13 Literary Love Interests, Ranked On Awfulness

by Julia Seales

Ever wonder what it would be like to date a literary character? Since I read too much (just kidding, that's impossible), I wonder this constantly. There are some literary love interests that have been beloved for generations for their passion and wonderful stories. Who can forget Mr. Darcy’s declaration of love in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Or what about Anne Shirley’s thought in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Avonlea: “Perhaps… love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.” Or the classic words of Shakespeare from Romeo and Juliet: “When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night.”

Of course, for every passionate, romantic literary lover, there’s one who would make a less than perfect date. Some of them lurk behind flowery language, some get away with terrible things and are still beloved, and others are just awful from beginning to end. This Valentine’s Day, I wondered… what would a date look like, if you went with one of these less-than-perfect love interests?

13. Captain Wentworth From Persuasion by Jane Austen

Everyone would tell you not to go out with him. You would text him last minute, canceling your date. Eight years later, you’d finally go out with him, and it would be the best date ever.

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12. Maxim de Winter From Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

He would spend the whole night talking about his ex.

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11. Daisy Buchanan From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

You’d throw a huge party for Valentine’s Day in the hopes that she’d show up. She would, and you’d share a great moment with her, but then she would leave the party early and you’d spend the rest of the night sulking.

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10. Laurie From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The date goes amazingly. He takes you out to dinner, you walk around and have a wonderful conversation, but somehow by the end of the night he's officially dating your sister and you're dating an older professor. You're not sure what happened, but at least you feel at peace with it. Everyone else is really angry about this, though.

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9. Estella From Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

She would look perfect, but would spend the whole date staring at you judgmentally. You’d take her somewhere expensive in an attempt to impress her, and it wouldn’t work. When you’d drop her off at the end of the night, you’d be pretty sure you’re in love.

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8. Hamlet From Hamlet by William Shakespeare

He would spend the whole evening agonizing over which restaurant to take you to, and then when you finally get there your wine wouldn't taste right.

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7. Julia From 1984 by George Orwell

She’d take you somewhere exciting and secret and impress you with her knowledge of culture. But by the end of the date, you can’t shake the feeling that you would betray her in a heartbeat.

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6. Dorian Gray From The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

He’s beautiful, and your Instagram pictures of the evening would turn out perfectly, but you can feel his interest slipping. Also, he spends the entire evening taking selfies.

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5. George Wickham From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

At the beginning of the date, he would seem charming and attractive. After all, you gotta love a man in uniform. By the end of the date, however, you'd find out that he's been texting your sister the whole time.

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4. Romeo From Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

You’d sneak out to meet him, because your parents don’t approve of the relationship. He’d take you somewhere romantic and regale you with poetry, but get distracted halfway through by another girl. Before you know it, he’s writing poems about her instead.

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3. Florentino From Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

He would sit a few tables away from you at the restaurant and stare at you all night, while simultaneously on a date with a steady stream of other women. Fifty years later, he’d finally take you on a pretty good date, but you’d make sure to go somewhere where no one knows you.

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2. Stevens From The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

It probably would have been a great date, but he never asked you out.

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1. Heathcliff From Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

He'd be brooding and alluring, but when you get home from the date you'd find out that he killed your dog. That's the worst-case scenario. Best-case scenario is that your passion drives you to the grave. Either way, this date is not going to end well.

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Images: Columbia Pictures (3); New Line Cinema; Paramount; Focus Features (2); Momentum Pictures; 20th Century Fox; BBC One; Warner Bros Pictures; United Artists; ITV