What Romantic Classic Should You Read? (Flow Chart)


*Click the book titles to read full reviews.

You can find more flow charts with reading recommendations here:

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.

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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.

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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.

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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!

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The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

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.

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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!).

18 thoughts on “What Romantic Classic Should You Read? (Flow Chart)

  1. kat says:

    I read part of The Blue Castle when I was a child too young to be interested in romance, so I gave it away. But, seeing the cover again, makes me feel nostalgic for the days I’d sit and flip through it, so perhaps it’s time to get a new copy and finally read it through. I do so love unexpected love these days!


  2. Louise Reynolds says:

    Brilliant list and so much inspiration! I’ve bookmarked for the next time I am in the mood for romance!


  3. Never Not Reading says:

    Haha, Goodreads had The Blue Castle on a “Recommended for You” list, and I marked it not interested because I thought it looked like a pulp romance from the 80s based on the cover. 😂😂😂


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