Best Loved Romance Novels
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. Her early determination to dislike Mr. Darcy is a prejudice only matched by the folly of his arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to true feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved. A true romance story!

 

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen

Collected together in one volume, The Complete Novels show the development of Austen as a writer and social commentator. From the early optimism and youthful energy of Northanger Abbey to the quiet and subtle art of Persuasion, this collection of romance stories reveals the breadth of one of the best loved novelists of all time.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë's most beloved romance novel describes the passionate love between the courageous orphan Jane Eyre and the brilliant, brooding, and domineering Rochester. The loneliness and cruelty of Jane's childhood strengthens her natural independence and spirit, which prove invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Romance author Emily Brontë’s only novel, Wuthering Heights remains one of literature’s most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they’re destined to love each other forever, but when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them. Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, an unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language.

Little Women by Louise May Alcott

Little Women by Louise May Alcott

The beautiful Meg, artistic tomboy Jo, doomed Beth, and selfish Amy: since the publication of Little Women in 1869, these four sisters have become America’s most beloved literary siblings. Louisa May Alcott’s rich and realistic portrait has inspired three movies and stirred the emotions of countless young girls. Set in New England during the Civil War, this romance novel follows the adventures of the March sisters as they struggle to pursue their dreams.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

When her father leaves the Church, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. In North and South, Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian romance literature.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Molly Gibson is the daughter of the doctor in the small provincial town of Hollingford. Her widowed father marries a second time to give Molly the woman's presence he feels she lacks, but until the arrival of Cynthia, her dazzling step-sister, Molly finds her situation hard to accept. Intertwined with the story of the Gibsons is that of Squire Hamley and his two sons; as Molly grows up and falls in love she learns to judge people for what they are, not what they seem. Through Molly's observations the hierarchies, social values, and social changes of early nineteenth-century English life are made vivid in a romance story that is timeless in its representation of human relationships.

The Romance of a Shop by Amy Levy

The Romance of a Shop by Amy Levy

The Romance of a Shop is an early "New Woman" romance book about four sisters, who decide to establish their own photography business and their own home in central London after their father's death and their loss of financial security. In this novel, Amy Levy examines both the opportunities and dangers of urban experience for women in the late nineteenth century who pursue independent work rather than follow the established paths of domestic service. By outfitting her characters as photographers, Levy emphasizes the importance of the gendered gaze in this narrative of the modern city.

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore

A historical romance, Lorna Doone is set in 17th-century Devonshire at the time of the rebellion of the duke of Monmouth. The young hero, John Ridd, falls into the hands of the Doones, an outlaw clan. He is saved by the young child Lorna Doone. When he comes of age he sets out to find her again. This romance novel is laced with the high adventure, dramatic set pieces, bloody villainy, and obstacles to love one can expect in a story such as this. 

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Widely regarded as Henry James’s greatest masterpiece, The Portrait of a Lady features one of the romance author’s most magnificent heroines: Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American who becomes a victim of her provincialism during her travels in Europe. Richly complex and nearly aesthetically perfect, James brilliantly portrays the clash between the innocence and exuberance of the New World and the corruption and wisdom of the Old.

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