Literary Heartbreakers…or Literally Heartbreaking?

I’m a sucker for a happy ending.  Unfortunately, some of my favorite literary characters don’t get that happy ending, whether it’s because they themselves are heartbreakers or because the story they have been written into is literally heartbreaking (sometimes, it’s a little bit of both).  But whether it’s the character or the author that breaks our heart, we have to admit they are impossible to forget.

Here are five heartbreakers and five heartbreaking stories that we can’t seem to quit.


prideandprejudice_19George Wickham from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—He may have all the appearance of goodness, but looks can be deceiving.

giphyRhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind—Heartbreaker or heartbroken? He may be a little of both, but he don’t give a damn.

rehost_2016_9_13_bdc68d46-d575-4df9-ae5e-13ef7a494ca8Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet—His intentions may be noble, but his actions will drive you mad.

sense-and-sensibilityJohn Willoughby from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility—Trapped by that age-old question: for love or money? He chose poorly.

dorian-grayDorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray—Forget Sybil and Basil; he literally stabs himself in the heart.

Heartbreaking Stories

romeo-and-julietRomeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare—I blame the friar.

a-tale-of-two-cities-1958-78A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens—Well, that’s one way to solve a love triangle.

never-let-me-goNever Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro—Raising children to be organ donors? There was no way this story was going to end well.

faultinstarsThe Fault in our Stars, by John Green—Okay. (sniff sniff)

me-before-youMe Before You, by Jojo Moyes—Please tell me the sequel has a happy ending. I’m scared to read it.

Oscar Wilde said “the heart was made to be broken,” but I think I’m going to hop over to our 10 Heartthrobs of Literature blog before I start crying.  I could use a good Fitzwilliam Darcy or Edward Rochester fix after all this heartbreak.

So, What heartbreakers or heartbreaking love stories are your favorites?

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