bordgá Reveals Book Lovers Favourite Love Stories

Key findings:


  • o It’s all about the breeches! Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy sends hearts aflutter as 55% of those surveyed think he is literature’s most romantic leading man
  • o Almost half (49%) of Irish booklovers say that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is their all-time favourite classic love story
  • o One Day by David Nicholls and Atonement by Ian McEwan polled equally as the number one modern day love story
  • o Tissues at the ready! A third of Irish people surveyed think The Notebook is the best movie based on a romance novel, followed by Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind, with 17% and 13% of the votes

Mr. Darcy is the ‘ideal man’ according to a new survey conducted by Ireland’s biggest book club  To mark Valentine’s Day, the survey sought to reveal the favourite love stories and characters of all time among Irish booklovers.  Over half of those polled (55%) voted Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice as their favourite male character in a romance novel, Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights came in second (15%) and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind followed as a close third (14%).


Pride and Prejudice was voted as the all-time favourite classic love story with a whopping 49% of respondents’ number one votes. However, only 17% of respondents chose it as their favourite movie so it appears the love for the book outweighed the love for the movie – despite that famous lake scene portrayed by Colin Firth. Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights were voted as the second and third favourite classic love stories with 20% and 19% of Irish readers’ votes.


When asked to choose their favourite female character in a romance novel, Irish literary lovers chose Jane Eyre with 28% of the vote.  Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind and Emma from One Day were also among the favourites with 27% and 24% of the votes respectively.


The results for modern love stories are not quite as unanimous, both One Day by David Nicholls and Atonement by Ian McEwan were voted joint favourites with each receiving 24% of respondents’ votes. These were followed by The Bridges of Madison County (20%), Twilight (18%) and Irish best-seller, PS I Love You (17%).


People love a good tearjerker and when asked to pick their favourite movie based on a romance novel the results were as follows: The Notebook (28%), Pride and Prejudice (16%), Gone with the Wind (15%), Dr. Zhivago (10%), Atonement (9%), Twilight (7%), Wuthering Heights (7%), One Day (8%), Jane Eyre (3%), P.S. I Love You (1.9%).



*This survey was carried out amongst 105 adults