Romance has been a subject of stories passed by our ancestors, from epic, mythology, legends etc. Stories in which man meets the woman, man woos the woman (or, woman woos man) and man and woman live happily ever after are a dime a dozen. Enjoyable, for sure, but not what you’d call memorable. Here’s a list Romance Story that has enraptured countless millions of readers, and has created a fair few scandals, too.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
It is not really fair to dismiss Margaret Mitchell’s classic romance novel as the grandmother of paperback bodice-ripping romances based on its well-known movie adaptation. Scratch the surface of the love story set during the Civil War, and you have a vivid depiction of a bygone era where survival is a struggle. The movie may have cemented the romance between Rhett and Scarlett in pop culture, but it failed to capture much of the depth of the characters and plot, which can only be enjoyed by reading the novel.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Helen of Troy: A novel by Margaret George
There have been many interpretations and portrayals of the woman known as “the face that launched a thousand ships” in literature, theatre and film. What differentiates George’s novel from those that came before is that she portrays Helen with a degree of humanness that is rarely explored. In many modern takes of Helen, she is often depicted as conceited, shallow and selfish, whereas George paints a picture of Helen as an ordinary woman of her time. The Helen of Troy that George has written is not a woman with unrivaled beauty, but a real and identifiable person – the kind of heroine readers can sympathize with.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
In a genre that often depicts women as helpless victims of circumstance, Jane Eyre is a gothic romance that stands out for its strong female lead. Written in the voice of the titular character, the novel features many familiar elements – namely, dark family secrets, tragedy, and the triumph of good over evil. Throw an atmospheric setting and a cast of complex characters in the mix, and we have a book so rightfully deserving of its status as a classic, and one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
At its most basic, the main couple is far from likable characters. Cleopatra is temperamental and manipulative, while Mark Antony neglects his duties as a soldier once he falls in love with the Egyptian queen. However, readers (or with the original play, audiences) will find them oddly fascinating while watching their love affair bring down an empire. Part epic romance and part tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra are written in Shakespeare’s characteristic intelligent and eloquent prose that gives the story a sense of grandeur and timelessness.
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Most people are familiar with Leroux’s original novel as the source of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly acclaimed musical. Actually reading the novel, however, one may just be left wondering if it is based on a true story – such as the power of Leroux’s compelling storytelling. It is a captivating gothic tale of obsessive unrequited love, told in a somewhat slow and steady but never boring pace. You will not listen to the song Music of the Night the same way again after reading the classic source material.
Which of this book have you read? Did you have a book in mind that might be on this list? Please comment below I would greatly appreciate it.