This is by way of being something of a poll, but I think it belongs in Cafe Society nonetheless – mods may, of course, disagree.
I’d like you Dopers to name your top five great romantic couples from literature. There are no restrictions as to time period or country of origin. Please just list the first five couples who leap to your mind (you needn’t confine yourself to works of fiction that you have actually read), then include the title and author of the work of fiction in which they appear and indicate whether you’ve read the book (or seen a movie version of it).
Yeesh. I can’t come up with five. Here’s a couple of couples.
Constance and Mellors, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. I read the book as an adolescent and was transfixed by the descriptions of sex. I reread it recently and was transfixed by the way in which the relationships were depicted.
Jo and Professor Bhaer in Little Women. I chose this passage to read at my sister’s wedding and could barely get through it:
“Jo never, never would learn to be proper, for when he said that as they stood upon the steps, she just put both hands into his, whispering tenderly, Not empty now, and stooping down, kissed her Friedrich under the umbrella. It was dreadful, but she would have done it if the flock of draggle-tailed sparrows on the hedge had been human beings, for she was very far gone indeed, and quite regardless of everything but her own happiness. Though it came in such a very simple guise, that was the crowning moment of both their lives, when, turning from the night and storm and loneliness to the household light and warmth and peace waiting to receive them, with a glad Welcome home! Jo led her lover in, and shut the door.”
Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. My favorite Jane Austen novel. I love everything about this book, especially the central romance.
Betsy Ray and Joe Willard from Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. Yes, they are children’s books, but still – very romantic.
Vickie Bliss & John Smythe from Elizabeth Peter’s mystery series featuring Vickie Bliss. Becasue of Sir John – one of my everlasting literary crushes.
Buttercup & Westley from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. For reasons obvious to anyone who’s read it.
Linda Voss and Edward Leland fron Susan Isaacs’ Shining Through. This is a wonderful, romantic, funny and exciting books with one of the best heroines ever written. It ought to be a good deal better known than it is (I don’t know anyone other than myself who has read it).
I concur completely–I choke up every time I think of Joe heading off to the trenches of WWI. To that I would add Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe of the Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. Not as multi-faceted as some of these other relationships, but so satisfying to see it finally come about.