Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love is in the air . . . and in my books, and on my TV!

I was inspired by Carrie at Stalking the Bookshelves--and, of course, by Valentine's Day--to talk about my favorite romantic pairings from literature (with links to film adaptations).

Top Five Literary Couples:
--Jane Eyre & Edward Rochester from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (My favorite film version is from 2011.)
--Harriet Vane & Lord Peter Wimsey from Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, particularly Gaudy Night** (This will seem extremely outdated to the young 'uns out there, but I'll always love Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter in the BBC adaptation from 1987.)
--Anne Elliot & Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen's Persuasion (Take your pick: Ciaran Hinds or Rupert Penry Jones. Either way counts as a win.)
--Margaret Hale & John Thornton from Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South (Only one film adaptation that I know of, and it is PERFECTION--check the image at the top of this post for corroborating evidence. Of course, I saw the mini-series before reading the book.)
--Christabel LaMotte & Randolph Henry Ash from A.S. Byatt's Possession (Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northam do a fine job in the 2002 film adaptation.)

**It looks like Harper Collins has released new trade paperbacks of the Peter/Harriet books. They are GORGEOUS!

Also on the short list:
Lizzie Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, Percy Blakeney & Marguerite St. Just from The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dorothea Brooke & Will Ladislaw from Middlemarch, Sue Trinder and Maud Lily from Fingersmith, and Helen MacFarquhar & Johnny Howell from The Love Letter.

Young Adult Romance:
Now I certainly consider YA fiction "literary" but I wanted to separate these books from the above list in order NOT to spoil the pairings. (Most of the novels listed below are fairly new.) It was hard to keep it to five--so many YA writers do a fabulous job with romance! But here is my short list (with a little cheating on the last one):

--Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
--The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (But read the first book, The absolutely wonderful Girl of Fire and Thorns, in order to fully enjoy the romance in this second installment. *fans self*)
--Chime, by Franny Billingsley
--Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
--Anything by Eva Ibbotson, but especially A Countess Below Stairs (Omigosh, the scene with the hair!)

Now, what are your favorite literary pairings? Tell me in the comments, or blog about it and link to your post below!

I will leave you with this random photo of Captain Frederick "You Pierce my Soul" Wentworth on a horse (as played by Rupert Penry-Jones).

You're welcome! :)

[Cross-posted at livejournal]


  1. We are kindred spirits, you and I. Love this post! You already know how I feel about Jane & Rochester but I love your other picks as well. Persuasion and North and South...swoon. Also Chime...yes!

  2. Lord Peter Wimsey! I thought I was the only person ever to think of that as one of the world's great love stories.

    1. You are not alone! There's my mom, and several of my friends, and you and me at the very least! I am a proud member of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society. :)

  3. Love Persuasion and North and South. I actually got the North and South miniseries for Christmas and I'm planning to watch it this Valentine's Day. I've noticed that I enjoy love stories where the guy ends up having to propose twice. Ha!

    1. Good point about the proposals. We want them to be together, but not until each person's head is on straight, right? I'm trying to think of other stories where the hero has to propose twice. Let me know if you have any in mind.

  4. My stomach flip-flopped when I saw the picture of Margaret Hale and John Thornton. *sigh* I'm going to add a few of these to my reading list. Thanks!

  5. I blogged about this yesterday! I totally agree with Margaret Hale and John Thornton, although I still haven't read the book, so I left them off of my list. (I'm almost afraid to read the book, just because the miniseries is so perfect!) And all of Eva Ibbotson's are forever favorites, although I think my favorite is either The Morning Gift or A Company of Swans.

    1. You know, my true favorite Eva Ibbotson is The Song of Summer, because it's set at a wacky European boarding school! I just can't get enough of boarding school stories. But Countess Below Stairs made me swoon a little more at the romance. I love them all! I do remember The Morning Gift being pretty swoony, too.

      Long ago I blogged on Livejournal about reading North & South after having seen the mini a few times. You can read the post here, if you like. :)

    2. Something went wonky with that link. Here it is again. *sigh*

  6. OK, Yes to Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, and Fingersmith. But I have to be honest: I LOVE Chime. I LOVE Franny. But I wasn't that into the romance in that book. However, the kiss in The Folk Keeper made me swoon. Like woah.

    What about Anne and Gilbert? And Ash by Malinda Lo? Also The Blue Sword and both of the romances in The Hero and the Crown. And then, of course, Idgy and Ruth from Fried Green Tomatoes.