February 15, 2018

Six Favorite Married Couples in Literature

In years past, Valentine's Day has been one of my favorite "events" of the blogging world. It's a day (or month, if you will) in which us bloggers spam the internet with posts relating to our favorite couples in books and movies and tv, and that's just plain fun. If you don't think that's fun, then leave this blog immediately and don't come back; this blog isn't for you. :P

*cringe* That sounded way more harsh than I intended. Don't leave; you can stay! :)

I had planned on publishing this post on Valentine's Day, but when a silly idea for a different post came to me yesterday I decided to run with it. (Which by the way, if you read it, I hope everyone was aware that I was completely being sarcastic and poking fun at some attitudes expressed in certain period dramas. I wasn't in any way making fun of single girls. I am one myself. ;)) (Just wanted to be clear.....I tend to live in fear of hurting someone's feelings! :P)

This post will also be in participation of Cordy's Lovely Blog Party, going on now till the end of February. Be sure to check it out! :D

So today I want to talk about six of my favorite married couples in literature. I have so many favorite fictional couples, but only a handful of them are actually married earlier than the end of the book! Sometimes I find this lack of good married couples in fiction rather sad, because honestly the wedding is just the beginning of a couple's story in life. There's SO much conflict and joy that comes even after marriage, and I appreciate it when stories portray this in a realistic, admirable way.
There's so much that goes into making a good marriage (so I've heard; it's not like I have experience :P) and I think these five couples are wonderful examples of the dedicated love marriage requires. (And they're freaking adorable together. ;))

Gilbert and Anne Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
It's so easy to forget about all the joys and hardships that Anne and Gil go through, long after the days of slates-broken-over-heads are long past. But there's so much more to Gil and Anne's story than just "carrots" (as adorable as that is). They struggle with some very real and heartbreaking circumstances, from the pain of moving away from their very first home to the devastating loss of their first child. There's even a time, later on in years, when Anne worries that her husband no longer loves her. (Spoiler: of course he still does! Read Anne of Ingeside for the story.) And yet despite this, they only grow closer together in love and dedication. Their married life is never painted as easy—but no matter what happens, they always find hope and happiness down around another bend in the road of life. Of course, as the series progress, the story focuses more on their children than Anne and Gil themselves. I always found this a bit disappointing, but we still get snapshots once in awhile of Gil and Anne as they work together to mold their children's minds and hearts with love and tenderness.

All in all, I find Gil and Anne's marriage an admirable example of how a couple can face adversity together—and still come out of it with a love and trust unshakable by any storm they may face.
“But pearls are for tears, the old legend says," Gilbert had objected. "I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes—when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables—when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had—when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I'll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy." -Anne”

Ike and Libby Galloway from Prairie Rose
Only recently, I read a trilogy by Susan Kirby consisting of three books, Prairie Rose, As the Lily Grows, and When the Lilacs Bloom. I started the first book VERY skeptically, thinking it just another lame CFR novel. :P AND OH BOY WAS I WRONG. This trilogy turned it to contain one of my favorite heroes ever (he may be on the top ten) and one of my favorite couples ever. Their names are Ike and Libby and I adore them and I really should write a review for Priaire Rose because more people to need to know of these awesome books! (Great, now I've committed myself to yet another blog post I'll never get around to. :P)

But anyways. About Ike and Libby. I love so many things about their relationship, one of which is that the books go on past their courtship to their marriage. The highs and lows of newly married life are played out, as they learn to work together and encourage each other amidst the daily trials of life. Their fortitude and faith in God are put to the test with different troubles, the biggest being their inability to have the children Libby so desperately wants. These books don't shy away from the difficulties Ike and Libby face together. But throughout it all, Ike and Libby learn to grow in their faith in God and their love for each other and it's just so special. <3 (I found the characters in this book refreshingly imperfect but still admirable. A rare thing in CFR novels, I think! :P)

Though I wasn't completely satisfied with how some aspects of this story ended less-then-happily-ever-after, I did appreciate how realistic it was. Ike and Libby found their joy and contentment in Christ, not in a perfect dream life here on earth. They learned how to be grateful and joyful even amidst life's disappointments. They learned contentment with what God had planned for them, not what they planned themselves. It's a beautiful and rare thing to find in fiction these days.

Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" [1982]
Percy and Marguerite Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel
Now, it's been awhile since I read the book, so much of what I say here will be based on the 1982 movie. Despite that, I had to include Sir Percy and Marguerite, because I just re-watched said movie and goodness gracious I forgot how adorable and squee-worthy these two are! (yes, that's a word)

Unlike the previous two couples, Percy and Marguerite live a less-than-normal life, filled with espionage and secrecy and suspense. For most of the story, Percy and Marguerite live nearly separate lives, he, as the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescuing dozens of French aristocrats from guillotine in revolution-ravaged Paris, she, unaware of his alter ego, living a glittering life at the center of society. Much of the pull of this story revolves around the moment when secrets are revealed and decisions made. But underneath the drama, there is still much to be admired in the marriage between these two. Percy, always loving his wife, but unable to show it, works not only to protect her, but her brother as well. He shows his love by a steadfast devotion and protection, even when he has lost all faith in her. Marguerite, on the other hand, showcases faithfulness and trust, even when she is certain her husband no longer loves her. She never hesitates to rush to his side; he never hesitates to protect her. And eventually, their courage and devotion bring them together in a beautiful moment of truth.

For anyone who has read more of the Scarlet Pimpernel series, can you tell me if Percy and Marguerite are in the sequels? Because they may be bumped up on my to-read list if they are. ;)

"When Calls the Heart" debuted its special two-hour pilot on Saturday (Oct. 19), starring newcomer Poppy Drayton as Elizabeth Thatcher, a girl who leaves her posh family home in 1910 to teach in a frontier town.
Wynn and Elizabeth Delaney from When Calls the Heart
Yes, yes, you read that I right, I said Wynn Delaney. Contrary to the hallmark TV show (which I love, don't get me wrong), the Mountie that Elizabeth married in the When Calls the Heart books is actually called WYNN DELANEY NOT JACK THORNTON. (For the record, I like Jack better much more than Wynn, but for the sake of literary excellence I still had to point out this desperately troublesome inaccuracy. :P)

Wynn and Elizabeth get married by book two—unlike Jack and Elizabeth who are still unmarried though I've heard they already have season 5 out?!? I haven't even finished season 3!!!
knew I had to work a gif into this post, right? :P

'Hem. Let's try this again. When Wynn and Elizabeth marry, they are immediately thrown into a difficult time; Elizabeth especially.  They go through a LOT together between their first argument (about a pair of pants, no less) and the great strain of moving far away for Wynn's lonely posting in northern Canada. Elizabeth finds herself faced with difficulty after difficulty as she adjust to the life that the wife of a Mountie leads.

I hate to say this again, but it's been awhile since I read all four of the WCTH books, so my memory is a bit foggy. But I do remember loving the way Wynn and Elizabeth's relationship was portrayed in the books. Loving and gentle, but determined and steadfast.

(By the way, the Wynn and Elizabeth in the WCTH movie is pretty much exactly how I pictured them. Why couldn't that dumb movie have been completely about them like the book instead of about her niece or whatever she was??? :P)

Charles and Millie Landreth from the Millie Keith series
AGAIN, it's been awhile since I read this series (I guess this post is also called: A Bunch of Books Natalie Needs to Re-Read) but it's my very favorite from the A Life of Faith series.   (Or the Martha Finley spin-offs, whatever you want to call them.) Charles and Millie have a rocky relationship from the start, in which Millie turns down his marriage proposal due to him not being a Christian. But years later, when Charles is saved, they still find they love each other and begin their married life together.

When they feel called by God to serve as missionaries to Bolivia, they obey and have a series of ensuing trials and difficulties—some life threatening. I just love how Charles and Millie are dedicated to serving the Lord with their whole lives, regardless of the inconvenience to themselves. They work together as a true team, each respecting and believing in the other. Charles gently leads and protects his wife and Millie faithfully follows and supports. They are the pattern of a Biblical marriage, with each valuing the other and putting each other before themselves. And they're missionaries. That's just awesome. :D

Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander in "The Light Between   Oceans" (2016)
Barney and Valancy Snaith from The Blue Castle
How could I possibly write this post without a Barnery and Valancy reference? These two belong to my favorite L.M. Montgomery novel. Their story makes me so happy. Unlike all the couples above, these two didn't expect to stay married. Barney agreed to marry Valancy, knowing she was ill with a heart problem and likely to die within a year.

I just love their day to day life together. Every day is an adventure with them, or at least most of their days are. They have a wonderful time just being together, whether they're tramping through the snowy woods or sitting on the porch in summertime. They take care of each other and work together, in a very adorable camaraderie. Everything about their marriage and life together is unconventional, and yet it's beautiful and happy simply because of that very fact. And of course, when Valancy learns that Barney's tenderness is more than just pity for a dying woman...well. ;) It's just wonderful, that's all.

