Allison Parr’s Top Ten Couples in Literature
At the heart of every good story, there’s a love story. Here are ten that stuck with me.
10) Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
For some reason, poor Northanger Abbey always draws the short straw when people talk about their favorite of Austen’s works. Still, the leading couple holds a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s because Catherine’s such a perfect teenager girl – clearly, she’d be a Twihard today – and because Mr. Tilney delights so much in teasing her. He thinks she’s a little bit crazy. But he loves her anyway.
9) Psyche and Eros from The Golden Ass (and general mythology)
Pysche was a young human princess who couldn’t catch a break in the romance department – probably because the god of love, Eros, had fallen for her himself. What followed was the one of the earliest Beauty and the Beast tales out there, and combined all the best elements: bravery, intrigue, and true love.
8) Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
My father read the Anne of Green Gables series to me when I was growing up. Anne got a lot of cool points with me because she wanted to be a writer (like me!), she was a redhead (not like me, but awesome!) and she once cracked a slate over the head of a boy named Gilbert.
7) Erec and Enide
I always had a soft spot for this lesser known Arthurian romance, which was Chrétien de Troyes first romance poem, written in the 12th century. Sir Erec accompanies Queen Guinevere on a hunt when he meets the beautiful and impoverished Enide, who he quickly weds. Yet after a dreadful miscommunication (isn’t there always one?) the two set off on journey that tests their love.
6) Ella and Char from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The spine on my copy of this Newberry Honor book is worn white. Ella is sweet, strong, and determined, and Char
5) Penelope and Colin Bridgerton from Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Is it legal to pick a favorite Bridgerton couple? Penelope wins cool points because of her all-around awesomeness; Colin is the charming brother of her best friend. Plus this is possibly the best unrequited love story ever.
4) Beatrice and Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing
One of the most evenly matched pairs in Shakespeare – and one of the wittiest. How often do you get to hear such delightful wordplay?
3) Mia and Michael from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
She’s an awkward princess, he’s an awesome nerd. Plus, he invents a medical discovery so that they’ll be on equal footing. They’re wonderful. Also, my teenagehood was utterly devoted to this series.
1 & 2) Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy and Anne Elliot & Captain Wentworth
I can’t help it, I’m a fan girl. It’s also utterly impossible to decide which deserves top billing, so I’ll leave that up to you. This probably calls for a book and movie marathon, though – how else would we be able to decide?
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