Great literary lovers

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).

Heathcliff and Catherine
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Lily and Seldon
The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton

Veralidaine and Numair Salmalín
The Immortals Quartet - Tamora Pierce

Jane and Mr. Rochester
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Calwyn and Darrow
Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy - Kate Constable

Maybe not the best, but those are the only ones I could think of and yes, I have read them all.

Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare.

Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Mmm…drawing a blank after that. (I don’t usually read romances.) If you expand to include movies, you can include Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca. But that should be a good start.

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.”

  1. **Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy ** Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (read book, saw multiple movies. (hot lust)

  2. **Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth ** (a very close second) Persuasion by Jane Austen, read book and saw movie. (faithfulness)

  3. **Gus McCrae and Clara Allen ** Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtrey (unrequited love). Reading book for the umpteenth time again now, saw mini-series.

  4. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (what are you both thinking? love). Book, movie

  5. **Michael Corleone and Apollonia ** The Godfather for tragic love. (movie, book)

I’d add Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez.

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.

Stephen Maturin and Diana Villiers of the “Master and Commander” series by Patrick O’Brian.

From contemporary literature, I am very fond of Oscar and Chloe from Charles Baxter’s *Feast of Love *.

One of the best novels of the century (all six years of it).

Randolph Henry Ash and Cristabel LaMotte from Possession (A.S. Byatt, read the book).

Héloïse and Abelard
Pelléas and Mélisande
Tristan and Isolde
Hero and Leander
Pyramus and Thisbe

Anne and Wentworth from Persuasion.

Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

Jane and Rochester from Jane Eyre.

Claire and Jamie from the Outlander series.

Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle.

H. Humbert and Lolita, perhaps?

Starling and Lecter.