The greatest romance novels of all time


From Austen to Aciman, we’ve put together a list of the greatest romance novels of all time. Read on, lovebirds!

“The greatest romance novels of all time” is a difficult category to quantify. Divided into subcategories of contemporary romance, fantasy romance, historical romance and many more, it is one of the best-selling genres in the world.

With a mix of historical fiction, literary fiction and contemporary fiction, we’ve created a list of the greatest romance novels, in a range of subgenres, to explore.

The Brontë Sisters, by Patrick Bramwell Brontë (Photo: Wikipedia)

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (1813)

In continuous publication for over 200 years, and adapted countless times for film, television and stage, Pride and Prejudice is one of the most iconic and enduring romance novels to ever exist.

It is frequently cited among the most influential books of all time and follows the life of Elizabeth Bennett, one of five daughters, who grew up in rural England in the early 1800s. It deals with class, of marriage, wealth and love, constructing an intricate novel of manners that explores how Elizabeth’s life changes as the dark Mr. Darcy enters her life.

pride and prejudice best romance novels ever
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Jane eyre – Charlotte Brontë (1847)

As another novel that is on par with Austen’s legendary romantic legacy, Jane eyre is a Victorian bildungsroman that follows the life of the eponymous protagonist as she grows up in the north of England and falls in love with the mysterious Edward Fairfax Rochester.

Detailing the classic “two lovers-must-overcome-obstacle-to-be-reunited” trope, this is one of the best romantic novels of all time, full of those agonizing, but devotional statements of passion, as well as social criticism. commentary on the nature of love and marriage.

greatest romance novel
Photo: Simon & Schuster

The Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë (1847)

A family of talented children, the Brontes (yes – Charlotte and Emily are related) had some of the most important literary productions not only of the 1800s, but of modern literature as well. that of Emily Brontë The Wuthering Heights has a firm place as one of the most groundbreaking romantic fiction pieces in recent history.

Class No. 13. in the 100 best novels by Le Gardien, The Wuthering Heights has been described as: “The extent and drift of his imagination, his passionate exploration of a fatal but regenerating love story, and his brilliant manipulation of time and space put him in a category of his own. It is great English literature, the fruit of a rather extraordinary childhood.

The Wuthering Heights
Photo: Amazon

If Beale Street could speak – James Baldwin (1974)

Recently made into a Hollywood film by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street could speak is a love story set in Harlem, following the life of Clementine “Tish” and her lover, Alonzo “Fonny”, who has been charged with rape.

As described by Penguin, “Flashbacks to their love affair are woven into the compelling struggle of two families to obtain justice for Fonny. To this love story, James Baldwin brings a stripped down and passionate intensity, charging it with resonance and a universal power.

Beale Street
Photo: Penguin

The bride – Julie Garwood (1989)

One of the most famous romantic writers of contemporary times, Julie Garwood is a bestselling NYT author, whose books have over 35 million copies printed. The bride is a historic work of love set in medieval Scotland and follows the life of a dysfunctional couple: Jaime, the daughter of an English baron, and Alec, a fearless Highland warrior, who got married, on order of their King.

Rich in tantalizing suspense, humor and passion, The bride is a passionate love story that paints a living fictional portrait of Scotland in the early Middle Ages.

the bride best romance novels
Photo: amazon

Notebook – Nicholas Sparks (1996)

Oh, Notebook – who could forget the dramatic kiss in the rain between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in the 2004 film adaptation? (I guess it’s nobody.) Notebook is one of those stories that is etched in the minds of every Millennial and Gen Z, simply because it’s so deeply rooted in pop culture history.

The original book was the first writer of Nicholas Sparks and follows the life of Noah and Allie – two teenage boys who fall in love over a brief summer and embark on a journey full of miracles, love, loss and life. . Based on the relationship of Sparks’ own grandparents, Notebook is one of the greatest romance novels of all time.

Photo: Amazon

Call me by your name РAndr̩ Aciman (2007)

While the iconic 2017 film adaptation cemented this love story as one of the greatest of all time, André Aciman’s European masterpiece follows the life of Elio Pearlman, a young man. precocious, and her romantic relationship that blossomed with Oliver, her father’s doctor. student.

Located in the mid-80s, Call me by your name captures the youthfulness, obsession and consumption of young love, as it blossoms against the backdrop of northern Italy. Incredibly moving and heartbreaking romance, André Aciman’s romance is one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

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Vision in white – Nora Roberts (2009)

The first in a quartet of books – aptly titled The Bridal foursome – about four childhood friends and their journeys in search of love, Vision in white is written by veteran romance novelist Nora Roberts, who has written over 225 novels during her career as a love writer.

Vision in white is Roberts’ foray into contemporary romance, detailing the life and romances of Mac, a successful wedding photographer who meets his new client’s brother, Carter – an encounter that forever shapes the lives of Mac and Carter .

greatest romance novels
Photo: Amazon

Love in color: mythical tales from around the world, told – Bolu Babalola (2021)

Described by acclaimed author Candice Carty-Williams (author of Queen) like “perfection in the form of a short story… It is so rare that love is expressed so richly, so vividly or so artfully, “ Love in color is a breathtaking debut album that blends traditional West African mythology with a reinvention of myths from the Middle East and Roman Greece, to build a decolonized celebration of romance, love and passion.

Deeply imaginative and richly detailed, Love in color is an exploration of the intricacies of romance, written by a sharp and talented new literary voice.

romance novels
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