MORE ABOUT THESE CLASSICS
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You can find more flow charts with reading recommendations here:
- What Classic Should You Read Next?
- What L. M. Montgomery Book Should You Read?
- What C. S. Lewis Book Should You Read?
- What J. R. R. Tolkien Book Should You Read?
- What Gail Carson Levine Book Should You Read?
Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym
If unrequited love is more your mood than passionate romance right now, Some Tame Gazelle may be the book for you. Read about the protagonist’s unreturned flame for a now-married friend, her sister who’s been proposed to by the same man multiple times because she keeps refusing him, and all the other delightfully realistic inhabitants of their small town.
Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
You thought I was going to recommend a Jane Austen novel for a Regency romance, didn’t you? However, everyone knows about Austen…but do they know about Maria Edgeworth? Her novel Belinda features a seventeen-year-old protagonist looking for marriage and was known by Jane Austen herself.
Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer
A classic love story that has been told and retold (Shakespeare wrote a play, too), featuring star-crossed lovers during the Siege of Troy. If you thought Chaucer only wrote The Canterbury Tales, you’ll be pleased and surprised by the nuance with which he tells the story of Troilus and Cressida and how they fall in love and experience tragedy.
You probably read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in high school, but have you read it recently? Now is a great time to experience this classic tragedy all over again, looking at it with fresh eyes. And maybe relishing the ending if you’re not really in the mood to think happily ever afters tend to work out. It’s a romance and an anti-romance all in one!
L. M. Montgomery may be best known for writing Anne of Green Gables (and book three, Anne of the Island, is pretty romantic, as well!), but The Blue Castle is a beautiful, rather overlooked novel that anyone who wants a light story about unexpected love will enjoy.
One of my favorite college professors recommended this book as “one of the most romantic novels she’d ever read,” and it’s so true and so overlooked due to most people’s focus on Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I do think the book opens a bit slowly, but once it gets going, it’s immersive. It would also pair well with reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, due to the focus on the mill and labor issues (still romantic, though!).