Literature’s Great Romantic Heroes Ranked In Order Of Dating Potential

romantic heroes

by Rebecca Cope |
Published on

In honour of Valentine's Day, we've ranked literature's most famous romantic leads by their date potential - from modern icons like Edward Cullen and Noah Calhoun to classic heroes Mr Darcy and Mr Rochester.

Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights

Likes: Wiley windy moors, drinking, gambling, cursing

Dislikes: Coventional morality, his family, you

Perfect date: Sitting in a dark room glaring at you, like any well-adjusted human being

Our verdict: 1/5. Avoid at all costs

Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre

mr rochester jane eyre michael fassbender
Michael Fassbender as Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre ©Rex Features

Likes: Plain Janes, being serious, telling other people what to do

Dislikes: Bonfire night, Heathcliff (he’s his rival), women who won’t stay in line, illegitimate children

Perfect date: Locking you in the attic. Just kidding. Reading aloud together – but under no circumstances near an open fire

Oliver Mellors in Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Likes: Game keeping, staring intensely for hours without saying that much, erotic fiction

Dislikes: Most people

Perfect date: Someone reported my response as too X-rated to print

Our verdict: 2.5/5

Edward Cullen in the Twilight novels

Likes: Cringe one-liners, playing the piano, moping, brooding

Dislikes: Eternal life, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, drinking blood

Perfect date: Navel-gazing at an appropriately indie concert followed by a moonlit stroll through a graveyard

Our verdict: 3/5

Marius in Les Miserables

Likes: Love at first sight, champagne socialism, Eddie Redmayne

Dislikes: Empty chairs, empty tables, the unequal distribution of wealth

Perfect date: A protest march with an impromptu sing-song

Our verdict: 3.5/5

Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind

rhett butler gone with the wind
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind ©Rex Features

Likes: Witty putdowns, picking up the cheque, smoking cigars, wealth, twiddling his moustache, feisty women

Dislikes: Weak men, liberals, Justin Bieber

Perfect date: Cruising around the Deep South on a luxury yacht

Our verdict: 4/5

Brian Jackson in Starter For 10

Likes: The Cure, fancy dress, politics, University Challenge, English Literature

Dislikes: Pretentious people, small talk, Benedict Cumberbatch

Perfect date: Sharing a bottle of red wine in my halls of residence

Our verdict: 4/5...If you’re around the 18-22 years-old age bracket

Noah Calhoun in The Notebook

ryan gosling noah calhoun the notebook
Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun in The Notebook ©Rex Features

Likes: Writing long love letters, building things, 1940s vinyl records, dancing outside, Walt Whitman poetry, hipster beards

Dislikes: Dating apps, authority figures, TV

Perfect date: Boating through a swan-filled lake at dusk

Our verdict: 4.5/5 (because he's not actually Ryan Gosling...)

Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

mr darcy pride and prejudice colin firth
Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice ©Rex Features

Likes: Wading through ponds, letter writing, Derbyshire, intense stares, doing the right and noble thing

Dislikes: Duplicity, bad manners, embarassing relatives, meaningless chit-chat, superfluous comparisons to Bridget Jones' Diary

Perfect date: A walk through the grounds at Pemberley followed by a tour of the library

Our verdict: 2/5 at first, 5/5 happily ever after

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