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SueK

Greatest love story ever written?

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Northanger Abbey...Mr. Tilney is maybe my favorite Austen hero. He's the kind of guy I would totally fall for.

Mr Tilney is my favourite Austen hero too (NA is my fave Austen book). There's just something completely upstanding and gentlemanly about him. He stands for no nonesense, doesn't pussy-foot around and is so sincere yet full of fun. TO me, he's the most "normal" of Austen's heroes - there's none of the pridefulness of Darcy, or the indecisiveness/late realisation of Edmund about him - he's a straight-shooter, yet still has a slight air of mystery about him. He's delightful on every level. :)

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Some great books suggested here. I love Anna Karenina and Wuthering Heights. Could I also suggest Far From the Madding Crowd by Hardy. That has always stood out for me. On maybe a more blokey level maybe, the love story in For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemmingway? On a more off the wall note, The Elephant Keeper by Nicholson (forgot his first name) is also a love story. One last thought; The Human Stain by Philip Roth; an interesting and moving story.

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I'm not a romance reader, but I must say that I found Richard Matheson's "What Dreams May Come" to be an unexpectedly beautiful love story. The whole time I was reading it I wanted to get to the end to see what happened, but at the same time I wished it would never end. It was amazing.

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I cannot disagree with quite a few of those listed here: Jane Eyre, the selection of Jane Austens, Ann Karenina, Time Traveller's Wife and so on, whilst I haven't read a few of the others (e.g. Gone With The Wind). But, I'd be struggling to name the greatest.

 

However, these three haven't been mentioned to date (probably unsurprisingly), but in each one the love story got completely under my skin, and marked them out as very special in their own way, certainly enough to go on my short list:

 

A Very Long Engagement (Sebastien Japrisot)

Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford)

I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)

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Wonderful thread!

 

I would probably say Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. I've never come across such passionate and unselfish love in any other book I've read. Those of you who have read the book must know who I'm talking about.

 

And frankie, I'm with you all the way.

A Tale of Two Cities would be my choice too.

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And frankie, I'm with you all the way.

A Tale of Two Cities would be my choice too.

 

This post made me happy :smile2::friends3:

 

 

And I wish Sydney Carton hadn't made the decision he did, but I admire him all the more for doing it, anyhow.

:wub:

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I am not very interested in romance novels, but I did love the story in Pride & Prejudice. That was about love.

 

As people has already said in this thread, Whuthering Heights is much more about obsession than real love. And the obsession made Heathcliff and Cathy very unlikable to me as characters, because they let their obsession ruin the lives of everyone around them. It just came off as selfish obsession to me.

 

I have not read the following, but I hear they have great love stories:

The notebook

The time traveler's wife

The hunchback of Notre Dame

Brokeback mountain

Sophie's choice

Rebecca

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Some really good ones have been mentioned already. While I adore Pride and Prejudice as a book, and I do love Mr. Darcy (I have a thing for the dark and brooding type, so go figure I like Mr. Darcy and Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester) I don't think it's the greatest love story. Jane Eyre would get my vote (seriously, he was willing to risk the wrath of God to marry her!) Also maybe Austen's Persuasion. Anne and Captain Wentworth both believed they'd lost each other forever, yet their love for each other never died. (Besides, I like a man to who has a way with words, so Captain Wentworth and his letter have a special spot in my heart.)

 

Interestingly enough, neither Jane or Anne is anything like me, while my husband is of the dark and brooding type. I wonder if that's some unconcious reasoning on my part. I admire the women in these stories for the atributes I wish I had (or had more of) and feel attracted to the male characters that display the same characteristics I ended up marrying in real life as well. Anyone else notice something like that?

 

Of the more modern works, there's one that's not of the "love conquers all" school but an incredibly poignant and beautiful story of love: Waiting by Ha Jin. It's just so realistic and true and broken it pierces your soul, to borrow a line from good Captain Wentworth.

 

I like that the Phantom of the Opera was mentioned. I haven't acutally read the book but the soundtrack for the 2004 movies has actually been playing a lot around the house lately. It's just so beautiful. And I know that everyone's supposed to feel it for the poor phantom, who doesn't get the girl, but for me the truly touching bit is in the final show-down when Raul pleads with Christine, asking her to forgive him. For not getting her safe, for putting her in that situation, for not succeeding in saving her from the phantom. "I fought so hard to free you" has me in tears everytime. Yes, things turn out better in the end, but he doesn't know that yet. But I haven't read the book, so I can't really say about that.

Edited by Gabbie

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I would have said a few classic titles to include  at the top of the list Wuthering Heights.  However one depiction I have read that conveys my nearest feeling of true and unconditional love is the love of Santo Aldobrandini for Marcella in The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric. The way he travels the earth, and will do anything to make sure he is close to her and to protect her.