Happy Valentine's Day (again)!
Who are some of your favorite married couples in fiction?
Do you like stories that go past the wedding? 


  1. Wonderful post, Natalie.

    Yes, indeed I do--I love stories that go past the wedding; as long as they're done well.

    Paul Horgan, in A Distant Trumpet, does this incredibly well. Hiram and Jessica Prescott are serious #relationship goals--both as a young couple AND as a middle-aged one. We get to see both sides. And both sides are so, so beautiful. <3

    (Actually, the staggering thing about A Distant Trumpet is, it doesn't just feature one married couple, but THREE. THREE DIFFERENT MARRIED COUPLES. Each of whom get a substantial amount of screen-time. Paul Horgan did not believe in skimping, when it came to married-folk representation *grins*)

    1. Thank you, Jessica!

      Awww, I really want to read that! Could you possibly message me on what kind of content is in it? Especially misuse of God's name or any sexual content? I'd sure appreciate it. :) (Also, that's super cool that the book shows them as a young couple and then as an older one. You don't see that super often in fiction. :))

      (Eek, that's great!!! Good for Paul Horgan. :))

    2. Of course! :D Message coming right up :-)

  2. Uh, Natalie. What was that you were saying about your short stories always turning into long stories and yeah...does that happen with your blog posts too because I counted six couples in this post, not five. Don't tell me you got carried away with all the adorable fictional couples because that's impossible! Who would ever get carried away on a subject like that? Hahaha. ;) (Just thought I'd mention this as you were once so kind as to correct me on my math skills and I just wanted to prove to you...I CAN COUNT NOW! ;P)

    Yes, having the story continue after the marriage is so cool. And refreshing. We could definitely use more stories like that.

    That quote of Gilbert and Anne's. <3

    Awww. Now I want to know. Did Libby and Ike ever have any children?

    Percy and Marguerite are very much in the sequels. I haven't read all of them but my dad read several of them to us years ago and Percy and Marguerite were focused on quite a lot as far as I can remember. (I mean, Percy HAS to be. He's the Scarlet Pimpernel. And that's the whole point of the story, right?) You should definitely read some of the other books sometime. They're fun. I remember really liking them when my dad read them to us. (Now you're making me want to re-read them. ;))

    Wynn Delany??? WHAT? That is SO different. Why would they change his name to Jack for the TV series? (I mean, I like Jack better, but still... :))

    "...in which Millie turns down his marriage proposal due to him not being a Christian." You know what this made me think of? Rose and Isaac, of course! <3 <3 <3 (By the way, how are those two?)

    Of course you had to include Barney and Valancy!!!! Those two are adorable. Their relationship is totally unconventional...and totally sweet!! And yes...when Valancy discovers that Barney actually loves her!!! Ahhhhhh!!! YES! <3 <3

    This post was delightful, Natalie. Great job! And Happy (late) Valentine's Day!!! :D

    1. *Facepalm* I can't believe I did that! Haha! I guess I DO get carried away, just like I do with my stories. ;) Thank you for pointing that out, my dear. I corrected it. :) (Ah, great! Now you make ME feel bad because I can't count now! ;D Hahaha!)

      Glad you think so. :)

      I knoooow. <3

      SIGH. Spoilers, Miss March, spoilers!!! :P (Spoilers: No, they didn't. :( But there are a lot of children in the neighborhood that she feels are sort of "her" children.)

      Yay!! I definitely really want to read more of the series, then. Thank you!

      I know, right? Weird. :P (Same!)

      IT MADE ME THINK OF THAT TOO. (They're well, thanks for asking. Rather bored with their story because nothing has happened in so long, but well otherwise. :))

      :D ♥♥♥ Can't ever get enough of them.

      Thank you!

    2. Hey, no worries! It's crazy the things you can miss even when you've read over the post multiple times! But it happens to all of us. :) (Aw, don't feel bad. I was just giving you a hard time, 'cause that's what friends are for. Isn't that right? ;P Haha.)

      *grins* What's a spoiler? ;) (Aww. That's sad. :( But then it's sweet, too, that there are neighborhood children she can love. Does the book have a happy ending?)

      Me too!

      *shakes head at neglectful authors* ;)

    3. Don't worry, I don't really feel bad. :D Glad you pointed it out, though! ;)

      (Yes, it is happy. I just think it would have been happier if she could have had ONE child, at least....but I guess that's just how real life is. We don't always get what we want, and sometimes God's plans are much better than ours.) (Even when we can't see it.)

