Who doesn't love a good romance story (especially around Valentine's Day)? The human obsession with romance is hardly new; it goes back hundreds of years. In fact, some of the best romantic reads are actually classics written long ago!
Looking for a romantic classic to dive into this Valentine's Day? You'll fall in love with these 5 classic love stories. ♥️
1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Not only is this one of the greatest books written ever, but it's also one of the best classic romance stories. Tolstoy's sprawling epic transports readers across Russia as we follow various characters in their pursuit of love. Some find happiness and others (like the titular character Anna Karenina) ultimately meet tragic ends. While this 800-page tome may seem intimidating, it really pays off as you follow the highs and lows of one of the greatest love stories in classic literature.
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Most people tend to overlook Persuasion for Austen's peppier works like Pride & Prejudice. However, there's a certain underappreciated charm to the love story in Persuasion. While this novel does have some of the same themes of Austen's other works (social snobbery, class differences, and marriages of convenience), it also broaches a different topic; that of unrequited love. Both protagonists in this novel are older than Austen's usual characters, and their maturity and different outlooks on life and love makes this a wonderful romantic classic to read.
3. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Not only is the language in this romantic classic absolutely beautiful (the author didn't win the Nobel Prize for Literature for nothing!) but Marquez incorporates magic realism into the novel in a spectacular way. Love in the Time of Cholera is a story about a love that spans decades. What makes it great is the question it ultimately poses. This romantic classic forces readers to both ask if the hero will get the girl and whether he should. Definitely worth reading at least once in your lifetime!
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
No list of romantic classic books would be complete without a good gothic. The Brontë sisters were a unique bunch whose work shook the literary world. Charlotte Brontë's dark and moody book, Jane Eyre, was certainly revolutionary for its time (and not just because it was written by a woman). It features a female protagonist who is not beautiful—an unusual trait in literary works of the time. When the titular Jane Eyre is hired to work as a governess at the strange Thornfield Hall, she soon finds herself embroiled in some rather strange happenings. Throw in a brooding employer, a mystery in the attic, and a stubborn and curious protagonist, and you have the makings of a gothic romance for the ages.
5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
It's hard to come by anyone who hasn't seen the film version of The Princess Bride, but if you haven't read the book it's based on you're really missing out! Part fairy tale, part satire, part thriller, but most of all a fantastic love story, this book will suck you in from the first page to the last. Get carried away with Buttercup's adventures and when you finish, cozy up to watch the movie too!
What's your favourite romantic classic? Tell us in the comments👇!
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