Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Pride and Prejudice is merely an immortal romantic novel, it is an immortal novel. It is about Mr. Darcy, a young and rich man who is looking for a bride. When he finds Elizabeth Bennet, they begin their funny courtship in an 18th century settings. Critics of the time received this novel well, and today it is celebrated as one of the best romantic books in history.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)
After her parents died, Jane Eyre moved to her Aunt Reed house at Gateshead. Even when cruelly mistreated at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre against the odds arises with her strong will and honor. She later become the governess at Thornfield, fall in love with Mr. Rochester, and realizes the obstacles to their legitimate marriage in a novel that skips the melodrama and exposes the passion of a woman who is looking for a fuller life than the traditional Victorian society could possibly offer. With her passionate heroine, her lethal secrets, and the decisions she ultimately makes, Charlotte Bronte’s creative and immortal romantic novel remains a captivating read.
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë (1847)
Wuthering Heights is the frantic story of a forbidden love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan who Catherin’s father adopted. After the death of Mr. Earnshaw, Catherin’s envious brother torment Heathcliff who abandons Wuthering Heights, thinking that Catherine does not love him back. When Heathcliff come back to Wuthering Heights as a wealthy man, he start his revenge on everyone. The action of the novel is wild and brutal, but the inner structure successfully manages the multi-layered plot. The poetic languages, the masterful descriptions put you in the haunting moorlands of Wuthering Heights effortlessly. It is not strange that this masterpiece is considered one of the most respected novels in English literature.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1856)
When Emma Rouault said, “I do” to Charles Bovary, she did not did not imagine how boring Charles would be as a country doctor. She was burning in desire; she wanted the luxury, passion, and dangerousness. All, which Charles provincial life could not provide. Disappointed and drive by her mad passion she start an affair, and enter the world of destructive impulse, treachery, and misery.
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)
Isabel Archer is a gorgeous and lively American when she travels to Europe to visit her rich Aunt Touchett her marriage is anticipated. However, Isabel, being a free-spirited woman want to write her own story, she refuse to be wedded to two qualified suitors. The story begins when she find herself madly in love with Gilbert Osmond who is a wolf in sheep clothes. It is a romantic tragedy, until this day Isabel’s love story still rings true to modern readers.
A Room with a View by EM Forster (1908)
Lucy is your average middle-class girl, her life was determined for her even before she was born. When she travels to Florence with Charlotte, her tense cousin her life is turned upside down. For the first time, she opens her eyes to a different world by the unusual characters she encounters at the Pension Bertolini: lurid romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, nosy Mr. Emerson, and most importantly, his adoring son George. The story revolves around Lucy being stuck between the colorful life of Italy and the inhibited moralities of Edwardian England, which is embodied by her incurably dull fiancé Cecil Vyse (this of course wouldn’t be a problem today with the insurance options available). The question is will Lucy listen to her heart?
Romantic books has evolved with the explosion of self-publishing. There is now many genres and subgenres of romantic book. From historical romances spanning all ages, to paranormal love between vampires, werewolves, and aliens. There are also western romances, military romances, inspirational romances, romantic suspense, and the list goes on. However, when we are talking about the best romantic books in history, there are those immortal tales that remain constant no matter how technology advance.
In this list, you are going to find some of those romantic books that helped shape the genre. They formed the foundation of the romance genre. When you are lost and do not know where to begin, it is always a good idea to start at the beginning.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos (1782)
This tale of sex, lust, and revenge was published for the first time before the French Revolution. The heroes of the tale Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil strike a dangerous deal to win the heart of a virgin young woman. A novel filled with seduction, sin, and controversy was the subject of a major file and several stage adaptations. It cause an uproar when it was published, and to this day is one of the most shocking novels in European literature. The critics called it “diabolical” and “infamous,” but when you read it, you get an idea about the current state of affairs in our world.