In vain they struggled, but it wouldn’t do. Their feelings would not be repressed, and as readers, we eagerly read on as their love overcame them and finally culminated in a moment of passion and truth. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 200 years since the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In honor of this anniversary, allow us to share how ardently we admire and love these literary lovers who remind us of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
1. Tiger Lily
Though Neverland is “the second star to the right and straight on til morning” from the world of the English aristocracy, the same difficulties of love exist. Like Lizzie, Peter is energetic, social, and doesn’t often take in evidence that shakes his view of the world. Tiger Lily shares Mr. Darcy’s stoicism and aloofness. Competition between these couples is fierce, with Darcy and Lizzie trying to best each other through wit, while neither Peter nor Tiger Lily would stand to be second bravest. All four should have “stubborn” as their middle names.
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“It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long.” Since the day they met, Ron and Hermione have been getting under each other’s skin. It took them six years to get it together, so that when they first kissed at the end of the final Harry Potter book, there was not a single person who didn’t shout, “Finally!” Not even Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were that stubborn. It’s easy to imagine that if Lizzie was a witch, she’d have sent conjured canaries at Mr. Darcy’s head, too.
Pride and Prejudice isn’t Jane Austen’s only novel about a contentious and seemingly ill-fated couple. In Emma, when protagonist Emma Woodhouse decides she likes playing matchmaker, it is George Knightley who is her loudest critic. It isn’t until Emma’s close friend Harriet falls for George that Emma realizes her own true feelings for him. Emma may be breaking girl code, but, like Lizzie Bennett, she gets her man in the end.
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The love story that unfolds between Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe (now the subject of its own musical, Anne & Gilbert), bears a major similarity to Lizzie and Darcy’s: a rejected proposal. In college, when Gilbert first asks Anne to marry him, the answer is a resounding “No!” Luckily, all it takes is a failed romance with Roy Gardiner (and a second spurned marriage proposal) and Gilbert catching typhoid fever to change her mind.
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5. Crown Duel
Anna Quindlen wrote that Pride and Prejudice is primarily about identity, by teaching that “this search for self is as surely undertaken in the drawing room making small talk as in the pursuit of a great white whale or the public punishment of adultery.” Replace the drawing room with the royal court, and you’ve got the high-society battlefield into which country countess Meliara is thrust in Crown Duel. Not to mention, a certain Marquis of Shevraeth who seems bored by her but is actually more interested than she could’ve guessed…
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Despite being on the same side, Peter Parker and Carol Danvers have long clashed, especially with the former Ms. Marvel trying to reel in the (in her thinking) untrained and dangerous Spidey. But, during Marvel’s Siegestory arc in 2010, Carol eventually admitted to having feelings for Peter. Now, we can’t get enough of these sniping superheroes.
It doesn’t take class to have class, as was all too clear with the Pride and Prejudice characters who think that Elizabeth is too low ranking in society to match someone of Mr. Darcy’s stature. Cecelia and Robbie, of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, fight a similar battle. As the son of her family’s housekeeper, Robbie is fully aware of the societal differences between himself and the girl he loves. The frustration and sexual tension sparked as the two fight their feelings finally culminates in the assault of a bookcase. Sadly, while class doesn’t get in the way of their love, other, much more sinister forces keep these two apart.
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It’s a tale as old as time: the Wench and the Kingslayer. The sexual tension between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth has fans of both theSong of Ice and Fire books and the HBO series clamoring for something more to happen between them. At the very least, a passionate entanglement after he saved her from a mauling would’ve sufficed! While their future remains uncertain, that of Lizzie and Darcy, thankfully, is not so. After her initial distaste for the scoundrel, Elizabeth begins to warm to Mr. Darcy’s charms. But she’s already turned him down quite fiercely. Will he offer for her again? Does he truly love her? Unlike fans of Martin’s works, the Janeites know where the favorite couple will end up.
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