For a book lover, the best love stories are between the pages of a well-loved classic and a list of the most romantic couples in fiction is near impossible to make. I’ve spent days trying to narrow my list down and even then there is always one more awesome fictional couple that I just have to include! But I’ve finally gotten my list of the 7 most romantic couples in fiction (in no particular order) and I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I do! (The list might include spoilers if you haven’t read the books yet).
1. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has one of the most romantic couples in fiction. Even though they start by not liking each other, somewhere down the line it hits them that they might just be perfect for each other. From sparring with words to elegant ballroom dances, from unexpected encounters by the lake to unconditional support during a family crisis, Elizabeth and Darcy go through it all. And for that, you can’t help but love them!
2. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
The main protagonists in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables have to be one of my favorite romantic couples in fiction. Their relationship starts off on an unfortunate note when Gilbert mocks Anne’s hair color by calling her ‘carrots’ and she decides to hate him forever. Gilbert then makes it his mission to win her over and the book ends with them becoming friends. It takes a couple of more books, a failed relationship and Gilbert almost dying for Anne to realize that she’s always been in love with him and that he’s her happily ever after. The series ends with Anne and Gilbert happily married with a brood of children all as feisty and fun as their parents. Happy Sigh.
3. Eliza Dolittle and Freddy
You might know these characters from the classic film My Fair Lady but they originally appeared in Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. And unlike the movie, in the original story, Eliza doesn’t go back to Professor Higgins. Shaw has clarified that Eliza ends up with Freddy who has always loved her, accent and all. Even though readers are left wondering about this unusual choice, Eliza chooses Freddy because she wants to be with someone who will have time for her and give her priority – something she knows the much more handsome and dashing professor won’t. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is!
4. Della and Jim
I read the short story The Gift of The Magi by O. Henry in school and the story has remained with me since then. Though poor, Della and Jim are happily married. Their prized possessions are her long, gorgeous hair and his grandfather’s pocket watch. On Christmas, Della sells her hair to buy Jim a pocket watch chain and Jim sells his watch to get her some hair accessories. When they give each other their gifts to they realize how far the other is willing to go for love. Della and Jim’s story is the perfect example of love and sacrifice and is as romantic as it gets.
5. Romeo and Juliet
No list of romantic couples in fiction is complete without the mention of Romeo and Juliet, protagonists of the play of the same name by Shakespeare. Belonging to feuding families, Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love. Amidst all the drama and angst, Juliet is made to marry someone else and so she gets a poison that will put her into a deathlike coma for 24 hrs. Believing her to be dead, Romeo consumes poison and when Juliet awakens, she finds him dead. Rather than live without him, Juliet stabs herself with his dagger. Though the play is classified as a tragedy, there is an underlying romance that cannot be ignored don’t you think?
6. Jennifer Cavilleri and Oliver Barrett IV
Eric Segal’s Love Story has to be the sweetest and most heart wrenching of stories out there. Oliver and Jennifer meet in college - him a pedigree heir to a large fortune and she the daughter of a baker – and fall in love. Not caring for his father’s money, Oliver marries Jennifer and you find yourself rooting for the young couple so much in love and struggling to make ends meet. The story doesn’t have a happy ending with Jennifer losing the battle to cancer but never failing in spirit. I have to confess I weep like a little child every time I read this book. For their young love that fought so hard, Jennifer and Oliver are one of my favorite romantic couples in fiction.
7. Hermione and Ron
I just had to add this couple to this list. Not a traditionally romantic couple I know, but their story is special right? Harry Potter fans are divided between whom Hermione should’ve ended up with but I for one am glad it was Ron. They suit each other perfectly – the opposite traits of each of them coming together beautifully. Quirky, fun and definitely funny!
There are so many love stories out there – some with happy endings, a lot that end tragically. But in each of them, the characters stay with you, make you smile, cry and fall in love with them. This is my list of most romantic couples in fiction. What are some of your favorites?