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If you like Classic Romance Titles

If you like Classic Romance Titles

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

If you want a classic love story that do not include the works of Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters, check out the suggestions below.
 
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Countess Olenska, having suffered the collapse of her marriage in Europe, arrives in New York. Newland Archer anticipates marriage to May Welland, the countess's cousin, but eventually falls in love with the countess. He discovers the real anguish of loving outside of society's rules. (catalog summary)
 


Anna Karenina by Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A beautiful society wife from St. Petersburg, determined to live life on her own terms, sacrifices everything to follow her conviction that love is stronger than duty. A socially inept but warmhearted landowner pursues his own visions instead of conforming to conventional views. The adulteress and the philosopher head the vibrant cast of characters in Anna Karenina, Tolstoy's tumultuous tale of passion and self-discovery. This novel marks a turning point in the author's career, the juncture at which he turned from fiction toward faith. Set against a backdrop of the historic social changes that swept Russia during the late nineteenth century, it reflects Tolstoy's own personal and psychological transformation. Two worlds collide in the course of this epochal story: that of the old-time aristocrats, who struggle to uphold their traditions of serfdom and authoritarian government, and that of the Westernizing liberals, who promote technology, rationalism, and democracy. This cultural clash unfolds in a compelling, emotional drama of seduction, betrayal, and redemption. (catalog summary)
 



Evelina, Or, The History of A Young Lady's Entrance Into the World by Fanny Burney
Evelina, Or, The History of A Young Lady's Entrance Into the World
by Fanny Burney

Leaving the secluded home of her guardian for the first time, beautiful Evelina Anville is captivated by her new surroundings in London's beau monde - and in particular by the handsome, chivalrous Lord Orville. But her enjoyment soon turns to mortification at the hands of her vulgar and capricious grandmother, and the rakish Sir Clement Willoughby, who torments the young woman with his unwanted advances. And while her aristocratic father refuses to acknowledge her legitimacy, Evelina can hold no hope of happiness with the man she loves. Published anonymously in 1778, Frances Burney's epistolary novel brought her instant fame when the secret of its authorship was revealed. With its ingenious combination of romance and satire, comedy and melodrama, Evelina is a sparkling depiction of the dangers and delights of fashionable society. (catalog summary)
 



Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore


Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor
 by R.D. Blackmore

In seventeenth-century England, John Ridd returns home to Exmoor and forms a forbidden but enduring friendship with Lorna Doone, the granddaughter of the head of the outlaw Doone clan responsible for the death of John's father. (catalog summary)



 



Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life by Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life
by Elizabeth Gaskell

Mary Barton, the daughter of a disillusioned trade unionist, rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner's son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. Through Mary's dilemma, and the moving portrayal of her father, the embittered and courageous activist John Barton, Mary Barton (1848) powerfully dramatizes the class divides of the 'hungry forties' as a personal tragedy. In its social and political setting, it looks towards Elizabeth Gaskell's great novels of the industrial revolution, in particular, North and South. (catalog summary)

 



Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage
by W. Somerset Maugham

Originally published in 1915, Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man's yearning for freedom. This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle. Philip yearns for adventure, and at eighteen leaves home, eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris. When he returns to London to study medicine, he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life. There is no more powerful story of sexual infatuation, of human longing for connection and freedom. (catalog summary)

 



Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca
 by Daphne Du Maurier

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca. (catalog summary)
 



The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day
 by Kazuo Ishiguro

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him—oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel—namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence. (catalog summary)

 



Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas HardyTess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Bound by tradition and circumstance, an innocent young woman makes a fateful choice. Convinced that his impoverished family has noble connections, John Durbeyfield implores his daughter, Tess, to visit the wealthy Mrs. D'Urberville and claim kin. Reluctantly, Tess agrees, but when she falls prey to the manipulations of Alec D'Urberville, the widow's dissolute son, her search for love and happiness takes a disastrous turn. An earnest suitor named Angel Clare offers hope for salvation, but Tess must decide whether to confess her sins to the minister's son—or bury them forever. First published in 1891, Tess of the D'Urbervilles scandalized Victorian readers with its frank depictions of female sexuality and its impassioned criticism of social conventions. Now widely recognized as Thomas Hardy's masterpiece, this tragic story of virtue destroyed is one of the most moving and unforgettable novels in English literature. (catalog summary)
 



The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
The Way We Live Now
by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope's milieux in The Way We Live Now are the City's financial institutions, London's exclusive West End squares and drones' clubs populated by languorous aristocrats, all offering rich pickings for the unscrupulous speculator, whether in the marriage or the money market. Among the unscrupulous are the hack-writer Lady Carbury, her son Felix and, above all, Melmotte, a financier of uncertain origins and Napoleonic ruthlessness, energy and charm, whose dramatic rise and fall dominates the novel. The Way We Live Now, unpopular on its first appearance in 1874-5, is now widely recognized as Trollope's masterpiece. (catalog summary)