Literary Lovers

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My husband and I don’t actually observe this day for a myriad of reasons including the uber-commercialization of it. However, I do enjoy the hearts and love that it brings in the middle of winter. When I was growing up my mom used to mark Valentine’s Day by giving my sister and I presents like art books and tea cups. So I have a certain amount of sentimentality for this holiday.

In that vein – here is a list of my top 5 literary couples – ones that made me swoon and cry and desperately hope for a happy ending. **Author’s note: After completing this post I realized that most of the couples are from books I read repeatedly as a teenager. When I tried to think of swoon-worthy relationships in my adult readings I had a harder time coming up with a list. I’m not sure if this reflects a change in the material I am reading or my perception/openness to the material**

These Happy Golden Years

5. Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder. I probably read These Happy Golden Years 20 times throughout middle and high school. Looking back it’s a bit insipid, but perfect for an adolescent’s perception of love.


4. Josephine and Napoleon. More specifically as imagined in Sandra Gulland’s trilogy, which I read my senior year of high school. So many highs and lows, tears are practically guaranteed.

An Old Fashioned Girl

3. Polly Milton and Tom Shaw in Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl. Not a widely known as some of Alcott’s other books (i.e. Little Women) Polly is at once the ultimate domicile and an independent woman making her way in the world. She loves a man who is beneath her, recognizes this, waits and hopes that he will redeem himself and come to love her.


2. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from L. M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. Why does it take so long for these two to realize their mutual adoration? Agony spread over many books, but a delicious agony.

Let’s be honest – after seeing Colin Firth we all think of him as Mr. Darcy when we read the book now.

1. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice. The ultimate romantic literary couple in my book, hands down. They grow to love each other despite themselves and come to a mutual-respect which should be the bedrock of every relationship.


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