Love and Romance

First of all, I want to state clearly that I DO NOT read trashy romance novels! Perhaps that's why it has taken me so long to put a Love and Romance Index on this site. I really didn't plan to at all, but the amount of material that belongs here became overwhelming. The truth is, the majority of books use love and romance as a main theme, or important secondary theme. Once I succumbed to that realization, then the addition of this index became inevitable.

Of course, the next hurdle I had to clear was how to classify all these literary lovers. Oh, dear. What a mess. There's romantic comedy, of the Jane Austin variety, romantic tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet, unrequited love, as in The Sorrows of Young Werther, dysfunctional love, as in most of Dostoyevsky's novels, love that overcomes immense obstacles, as in The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is also a Gothic Romance, in addition to having more than one romantic attachment going on at once, of very different sorts. In fact, many novels have more than one romantic involvement, which may be of totally different classifications.

What I have decided to do is include only books where love is truly an important theme, and to not include collections of stories, because most collections have at least one story where love or romance is a theme, and often several stories of totally different types of romantic relationships. Many novels fall into several different classifications of romance, so, the best I could, I chose the one that was the most dominant. Below the listings is a guide to my criteria in classifying each novel. Bear with me, this list will no doubt undergo metamorphosis. Fortunately, updating these pages is a breeze. So, here it all is. Throw away the Harlequins and read some of these juicy gems!

Hendrick Goltzius: The Fall of Man

The Main Categories

Correggio: The Education of Cupid

Happy Ending, Requited, True Love

Around the World in Eighty Days
Brewster's Millions
David Balfour, or, Catriona
The Heart of Princess Osra
Hide and Seek
Joseph Andrews
Kai Lung's Golden Hours
Looking Backward
Mayhem in B-Flat
The Mystery of the Sea
Northanger Abbey
O Pioneers!
Pride and Prejudice
The Sea-Wolf
Sense and Sensibility
A Tale of Two Cities
Tamawaca Folks: A Summer Comedy


Francesco Hayez: The Kiss

Tragic, Death, Unrequited

Forrest Gump
The House Behind the Cedars
The House of Mirth
The Jewel of Seven Stars
Lord Jim
The Marble Faun
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
Rupert of Hentzau: From the Memoirs of Fritz Von Tarlenheim
The Secret Agent
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Under Western Eyes
Washington Square
Where Angels Fear to Tread


Franҫois Boucher: Hercules and Omphale

Passionate, Deep, Obstacles

At Fault
The Castle of Otranto
The Day of the Dolphin
Deception Point
The Iron Heel
The Lady of the Shroud
Mansfield Park
The Mysteries of Udolpho
The Mystery of the Yellow Room
The Pellucidar Series
The Prisoner of Zenda
Trent's Last Case


Jan Steen: The Seduction

Flirtatious, Phony

The Aspern Papers
The Blacker the Berry
The Blithedale Romance
Daisy Miller
First Love and The Diary of a Superfluous Man
A Sentimental Journey
This Side of Paradise
The Vagabond
What Maisie Knew


Philip Hermogenes Calderon: Broken Vows


Alexander's Bridge
The Ambassadors
The Awakening
The Good Soldier
The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice
Lady Susan
The Money Changers


Pierre-August Cot: The Storm

Scorned, Relationship Made in Hell

Almayer's Folly
The Buccaneers
The Forsyte Saga
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Master of Ballantrae
The Moon and Sixpence
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Old Maid
One of Ours
The Phantom of the Opera
The Portrait of a Lady
Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite
Three Lives



The Beckoning Fair One
The Blue Lagoon
Castle Rackrent
Death in Venice
The Double
The Eternal Husband
The Gambler
The House on the Strand
The Idiot
The Immoralist
Jamaica Inn
Moll Flanders
Notes From the Underground
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance
Poor Folk
The Possessed
The Testament


Gustav Klimt: The Kiss

The Criteria

Here is a little idea of how I based my decisions in classifying these novels into "love-types." It may change tomorrow. In Happy Ending, Requited, True Love, the main lovers are united. The book itself may not be happy, such as in A Tale of Two Cities, most definitely a tragedy, but the lovers end up together and happy. Others of these are romantic comedies, such as Northanger Abbey. The opposite is true in Tragic, Death, Unrequited. Forrest Gump is definitely a comedy, but the relationship is sad. Most of these, however, are tragic stories, with one or both of the lovers dying. In Passionate, Deep, Obstacles, the relationship or lives undergo a challenge. The Mysteries of Udolpho a classic Gothic romance, is a prime example of how the lovers are separated for a while, but love endures. The Iron Heel is about a revolution, but love is solid even though life is not. The Flirtatious and Phony romances are those we know aren't real, and can be innocent, as in A Sentimental Journey, or deadly, as in Daisy Miller. The ones in Infidenity involve some kind of cheating, either physical or emotional. Scorned is for those romances not made in heaven, ranging from lack of love to loathing. The Dysfunctional category contains, as mentioned above, Dostoyevsky's novels, because his characters had the most bizarre relationships, and there are some others here that are pretty well screwed up. Keep in mind, there are other categories that I didn't include, such as Gothic and the many novels with several relationships happening at once. Below, I have classified Plays and Poetry only two ways: Comedy or Tragedy

Pablo Picasso: The Lovers

Plays and Poetry

Plays: Comedy

An Ideal Husband
The Beggar's Opera
The Imaginary Invalid
The Importance of Being Earnest
Lady Windermere's Fan
The Misanthrope
The Rivals
The School for Scandal
She Stoops to Conquer
The Way of the World

Plays: Tragedy

Beyond the Horizon
Cyrano de Bergerac
The Father
The Lower Depths
Miss Julie
The Playboy of the Western World and Riders to the Sea
The Recognition of Śakuntala

Poetry: Tragedy

The Aeneid
The Songs of Bilitis
Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie


Romance in Art and Coloring

Thomas Hart Benton: Romance

Coloring Books

Heart Designs
Hearts and Roses Stained Glass
A Midsummer Night's Dream Stained Glass
Sleeping Beauty
Wedding Traditions from Around the World

Books with CD-ROM

120 Great Paintings of Love & Romance


Giulio Romano: Two Lovers

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