilney, Northanger Abbey: I think Jane Austen’s unsung hero should be talked about more often. Mr. Tilney was a nice guy with a cheerful personality. He proves you don’t have to be brooding or snarky to be a romantic hero.

5. Dick Dewey, Under the Greenwood Tree: Dick Dewey broke through class differences to prove he was the man for Fancy. Despite her other suitors, no one could capture Fancy’s passion like he could. And it proves that not all romantic heroes must be Austen or Bronte created.

6. Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables series: Gilbert was a period drama hero whether he knew it or not. He loved Anne devotedly and rescued her many times. Never has a man waited longer for a girl to come around. We all wish for a man to call us ‘Carrots.’


7. Jamie Fraser, Outlander: I could write an ode to the things I love about Jamie. But, I will keep it short and sweet. Jamie is a bit further back on the timeline, but his love and devotion to Claire makes him timeless. His passion and integrity make him one the best period drama heroes ever.

8. George Emerson, A Room With a View: George proves a  man doesn’t have to say anything to declare his love. The Poppy Field scene is one my favorite romantic moments in book/movie history. And I doubt anyone can ever match George’s smolder.

9. John Thornton, North & South: John was willing to give up his industrial life for Margaret. His stern and gruff image conceals a passionate heart. Let us also mention he is obscenely handsome and poised. I could watch Richard Armitage play him a dozen times.

10. Nicholas Nickleby, Nicholas Nickleby: Dickens’ heroes overcome strife to be with their lady loves. Love wasn’t easy for Nicholas to obtain, but he fought for Madeline and saved her. Who can forget Charlie Hunnam’s performance as Nicholas? I can’t.

Share you favorite period drama hero in the comments. Check out our other Lists!

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By on May 14th, 2015

About Mandi Harris

Mandi Harris is a freelance writer and blogger. If she isn't writing, she has her nose in a book. Books are her ultimate addiction. Her other weaknesses include period dramas, chocolate, and her pets. She is working on her own novels now and hopes to one day get published. You can read her book blog over at thepennedpiper.com.

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4 thoughts on “Ten Period Drama Heroes To Love (That Aren’t Mr. Darcy)”

  1. What a fantastic list, Mandi! I LOVE your not-Mr.-Darcy picks. So many of these gentleman are among my favorite literary film favorites too. I mean really the draw is all about a time when the guys were true gentleman. So fun. 🙂


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