Darcy WHO? Best Literary Leading Men NOT In Jane Austen Novels

I’m gonna say it – I don’t love Mr. Darcy.

Sure, he’s hot and mysterious, I totally get that. He’s brooding, somber, and serious.  K. Got it.

BUT…He also made Lizzie feel like crap and then turned it around as if it was all in her head. Imagine some guy your friend was crushing on consistently chose to insult her, refused to communicate, and had zero social awareness.  He couldn’t even be polite to her or her friends. Not to mention all the creepy following her around.

Red flags all over.  Who needs that toxic masculinity?

No thank you.

No. Thank. You.


So, here’s my list of literary leading men who actually deserve our love and the quotes that make us love them!


Rhett Butler
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Key quote: “You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.”

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Key quote: “If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in eighty years, as I could in a day.”

Romeo Montague
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Key quote: “Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.”

James Bond
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Key quote: “A Dry Martini. One. In a deep champagne goblet… Three measures of Gordons, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemonpeel. Got it?”

Theodore “Laurie” Laurence
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Key quote: “I worked hard to please you, and I gave up billiards and everything you didn’t like, and waited and never complained, for I hoped you’d love me, though I’m not half good enough.”


If I’ve left your favorite literary leading man off of this list, feel free to comment below!

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