The celebration of love in literature is as old as literature itself. From the passionate sonnets of Shakespeare to the complex relationships in modern novels, literature has always been a mirror reflecting the many facets of love.

In honour of Valentine's Day, we delve into five iconic authors and tales that have stood the test of time, each offering a unique glimpse into the enduring power of love. A selection of meaningful quotes are provided which you may choose to use in your message to your loved one this year.

1. William Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet"

No list of literary romances is complete without Shakespeare's tragic young lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Set against a backdrop of feuding families in Verona, their love story is intense and ill-fated. The impulsive and passionate love between Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers who defy their families for their love, ends in tragedy. Their story is a reminder of the destructiveness of feuds and the power of love.

Selected quotes from Romeo and Juliet:

- “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." (you might replace ‘Juliet is the sun’ with ‘thou art the sun’)

- “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.”

- “With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out.”

- "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite."

- "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow."

2. Emily Brontë: "Wuthering Heights"

Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" explores the darker and more obsessive aspects of love through the tumultuous relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. Their love is intense, passionate, and fraught with complexities. Set on the Yorkshire moors, their story is a tempestuous journey through jealousy, revenge, and an unyielding love that transcends social norms and even death. It's a tale that beautifully captures the idea that love is a force of nature, as untamable as the winds on the moors.

Selected quotes from Wuthering Heights: 

- “If all else perished, and you remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and you were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger." **

- “Be with me always - take any form.... Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!"

- “You are more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same." **

** The pronouns from these quotes were adapted for your own direct usage (ie, ‘he’ and ‘his’ were replaced by ‘you’ and 'your')

3. Leo Tolstoy: "Anna Karenina"

Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece "Anna Karenina" is often cited as one of the greatest works in world literature, delving into a myriad of human emotions, social politics, and moral questions, set against the backdrop of 19th-century Russian society.

Selected quotes from Anna Karenina: **

- "He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking." 

- "He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." 

** You may wish to paraphrase these quotes using yourself as the subject. For example:

- "I may try not to look long at you, as if you were the sun, yet I see you, like the sun, even without looking." 

- "I feel I am not simply close to you, but that I do not know where I end and you begin"

4. Jane Austen 

Jane Austen, a well-known author in romantic literature, left a lasting impression with her detailed and insightful stories about love in the early 1800s. Her novels, famous for their humour, sarcasm, and sharp observations of society at the time, continue to be celebrated. "Pride and Prejudice," her most popular book, tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, focusing on love, reputation, and social class. In "Emma," she examines the intricacies of matchmaking and social status through the experiences of the charming but sometimes mistaken Emma Woodhouse. Austen's other novels, like "Sense and Sensibility" and "Mansfield Park," also skillfully combine romance with critiques of society. Her works are timeless, appealing to readers even today for their deep understanding of emotions and the social factors that shape them.

Selected quotes by Jane Austen:

1. "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

2. "You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.I never wish to be parted from you from this day on." (from the 2005 film adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice')

3. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."

4. "Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others."

5. "To love is to burn, to be on fire."

5. Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an iconic figure of the Jazz Age, in 20th-century American literature. His writings, notable for their eloquent language and acute insights into human emotions, frequently delve into the theme of love and longing, capturing its diverse and intricate forms. His famous works include the intense and dramatic romance of "The Great Gatsby," the aspirational desires in "This Side of Paradise," and the contemplative exploration of love and choices in "The Sensible Thing."

Selected quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald: 

- “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice."

- "We slipped briskly into an intimacy from which we never recovered." 

- "I love you, and that's the beginning and end of everything."

- "You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known - and even that is an understatement."


These five authors and tales, each from different eras and with unique perspectives on love, remind us of the powerful role that romance plays in literature. They offer insights into the human condition, reflecting our deepest desires, fears, and, ultimately, our unending pursuit of connection and understanding through love.

As we celebrate Valentine's Day, let us remember the timeless lessons these tales teach us about the many dimensions of love, and any selected quote would add a touch of literary charm to a Valentine's Day message.