World Book Day really got me thinking this year.
At first I considered who are THE most romantic literary couples, capturing our desire for love and a happy ending through books and ultimately on film, the silver screen!
So here’s my MOST romantic literary couples!
Romeo and Juliet
‘Romeo and Juliet’ A Tragedy rather than a love story by William Shakespeare!
These two are probably the most famous “star cross’d lovers” ever!
Characters from a play, pure fiction, but if you are lucky enough to visit Verona, you can see Juliet’s balcony, see their graves, the homes of both families, and more recently you can leave your Letters to Juliet on her wall. They are a synonym for love itself. A tale of forbidden love, feuding families, secret meetings, they married young which in turn led to their “untimely deaths”. Juliet could not bear to be parted from her Romeo.
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Mark Darcy
‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen
This would be my guess as most people’s favourite literary couple.
Perhaps helped by the infamous portrayal of Mr Darcy by the delicious Colin Firth. This is not a tale of love at first sight, but rather the opposite as Elizabeth loathed Mark Darcy and thought herself better than him. He, of course falls in love with Elizabeth only to be refused by her initially, and then much later she realized that she can love no one but Darcy.
Paul Varjak and Holly Golightly
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1958 novella by Truman Capote
Struggling writer, Paul Varjak, moves into a New York apartment building only to become intrigued by his pretty yet quirky neighbour, Holly Golightly.
Directed by Blake Edwards. Starring Patricia Neal, Audrey Hepburn.
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester
‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte
Friendless characters find a solution for their loneliness through each other’s company.
Jane, an abused orphan, employed as a governess to the charge of an abrasive, but very rich Edward Rochester. This improbable and unlikely pair grow close as Rochester reveals a tender heart beneath his rough exterior. He does not, however, reveal his polygamy. It was on their wedding day itself that a horrified Jane discovers he is already married. Heartbroken, Jane runs away, but later returns after a dreadful fire has destroyed Rochester’s mansion, killed his wife, and left him blind.
Love triumphs after all as the two reunite and live out their days in shared bliss.
Eliza Doolittle and Freddy
‘Pygmalion’ (or ‘My Fair Lady’) by George Bernard Shaw
A fantastic play made into a timeless and much loved movie.
Do we really want Eliza and Higgins to live happily ever after together or is it so good because the guy who genuinely cared for and loved the girl “got the girl”?
This is a great tale because the “Nice Guy” wins, Freddy found Eliza charming and quirky and loved her for who she was!
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler
‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell
This follows the love and hate relationship between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. That age old tale proving that timing is everything.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler never seem to be quite in synch. Throughout the epic story, this tempestuous two-some experience passion without permanence, and their stormy marriage reflects the surrounding Civil War battles. The flirtatious, promiscuous, and perpetually pursued Scarlett can’t make up her mind between her many suitors. When she finally decides to settle on being happy with Rhett, her fickle nature has already driven him away.
Ever hopeful the novel ends with Scarlett proclaiming, “Tomorrow is another day.”
Cleopatra and Mark Antony
‘Antony and Cleopatra’ a true historical pair, dramatized by William Shakespeare
This true love story of Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most memorable, intriguing and moving tales of all times.
The relationship between Antony and Cleopatra is a true test of love, in fact it is a tale of love at first sight. Their relationship put the country of Egypt in a powerful position. But their power combined with their love affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing force of the Egyptians. Ignoring all threats, Anthony and Cleopatra married. As the story goes, whilst fighting in a battle against the Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra’s death. So shattered was he by this news he fell on his own sword, unable to bear the thought of life without her. When Cleopatra learned about Antony ‘s death, she also took her own life. Great love demands great sacrifices!
Henry and Clare
‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger
Is this tragic or romantic.
A Chicago librarian suffers from a rare genetic disorder that sends him hurtling through time whenever he is under extreme duress. Despite the fact that he vanishes at inordinately frequent and lengthy intervals, he attempts to build a stable future with the beautiful young heiress he loves. Is is tragic or romantic for Clare to spend her entire life waiting? And is it possible to find love so young?
So there in a snapshot are some of my personal favourites. I’d love to hear yours though!
A Creative Literary Wedding
This brought me around to thinking about how you can make Literature a part of your wedding day? Was the first present your fiancee gave you a book perhaps?
A relationship can span several years, we don’t all find love at first sight, some of us are more like Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. Life and relationships go through different chapters, every couple has a story to tell.
Your wedding can capture your love story. Use items from within your families to decorate your venue, borrow a Grandmother’s vase, your mother’s mismatched crockery, antique bottles, crystal bowls and other vintage finds.
Books can be collected and given as favours, or simple use them for inspiration for Table Names. Sourcing the right book for the right guest could be a challenge but it would be unique to you.
A message could be given in the way of a bookmark, or simply style your place cards and menu’s as bookmarks, a useful and lifelong reminder of the day you started a new chapter in your life together.
Look at these amazing paper flowers, button holes and even bridal bouquet.
You really can let your literary imagination flow!
It’s the small, personal details that make your wedding day Especially about YOU!
I am especially drawn to books whilst writing this. Old books can add a rustic touch to your wedding. Pile them high as a centre piece, or arrange them with bud vases, ink pots or even candles on top of them.
Dot your favourite novels around the venue to add to the sense of literature. Perfect for photo opportunities.
Use the books to enhance your pictures, your wedding rings or I especially love the Arch of books.
We have a love of Quotations at the Hattie Boo Studio as it always provides a fantastic opportunity to explore typography. Use your favourite quotes to enhance and add interest to your table names, or have them framed.
There is a real passion for the 1920’s at the moment and we did a gorgeous wedding that used book titles for table names, backed up of course with carefully selected quotes. Imaging the fun you can have matching the right guest to the perfect table name! Who will sit on the “Flappers and Philosopher’s” table. Incorporate your them in the readings and toasts. Select them from your favourite literature or refer to them in your vows if possible.
Please let me know if we have used your images as we are more than happy to credit them to you.