I suppose I could just take the easy route on this week’s prompt and answer, “Darcy and Elizabeth!” with all due fangirlish glee, but that seems like cheating. After all, I already listed Darcy as one of my Book Crushes… twice, and Pride & Prejudice has been the topic of many, many posts already. I think I should take a break from singing its praises, lest I expose myself as a rabid Austen fan!

So, in answer to the Egotist’s Club question of, “What’s the best literary romance?”, I’ll have to go with the love story of Buttercup and Westley in William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.

Now to be fair, since it’s a pseudo-parody of your typical faerie tale romance, there are some weak points and it isn’t always the most believable romance in literary history, but it’s fun and sweet and embodies quite a few characteristics of True Love.

And wov… twoo wov… wiw fowow you fowevew.

  • Buttercup’s love for Westley, while slow in coming and not always the most eloquent love, is passionate and wholehearted (you see this much more in the book than in the movie). Westley’s love for Buttercup is equally wholehearted with the added points of being loyal, self-sacrificing, and snarky!
  • Their love inspires both Westley and Buttercup to improve themselves to please each other. Westley educates himself, learns multiple vocations in order to be a good provider, and makes sure he’s strong enough to protect and care for his love. Buttercup focuses on becoming beautiful to please Westley, but also learns how to be gentle and kind.
  • Westley fights off ROUSes, Spaniards, Sicilians, giants, and a whole plethora of palace guards to be with Buttercup. Buttercup fights off some sharks and a prince to stay alive long enough for Westley to rescue her.

Beyond the grand (and often silly) aspects of True Love, Westley and Buttercup are both made genuinely happy by the other’s presence – they enjoy each other’s company! A mundane detail, perhaps, but it makes the whole romance so much more appealing. The words “exquisitely painful” are never used in this relationship (aHEM, Twilight!).

Anyways, there’s my nomination for Best Love Story. Enjoy!