Tales of love often withstand the test of time. Why? Because we yearn for stories of romance – all the foot-popping moments and heart-skips-a-beat stares – regardless of the location and period in which they’re set. This is why these five classic romance novels deserve a spot on your bookshelf!
Whatever you may be going through in life, there are few struggles that Little Women won’t be able to help you through. From sisterhood to heartbreak, this coming-of-age novel walks you through the joys and woes of life alongside the March sisters.
Though it may not be considered a romance novel in the traditional sense, author Louisa May Alcott tackles the complexities of love in a masterful way – even the sad, gritty parts of it that you may not want to think about.
Witty, real, and complimented by a cast of complex characters, Jane Eyre is also a story for those who aren’t looking for a conventional tale of love. Charlotte Brontë skillfully conjures up emotion through this novel regarding truly human experiences. At the center of the book, we have Jane, an orphan girl who lives with her emotionally distant family. Touching on messages of oppression and the discovery of love in unlikely places, this is a book you’ll find yourself dusting off again and again.
Championing the phrase “star-crossed lovers” is arguably the most famous couple in literary history. This story’s impact on the world was groundbreaking, and the effects of its conception are ever-present in the countless cinematic remakes and novels that came after its peak. Finding love in a terrifying world is a beautiful thing. It should be cherished and kindled. But what do you do if that very love is fueling the fires raging outside? How do you continue to fight for what your heart knows to be right? Shakespeare tells this tale in a way that we’re sure will live on long after your copy is inherited by your grandchildren’s grandchildren.
Toeing the line between light and dark is this classic novel by Emily Brontë (sister of Charlotte Brontë). Deeply engrossing and beautifully composed, Wuthering Heights pacifies depictions of manipulation and betrayal with the story of two people falling in love. An atypical romance but one of the most iconic love stories of all time, Brontë’s one-and-only novel hones in on the imperfect, unconventional romance story, and it does so with grace.
Did you really think we would end this list with anything other than this masterpiece? Pride and Prejudice inarguably holds its place as one of the most popular romance novels of all time. Each tear, squeal, and swoon you’ll utter while reading the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is absolutely justifiable – and, in our opinion, only adds to the reading experience! Our leading couple battles their inner principles and biases to swallow the fact that love is staring them right in the face. Full of quotable moments and a resolution that still makes our hearts pound, this is a story for the tried-and-true hopeless romantic.