To end Valentine’s Week with a bang, we’re celebrating our favorite literary couples!
Cornflower: I do love Valentine’s Day (yes, despite being single) if for no other reason than I usually get valentines from my friends! I love getting mail! Plus, I am a romantic sucker at heart. When Indigo suggested we compose a valentine’s post about our favorite literary couples, I thought it was brilliant! So without further ado, here are our favorite couples from some of our favorite books.
Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The ultimate couple in great literary couples. The standard for all (or at least a whole lot of) romantically entangled couples in literature. There is electricity between these two from the start, even if they mistake that charge for disdain. Even after Darcy professes his love for her, Lizzie stands by her convictions (A smidge misguided though those convictions may be. It’s not her fault someone lied!) When they finally get together it’s magical!
Gabriel and Chiara from the Gabriel Allon books, starting with A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva
I love these two together! Not only do the books supply my need for action, adventure and espionage, but the couple is great, too! They are complete equals. Both are intelligent, have strong personalities and can do serious damage. Also, for a spy, Gabriel can be surprisingly gentle and loving, which makes me love him even more.
Indigo: As I’m the resident YA reader here (I’m declaring myself this, so Sapphire and Indigo, feel free to disagree) I thought I’d focus my favorites on YA historical fiction. Drum roll please…
Jemima Emerson and John Reid from Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi
I first discovered this book in the 7th grade in my middle school’s library loved it immediately. First Jemima hates John but then she discovers his secret and begins to fall in love with him. Their secret romance set against Revolutionary War America never fails to make me swoon.
After checking the book out multiple times from the library I began my quest to buy it, but unfortunately it was out of print. I then began scouring the used bookstores and the used book section of my public library, I even sweet talked the middle school librarian into giving me their copy. Then, I saw it in Barnes and Noble and nearly peed my pants, although the new cover does not paint a very pretty picture of John Reid. John would not sport a fluffy, queue that looks like on giant dreadlock. No, John Reid is dignified, strong and stands up for his beliefs, even if it causes him harm.
Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
The wonderful thing about the Anne books is that they grow with you. Every time you read them there is something you can relate to, no matter what your age. There is young, teasing love. Then there is friendship. Then comes college and love triangles and romantic realizations. Later there is marriage and newly wedded bliss. Followed by maternal love.
Anne is the girl who made me long for red hair (I still do) and after reading Anne of the Island I was convinced I needed to be dying of a life threatening illness in order for my true love to realize his feelings (fortunately I no longer feel that way, although it does have a certain morbid romance).
Sapphire: I admit that I am kind of worn out after my week of Valentine’s Day posts, so without preamble, here are my favorite literary couples:
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This by far is my favorite book, and the growth of Jane from an unloved child to a wise woman has a lot to do with my interest in the story. But, it is Jane and Rochester’s growth together that make this story great. They start off on rocky ground, end up becoming friends, and fall in love. Jane is plain, but Rochester sees her intelligence, kindness, and spirit as her true beauty and loves her because of those attributes. In a way they heal each other, and have a relationship based on mutual respect and admiration. They are separated for a while (crazy wife in the attic and all), but reunite at the end in one of the most romantic scenes ever written, which never fails to make me cry. Together they build a life filled with love that they both had been searching for.
So, I realize that this couple isn’t from a fictional work, but since they were both poets, I am going to call them a “literary couple.” I love poetry, and count these two poets among my favorites, but it is the real-life love story that makes their works even more moving to read. Elizabeth was ill all of her life, and spent her time indoors writing poetry. Robert was an admirer of her poems and began corresponding with her via letters, which eventually became the medium of their courtship. Elizabeth’s father was controlling and disapproved of the match, so the poets were married in secret in 1846 and moved to Italy where Elizabeth’s health vastly improved. They both had a prolific writing career, exchanging or dedicating many poems with or to each other. They were known by friends to be very much in love, and Elizabeth literally died in her husband’s arms.