A survey done recently in the UK about great love stories reveals that classics are the best. I have to admit that while I love a good modern romance or something written by a modern author with a regency flair; I'm always drawn towards the classics like Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and the more recent Daphne du Maurier.
Some of the titles from the list include:
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 1847 (at number 1)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 1813 (at number 2)
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847 (at number 4)
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 1938 (at number 7)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925 (at number 13)
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 1811 (at number 14)
- Persuasion by Jane Austen 1818 (at number 18)
I hate to admit it but I have not read the entire list... and I've never read Wuthering Heights. I've read parts of it but I could never get through the whole thing knowing that in the end death and unhappiness waited for the characters. I have to wonder where the romance is in that.
I loved Jane Eyre as a teenager and I still do but it is so dark. Much darker than Jane Austen and while there is romance there it is not of the happy variety. A girl grows up without love and spends time in a great dark house with a man who is hard. Jane finds out that he has a crazy wife hiding in the attic only once she and Rochester are at the alter.
Depending on what mood I'm in I could pick a favorite Jane Austen; at the moment it is Persuasion. But each one ends happily, there is no dark lurking secret and the biggest thing to overcome is money.
But Rebecca... oh I could talk for hours about that one book alone. Except that it is more thriller than romance. Sure Max woos our nameless heroine but then he moves her to this huge creepy house with a housekeeper that tries to kill her. She also gets left on her own a lot and Max can be very cold. Plus the constant ghost of Rebecca the dead wife... who by the way was murdered by our dashing hero. But you know what? I still love it.
And The Great Gatsby? He dies.
Have you read any of the list? Can you pick a favorite? Why do you think that the classics are picked over the more modern romances of our own time? Do you really think they are romances?
See the entire list and read the article at The Guardian...