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How about Jane Eyre? She sticks by her guns and refuses to marry a man who is already married, even though she loves him completely and the thought of being apart from him is dreadful to her. She loves him in spite of (or even because of?) all his faults and even sticks by him when he thinks all is lost. They overcome ever obstacle to be together, but neither of them is diminished by the relationship - they are equals and each has their own thoughts and moral standpoints. THAT, to me, is a great love story - possibly the greatest one ever.

 

I would definitely agree with Jane Eyre. I read it at the beginning of this year and loved the romanticism about it. I also think of One Day by David Nicholls. It's basically a whole novel about romance and the obstacles people can go through to be together. I loved that book.

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I'm going to say Wuthering Heights.

But not the love between Cathy and Heathcliff, because that was obsessional and a little (ok a lot) weird. I think that the love between Catherine and Hareton was what places it there for me. Cathy and Heathcliff had the passion, yes, but both were selfish and obsessive and many times I just felt like punching both of them in the kidneys.

Catherine and Hareton, on the other hand, had a very gentle and mutually fufilling love which I admired far above what Cathy and Heathcliff had.

 

I'm totally going to play devils advocate and say that all of Jane Austen is a load of rubbish. Yes, the stories are nice, but are they really about love? I'm not wholly convinced. I just think that the heroines had far more on their minds than finding love, especially in Pride and Prejudice. There seems to be something not quite right at the end, it's happy, sure, but it seems, to me, that everyone has tied the knot without really thinking about what they are doing. The only character who has any sense in P&P is Charlotte Lucas and she ends up with the most annoying man in the book.

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Such a good thread!!

 

For me it would have to be Pride and Prejudice. I know it's the most obvious love story but that's probably because it's the greatest.

 

I've read it a million times and have the BBC adaptation on DVD which I watch every other month. I just love it! :biggrin:

I agree about P&P and I also watch the DVD regularly and reread the book frequently.  I would also nominate "Gone With the Wind" for the power and passion of the lovestory and the history of the American Civil War.

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Call me cliche but Romeo and Juliet along with Wuthering Heights will always be my choices.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha is also another good on. And god I just love Princess Bride. Guilty pleasure but proud of it.

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What about "Out of Africa" - ?

 

It's quite a weepy, but romantic love is just one of the kinds of "love"  it covers.  

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What about "Out of Africa" - ?

 

It's quite a weepy, but romantic love is just one of the kinds of "love"  it covers.  

 

 

I've had a copy of this for ages, but I've never really known what it's about... But you having mentioned it in this thread has definitely made me curious about it!

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I would probably say Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. I've never come across such passionate and unselfish love in any other book I've read. Those of you who have read the book must know who I'm talking about.

 

I'm another person who totally agrees with this..

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What about "Out of Africa" - ?

 

It's quite a weepy, but romantic love is just one of the kinds of "love"  it covers.  

 

Out of Africa is one of my favourites too, Booknutt.

 

My others are The English Patient, Dr Zhivago, Gone With the Wind and The Piano.

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I'm going to say Wuthering Heights.

But not the love between Cathy and Heathcliff, because that was obsessional and a little (ok a lot) weird. I think that the love between Catherine and Hareton was what places it there for me. Cathy and Heathcliff had the passion, yes, but both were selfish and obsessive and many times I just felt like punching both of them in the kidneys.

Catherine and Hareton, on the other hand, had a very gentle and mutually fufilling love which I admired far above what Cathy and Heathcliff had.

 

I'm totally going to play devils advocate and say that all of Jane Austen is a load of rubbish. Yes, the stories are nice, but are they really about love? I'm not wholly convinced. I just think that the heroines had far more on their minds than finding love, especially in Pride and Prejudice. There seems to be something not quite right at the end, it's happy, sure, but it seems, to me, that everyone has tied the knot without really thinking about what they are doing. The only character who has any sense in P&P is Charlotte Lucas and she ends up with the most annoying man in the book.

Hi  Cumberbabe, I haven't read Wuthering Heights yet  but I think it is entirely possible to have to have a destructive love that feeds off the other person .

About Jane Austen I take your point but don't agree. I think that the stories are very much about love. The trouble back then was that love was very much secondary to almost everything else , being seen as respectable, finding a husband in the right income bracket, pleasing your parents and society at large etc. . Austens novels are about doing the feminine Hat Trick and getting love as well .  They are as feminist as they can get without breaking out of the constraints. If that makes any sense. Please anybody feel free to comment or disagree.

 

PS Charlotte Lucas is indeed an interesting case. She compromises to grab what happiness she can get. While Lizzie  Bennett holds out and, we presume, would rather have no one than someone she did not love.  But was  Lizzie really, in the end just a much better game player ?

Edited by vodkafan

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I'm another person who totally agrees with this..

 Ey up Have I missed something here? I always avoided TOTC because I thought it was about politics......

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 Ey up Have I missed something here? I always avoided TOTC because I thought it was about politics......

 

All I can say it that it's a book where actions speak louder than words..   a case of 'the things we do for love'..

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