by Antonia Hayes on 14 February 2012
Call me a romantic, but I love a good love story. From the electricity of that first glance to the magic of that first kiss, the broken hearts, the foiled plans, the soul mates, the ones that got away, or the screaming ex-wives in the attic, I love all the crazy things our favourite characters do for love. Without a doubt the best affairs of the heart are found between the pages of a good book and from the classic tale to the modern novel, we look at the greatest love stories ever told and the most romantic words ever written.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald "He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete."
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates "The hell with "love" anyway, and with every other phony, time-wasting, half-assed emotion in the world."
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan "When it's gone, you'll know what a gift love was. You'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it."
Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins "Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honour and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free."
Possession by A. S. Byatt "I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed."
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami "I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it -- to be fed so much love I couldn't take any more. Just once. "
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje "The heart is an organ of fire."
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson "Love is the one thing stronger than desire and the only proper reason to resist temptation."
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak "They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the "blaze of passion" often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the hearth under their feet."
What's your favourite literary love affair? Let us know in the comments below.
Antonia Hayes is one of our brilliant publicists here at Random House Australia.