I'm imminently off to Chicago for Wrigley Field-age, Art Institute-age and Drake Hotel Wedding-age, so I won't be able to write/post/read for the rest of the weekend. So in my absence, some list making:
The Top Ten Romantic Couples in Literature (According to the Flitgirl)
10. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane -- Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries
(Placet-ne, magistra? Placet)
9. Elnora Comstock and Phillip Ammond -- A Girl of the Limberlost
The first half of the book is all about Elnora's growth to womanhood and reconciliation with her mother in swamps of the Limberlost. But once city-boy Phillip appears, Elnora truly meets her match. He's smart and devoted and honorable, she's smart and original and honorable.
8. Leda Etoile and Samuel Gerard -- The Shadow and the Star
My favorite romance, and the loveliest depiction of people finding their true match in spite of their anglings otherwise.
7. Natasha and Andrei -- War and Peace
They don't end up together, but while they are, they are simply electric to read about. Andrei's death scene is one of the most moving pieces of literature I've ever read: aesthetically, spiritually and romantically. And while Andrei's death is supposed to mature Natasha, I liked her better when they were together.
6. Emma Woodhouse and Mr. (Edmund?) Knightly -- Emma
Austen knew how to write all kinds of love relationships, and this is one of her best. He starts out paternalistic, she starts out pert and full-of-herself. By the end, they've each realized how much they have yet to learn about the other.
5. Beatrice and Benedick -- Much Ado About Nothing
It's been 500 years and still no one's matched Shakespeare's depiction of love-to-hate-you-lovers. The passion in their wicked insults is so barely disguised, it's cathartic when they finally admit the love they felt all along.
4. Jane Eyre and Mr. (Edward) Rochester -- Jane Eyre
The book that launched a thousand Gothic novels is of course so much more than that. At the heart is Jane's personal/spiritual development, but the evolution of Jane and Rochester from unequals in love to true partners is thrilling no matter how many times you read it.
3. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe -- the Anne series
How often does one get to explore a romance from beginning ("Carrots!") to, if not end, then comfortable late middle-age? Gilbert was my dream boyfriend when I was young: kind, funny, friendly, but deeply, passionately, wonderfully in love.
2. Lizzie Bennett and Mr. Darcy -- Pride and Prejudice
The prototypical "He hates me, no he loooooves me" story and still the best done. Don't we all wish we were one-third as witty while flirting?
1. Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth -- Persuasion
My favorite book, my favorite characters. I'm a sucker for (re)declarations of love via letter. But was there ever a more perfectly matched pairing of personalities in print with a more beautifully executed love story?
Those are my top 10 today. Ask me next week and I may give you a different answer. If you haven't read any of these books, please do. And tell the DSW, who are your favorite couples?