Sometimes you need to go and revisit the classics or discover some new classics. These are five books that are in the public domain, so you can find them for free. They are perfect when you need some old-fashioned romance.
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
This classic is one of Austen’s best-known works. It has humor, romance, and a healthy dose of reality. Headstrong Elizabeth Bennet wants happiness for herself and her sisters. And that does not include marrying Mr. Collins, no matter how much he courts her. She enjoys the company of a handsome soldier named Mr. Wickham and tries to avoid the handsome, rich, and completely intolerable Mr. Darcy. But when she learns the truth of Darcy’s past and his intentions, she finds him not as intolerable as she thought.
2. The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart
“That I should have hurt you so!” he said softly. “I, who would die for you, mademoiselle. I who worship you.” He buried his face in the warm hollow of her neck and held her close. He was trembling. “I love you,” he whispered. “I love you.”
During World War I, Sara Lee decided she needed to help the soldiers. Ignoring the objections of her betrothed, Harvey, and armed only with the sponsorship of a small town ladies’ society, Sara Lee goes to the front lines to open up a soup kitchen for the soldiers. There, she meets Henri, an intriguing Belgian spy who falls in love with her. But Sara Lee cannot break her promise to Harvey, and knows that her interlude in Belgium must eventually come to an end.
3. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
‘”But you do,” he went on, not waiting for contradiction. “You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it …”
Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.
Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?
4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.”
Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea.
5. Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare
“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”
The action is set in Sicily, where Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, has recently defeated his half-brother, the bastard Don John, in a military engagement. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests of the Governor, Leonato. There Count Claudio, a young nobleman serving in Don Pedro’s army, falls in love with Hero, Leonato’s daughter, whom Don Pedro woos on his behalf. The play’s central plot shows how Don John maliciously deceives Claudio into believing that Hero has taken a lover on the eve of her marriage, causing Claudio to repudiate her publicly, at the altar.
What’s your favorite classic romance? Leave in the comments below.