Who are the most romantic literary lovers of all time?

You don’t need to be a book worm or a fan of romantic literature to know some of the most famous literary lovers of all time. My personal favourites are Francesca and Robert from The Bridges of Madison County that is a wonderful book by Robert James Waller beautifully adapted to the big screen by Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. I also love the couple from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (also a movie starring Ryan Gosling). Unsurprisingly, although the story may be a tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, who were created in the 16th century by William Shakespeare still embody the passion and true love we all wish to experience in our lifetimes. It was also great to see some more contemporary book lovers make the final list, such as life-long lovers Jack and Ennis from Brokeback Mountain as well as Anastasia and Christian from Fifty Shades of Grey.

According to new research of 2,000 British book lovers (carried out by insights agency Perspectus Global), the book characters Britons fell in love with, as much as they fell in love with each other, with William Shakespeare’s tragic star-crossed lovers coming top of the list.

As many as 40 percent of the 2,000 literature lovers surveyed, chose the young couple from Verona as their favourite, hinting at the overwhelming romantic feelings induced by affairs of the heart which end in tragedy.

Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona, Italy

The accident-prone but very lovable Bridget Jones and her Mr (Mark) Darcy, came in at number two (15 percent), while Stephanie Myers’s long-running vampire series, Twilight, produced the pair that made third place, teen heartthrobs Bella Swan and Edward Cullen (11 percent).

Emily Bronte’s tale of forbidden love between an adopted brother and sister (Heathcliff and Cathy) in Wuthering Heights, emerged as the fourth most romantic couple, with 11 percent of the vote.

Sally Rooney’s Marianne and Connell, Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice and Ennis and Jack from Annie Proulx’s, Brokeback Mountain also appeared in the final list.

And for the friskier reader, E.L. James’s Anastasia Steele and her domineering Christian Grey, from the Fifty Shades series, were also considered among the most romantic characters in book history.

J.K. Rowling received a double whammy, as both Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley featured on the list, as did Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.




  1. Romeo and Juliet – Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 40%
  2. Bridget Jones and Mark Darcey – Bridget Jones’ Diary (Helen Fielding)  15%
  3. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen – the Twilight Series (Stephanie Myers) 11%
  4. Cathy and Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) 11%
  5. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) 10%
  6. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey – Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James) 10%
  7. Marianne and Connell – Normal People (Sally Rooney) 10 %
  8. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester – Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) 9%
  9. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler – Gone with The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) 9%
  10. Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton – The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) 9%
  11. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley – The Harry Potter series (J.K Rowling) 9%
  12. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley – The Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling) 8%
  13. Aragorn and Arwen  – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkien) 8%
  14. Hamlet and Ophelia – Hamlet (William Shakespeare) 7%
  15. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters – The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) 6%
  16. Henry DeTamble and Claire Abshire -The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) 6%
  17. Othello and Desdemona – Othello (William Shakespeare) 5%
  18. Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley – Emma (Jane Austen)  5%
  19. Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) 5%
  20. Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan – The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) 5%
  21. Westley and Princess Buttercup – The Princess Bride (William Goldman) 5%
  22. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery) 5%
  23. Jo March and Laurie Lawrence – Little Women (Louisa May Alcott 5%
  24. Prince Paris and Helen of Troy – The Odyssey (Homer) 5%
  25. Ennis Delmar and Jack Twist – Brokeback Mountain (Annie Proulx) 4%
  26. Beatrice and Benedict – Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare) 4%
  27. Estella and Pip – Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) 4%
  28. Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman – Paper Towns (John Green) 3%
  29. Fermina and Florentino – Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel García Márquez) 3%
  30. Anne Elliott and Frederick Wentworth – Persuasion: (Jane Austin) 3%

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