What's the Most Romantic Book of All Time?

Looking for a romantic read this Valentine's Day? You might be interested in some of the choices from the Romantic Novelists' Association in the UK. The 700-plus members of the professional association chose these as their most romantic books ever written:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
3. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
6. Katherine by Anya Seton
7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
8. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
9. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
10. Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier

According to novelist Jenny Haddon of the Romantic Novelists' Association, "This is the heartland of romantic fiction and these are novels that have stood the test of time. They are very varied, even the two Austens: Pride and Prejudice is lively and biting, while Persuasion is an achingly honest story of a woman 'past her first bloom'. It's no surprise to see that romance on this list is mixed in with comedy, high drama and a fair slug of history - just like the romantic fiction of today. The core of each story is what people risk when they fall in love and what it can cost. These authors lay it bare for us in a way that is as relevant today as when the books were first written."

The Romantic Novelists' Association counts best-selling writers Joanna Trollope, Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews among its members, who publish a wide range of women's fiction. Romantic novels are considered to be the second most popular type of fiction after crime and thrillers.

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