#5 Wuthering Heights
Heathcliff and Cathy were wild, selfish, and bad for each other, but their love persisted beyond death. A ghostly love story.
Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon from the 1939 film
#4 Much Ado About NothingBenedict and Beatrice were too clever for their own good, so their friends tricked the quarreling couple into revealing their love for each other.
Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in a 1993 rollicking film version, although I was fortunate
enough to see Maggie Smith and Brian Bedford in a 1980 production at the Stratford Festival.
#3 Pride and Prejudice
If you ask me, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett were both proud and prejudiced. A sparkling literary gem by Jane Austen.
A picture from the treasured BBC dramatization starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
#2 Jane Eyre
For years as a teenager and a young woman, Mr. Rochester was my definition of masculinity. George C. Scott was born to play Edward Rochester, here in a 1970 movie version with Susannah York.
I also enjoyed a 2006 production with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson, although I didn't find the depiction of their relationship faithful to the story.
#1 Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries
The couple meet in Strong Poison when Lord Peter gets Harriet off a murder charge. She's too skittish to fall in love again after being charged with her lover's murder, however, and he doesn't want her to marry him out of gratitude. It takes two more novels, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night, for these two to finally get together, and they're even plagued by murder in Busman's Honeymoon. Witty, clever, and sensitive, they're an engaging couple.
Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter in a stylish 1987 BBC dramatization of
Have His Carcase.
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