Posted by: turtlebella | 10 August 2007

Literary romantic meme

You all know I can never pass up a meme about books. And so Sylvia created this one over at her blog, Classical Bookworm. The original list comes from UKTV’s 20 greatest love stories but the additions are Sylvia’s and mine. On the legend: I particularly love the category “I want to marry the leading man/lady” — just classic. The last category is mine cos I was embarrased that I didn’t know these books. And if you can’t share your embarrassment with the entire blogosphere… well. Join in! Add your own favorite literary love stories!

I’ve read it
I want to read it
I’ve seen the movie*
I have it on DVD
I want to marry the leading man/lady!
Holy smokes, I didn’t know this was a book!

1. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë, 1847

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813*

3. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, 1597*

4. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, 1847*

5. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936*

6. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992*

7. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier, 1938*

8. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957*

9. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence, 1928

10. Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy, 1874

11. My Fair Lady, Alan Jay Lerner, 1956*
EDITED TO ADD: ok, see, now that I’ve thought about it, I know why I had no idea this was a novel. Because I thought the musical My Fair Lady was based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Wasn’t it???? I could have sworn that was true (although they have different endings). So is there a different book entirely called My Fair Lady? …Doing research… okay, accd. to wikipedia My Fair Lady is indeed a book and musical lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, based on Pygmalion. And so I don’t really think My Fair Lady counts as a literary romance, although I guess UKTV was just saying ‘love story’ – but in any case, Pygmalion is much much superior story. And- Is The African Queen also never an actual novel but just a screen play?

12. The African Queen, CS Forester, 1935*

13. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald, 1925*

14. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen, 1811

15. The Way We Were, Arthur Laurents, 1972

16. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, 1865

17. Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier, 1942

18. Persuasion, Jane Austen, 1818*

19. Take a Girl Like You, Kingsley Amis, 1960

20. Daniel Deronda, George Eliot, 1876


Maurice, E.M. Forester, 1971 (posth.)* (if I were a gay man)

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, 1877*


  1. I almost put the same thing for Maurice! But which one? Maurice is a bit of a blockhead, so I might go for Alec instead.

  2. I think Alec too, in the grand scheme of things and in the end. Does the movie stay as close to the book as the other Forester movies? (with glaring exception of A Passage to India? Hated hated hated that movie, didn’t really love the book either though!) Must read Maurice.

  3. Also you know, I thought it odd that Anna Karenina didn’t make their final cut… Okay so it isn’t a happy love story. But. Neither is R&J or The Great Gatsby. Maybe they only wanted one work per author? (I admit I did not read whole article) If so, I guess I’d better get my butt in gear and read War & Peace if it’s that much better of a love story than Karenina.

  4. Yes, the movie Maurice is very faithful to the book, though of course there is more in the book. I love it and have read it many times. It’s one of my comfort reads.

    I didn’t even know War and Peace had a love story in it! Shows you what I know.

  5. Jeez, I’ve barely read any of these! My favorite literary love story is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. Sigh…

  6. Well, see I’ve never read Gaudy Night! Will have to check it out.

  7. I’ll have to do this one when I get back from vacation… too much fun!

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