Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Twenty-five actually pretty happy couples in literature

The Lit Hub staff compiled a list of twenty-five "truly happy couples in literature," which is not so easy "especially when you aren’t just talking about the ending." One entry on the list:
Jane and Charles Bingley in Pride and Prejudice

A rare instance of uncomplicated love in a Jane Austen novel—where most couples are in a state of despair, estrangement, abandonment, or (worst of all!) mismatched wealth—Jane and Charles Bingley genuinely seem to like each other. Imagine! He takes care of her when she’s sick; in return, she forgives him for leaving her with no notice because she is insufficiently wealthy and then changing his mind, which (I guess) seems like a fair trade for the era. The biggest issue that emerges during their courtship, that Jane’s shy affection leaves room for doubt as to whether her love for Charles is genuine, is a story as old as time, and one easily fixed, albeit with the intervention of a fabulously wealthy friend who had previously conspired to keep them apart. Typical dating problem. –Corinne Segal, Lit Hub Senior Editor
Read about another entry on the list.

Pride and Prejudice also appears on Ellie Eaton's list of eight of literature's notable mean girls, Sarah Vaughan's list of nine fictional bad mothers in fiction, Jessica Francis Kane's top ten list of houseguests in fiction, O: The Oprah Magazine's twenty greatest ever romance novels, Cristina Merrill's list of eight of the sexiest curmudgeons in romance, Sarah Ward's ten top list of brothers and sisters in fiction, Tara Sonin's lists of fifty must-read regency romances and seven sweet and swoony romances for wedding season, Grant Ginder's top ten list of book characters we love to hate, Katy Guest's list of six of the best depictions of shyness in fiction, Garry Trudeau's six favorite books list, Ross Johnson's list of seven of the greatest rivalries in fiction, Helen Dunmore's six best books list, Jenny Kawecki's list of eight fictional characters who would make the best travel companions, Peter James's top ten list of works of fiction set in or around Brighton, Ellen McCarthy's list of six favorite books about weddings and marriage, the Telegraph's list of the ten greatest put-downs in literature, Rebecca Jane Stokes' list of ten fictional families you might enjoy more than the one you'll actually spend the holidays with, Melissa Albert's lists of five fictional characters who deserved better, [fifteen of the] romantic leads (and wannabes) of Austen’s brilliant books and recommended reading for eight villains, Molly Schoemann-McCann's list of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance, Emma Donoghue's list of five favorite unconventional fictional families, Amelia Schonbek's list of five approachable must-read classics, Jane Stokes's top ten list of the hottest men in required reading, Gwyneth Rees's top ten list of books about siblings, the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Paula Byrne's list of the ten best Jane Austen characters, Robert McCrum's list of the top ten opening lines of novels in the English language, a top ten list of literary lessons in love, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families, Cathy Cassidy's top ten list of stories about sisters, Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked clerics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best housekeepers in fiction, ten great novels with terrible original titles, and ten of the best visits to Brighton in literature, Luke Leitch's top ten list of the most successful literary sequels ever, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer. Richard Price has never read it, but it is the book Mary Gordon cares most about sharing with her children.

The Page 99 Test: Pride and Prejudice.

--Marshal Zeringue