Love is in the air. The month of romance is upon us. And, as a reader, you can still make the most of this wonderful occasion whether you have a valentine to share it with or not. Literature is often one of the richest sources of romance, be it uplifting or heartbreaking, moving or haunting. Many of the most memorable titles ever written touch upon the topic of love in one way or another, and classic literature holds no short supply of stories revolving around the most powerful human emotion. So without further delay, let's take a look at some of the most romantic, moving, or tragic tales of love this February.
Pride and Prejudice
A romantic novel of sorts, Pride and Prejudice is a title all literature lovers are surely familiar with. Written by the great and renowned Jane Austen, and perhaps the most widely known piece of work in her impressive bibliography, this novel follows the witty Elizabeth Bennet in the early 19th century as she learns the errors in making hasty judgements based on... you guessed it... pride and prejudice. As marriage is a central topic to this story, there is great emphasis placed on the importance of marrying for love despite the pressure to marry into wealth instead, which is a message we can all surely get behind when love is so strong in the air.
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is often seen as a revolutionary novel, and for good reason. The social criticism that takes place within the book was certainly ahead of its time when it was written, especially in regard to sexism and feminism during a period in which women were still, in many ways, second class citizens. And, while Jane Eyre has so much more to offer than your average or typical romance novel, romance is certainly an important part of this story - making it as suitable as any of the other books on this list as a valentine's read!
Beauty and the Beast
Available in many different version and formats, including children's stories, stage plays, films (both live action and animated), and of course the incredible original fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, Beauty and the Beast contains a simple core message that remains forever true; it's what you're like on the inside that matters, not the outside. The tale of Belle and the Beast remains as beloved today as it was when it was first released - in fact, it is likely more popular now than ever - which stands as a testament to just how timeless this romantic tale truly is.
Lady Chatterley's Lover
D. H. Lawrence's infamous novel certainly stands out amongst the others in this list. With a lengthy publication history which includes censorship, lawsuits, and no short supply of controversy, Lady Chatterley's Lover has received a great deal of attention over the decades for its unfiltered depictions of explicit sexual relations. Nonetheless, the novel was (and still is) a huge success, with a tale that certainly makes for a romantic, if somewhat risque, read.
Romeo and Juliet
Perhaps the most widely known tale of love and tragic romance, not just in this article but perhaps ever conceived, Romeo and Juliet is a play that never loses its touch. Written over four hundred years ago, this is arguably Shakespeare's most famous work, and it has certainly earned such a reputation. Telling the tale of two star-crossed lovers whose familial feuds prevent them from being able to openly love each as they wish too, Romeo and Juliet is tragic in every sense of the word. Even if you already know the story like the back of your hand as a result of studying it during your English literature or drama classes (which many of us have done, no doubt), this book still makes for a thrilling and heart-breaking read.