With Valentine’s Day happening soon, I thought it would be fun to do a post sharing some delightfully romantic books and movies, should you have any problems getting into the proper loving mood for the day (but if you’re like me, this is never truly a problem!). p.s. If you’re expecting
trashy salacious romance novels, you may want to stop reading now…
Note: I eschewed some of the obvious books and movie suggestions, because I’m assuming you’ve already encountered them.
I chose some shortish stories so that you can easily read within a week.
Of course Ms. Austen must be included in any romantic book list. I love this novel because is departs a little from Austen’s other novels in that the protagonist is an aging woman who is single because she spurned the love of her life over her family’s objections to him. She vacillates between her lingering love for him and her feelings of duty towards her family. It isn’t your typical Austen ending with everything magically working out to the satisfaction of all parties involved, but it being Jane Austen, the end is delightful all the same.
If you’re a North and South fan, then this book is for you. The story line is a little similar (class tensions run high between the characters in nineteenth century England), but has the added bonus of a murder and an ensuing mystery involving a working-class girl and the two men (one wealthy, one working-class) vying for her love.
Ms. Bronte’s first published novel, and a unique one in that she uses a male narrator, something she would never repeat. While it lacks the passion and plot twists of Jane Eyre, it is a story based on Ms. Bronte’s own experience being educated abroad, and hints at the dreams she entertained of her unrequited, passionate love for one of her professors being returned.
Not exactly a happy story of an army soldier and a nurse who meet on the battlefront during World War I, but it is deeply moving. You may even find yourself in tears at certain parts as events around the lovers unravel and their love is tested.
This is quite possibly the most fun romantic story you can read this week. Full of humor and wit, this story of a spinster governess who suddenly finds herself in the service of a popular show girl, aiding and abetting her in her romances, and, along the way, finding that she herself is in one too.
This is not one of Ms. Wharton’s well-known novels, but it is a sweet story of a young couple who are both penniless, living in the throes of European upper-crust society, and expected to marry for wealth. They meet, fall in love, and marry although they both know that financial concerns will eventually test their love. The couple spends the first year of their marriage sponging off of their wealthy friends so that they can continue their lavish lifestyle without sacrificing their romance. Eventually, the fun of sponging begins to wear off as they find that their hosts expect questionable favors in exchange… And as they face losing friends and places to stay, they begin to question whether their love can survive as well.
I’ll tell you upfront that I prefer classics and costume dramas over modern flicks. It’s the literature-lover in me, as I’m sure you can guess. I love the classics because the actors and actresses took their craft so seriously back then. I also admire they way that they all carried themselves with dignity and elegance, something that is missing from celebrities today.
I had watched this years ago when it came out, but had to watch again for a class assignment. (This was one assignment I didn’t mind doing…)
Jane Campion’s lush film revolves around a young, unsuccessful John Keats and his romance with the girl-next-door, Fanny Brawne. An unlikely match, yet Miss Brawne inspired some of Keats’ most poignant poetry. Read the poem before you watch the film.
A miniseries, but you can watch one episode a night to avoid spending hours in front of the tv (of course, if you can’t turn it off, that’s another thing altogether). While I’m a book purist who will always tell you “the book is better”, I don’t mind many of the departures this movie makes from the novels because it is conducted so well. Ethical dilemmas regarding employers and employees are presented, and we never see them resolved (because in reality, they never were in the nineteenth century) and the film raises many provocative questions about the moral duties and roles of employers and employees. In any case, against the background of class tension and strife, love begins to assert itself between two people who seem to find themselves at odds in their worldviews. This is one movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the enduring suspense of “will they, won’t they ever get together?!”
- Audrey Hepburn. 2. Gregory Peck. 3. Rome. What more do you need to know?
I’m sure there are more books and movies out there, but these are some of my favorites. What about yours? Please leave your suggestions in the comments if you want to share – I always enjoy hearing about new films and books!
Happy Weekend, Friends!
Until next time,