      I knooooow. :(

  3. Aw, fun post! YES, you MUST read the other Scarlet Pimpernel books! They're some of my absolute favorite classics--and, I think that they're better than the first book. :)) And most definitely, Percy and Marguerite are in the sequels.
    Aw, Gilbert and Anne! I need to reread those books--they're so good! :)

    1. Thanks, Allison! I definitely want to look into the other SP books. :D Better than the first? Wow, they must be really amazing then! I LOVED the first book.

      They are. <3

  4. A CFR trilogy that shot its characters up into your top ten lists?! I MUST READ. (Heehee, love what you said about committing yourself to another blog post you'll never get done -- I feel, as the saying is. ;))

    Gil and Anne, Percy and Marguerite, really, all of them! (Except the aforementioned trilogy that I haven't read yet.) I need to reread The Blue Castle, and YES, the couple in the movie version of WCTH looks exactly like them! Why do they change everything in these screen adaptations? *harrumph*

    I do so love posts about favorite fictional couples. :) :)

    1. YES YOU MUST. :D (Unfortunately, they seem to be rather old books so there may not be many copies in print....but I really hope you can find them at your library!!!) (Glad it's not just me. ;D)

      Awwww so glad you love them all, too! (I'm sure you'd love the aforementioned trilogy. So it counts. ;)) I don't know....people who make movies based on books seem to mess things up more often than not. I just don't understand why! It seems so simple....only one rule: Follow the book. :P

      Thank you. <3

  5. Mmm I love these couples.
    If it makes you happy, I just added "Prairie Rose" to my tbr shelf on Goodreads. :)
    Great post!

    1. It does make me happy! Thanks for letting me know, Amaris. :D

      Thank you!!

  6. *squeals* I loved reading this post. :D

    Anne and Gilbert are pretty much the ultimate couple in my mind. <3 I LOVE THEM SO.

    Oh, Percy and Marguerite are perfect for each other, too. And yes, I love how they're both faithful. <3

    I've neither seen nor watched any When Calls the Heart (Mum isn't keen :P) but WHAT IS THAT STEPHEN AMELL IN A WHEN CALLS THE HEART MOVIE HAHA GET OUT WHAT IS HE DOING IN A PERIOD DRAMA?!!! (Yeah, sorry for all the caps lock, but I've seen him in 5 seasons of 23 episodes of him playing the role of 'Arrow' (the TV series). Boy, my eldest sister is gonna shout when I tell her he's in a period drama, haha!)

    I've only read a couple of the Millie Keith series, but enough to know that Millie and Charlie DID end up together. Hooray!

    There are so many books I want to read it's overwhelming. But I reeeally want to read The Blue Castle at some point in the near future. :D

    And YES! to the question of if I like stories that go past the wedding. I ALWAYS get excited about those ones. (I remember being thrilled that Louisa May Alcott wrote about Meg and John Brooke after they were married.) (And I was only, like, 10.)

    1. Eeek, thank you, Gabby!!!

      YES. <3 I'm not sure who my "ultimate" favorite couple would be...but they're definitely a contender for that spot. :)

      Awww, darn! Well hopefully you can see it someday. :) Yes, that's him! He only plays the hero in the "flashback" part of the story (it's hard to explain :P) but he's GREAT as Wynn. (Bahaha! I've vaguely heard of that show, but I looked it up and I can see why it'd be funny thinking of him in a period drama. :D)

      Hooray, indeed!


      I'm glad you like them, too! (Awwwwwwww! <3)

  7. Me too!! I love Valentine's Day in the blogging world. Sorry, Cordy here, late to her own party...as usual. ;)

    I am very intrigued by all you said about the Prairie Rose book/s. I will have to see what I can do about tracking them down!

    I will always love Sir Percy and Marguerite! If you haven't read the book in awhile, you'd really love the ending! Even though I like the movie, I know the book has a better ending!

    Alright, alright! I need to try "Blue Castle" again. I have tried it before but maybe I was too young to appreciate it because it just bored me. However, so many people love it to death that I must have my share in the conversation. ;)

    Um, are you referring to fictional as only being from books--or fictional as any platform because I really like Adam and Millie as a couple in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". Their road isn't a smooth one but it has such a sweet ending!

    Great post, Natalie!!

    1. Haha, well my reply is VERY late, so don't feel bad at all! :D

      Ooh, please do!! I really hope you find/like them.

      I can't wait to reread it. :)

      I used to feel that way about LMM's "A Tangled Web"--which I read when I was 11--and when I recently reread it I was ASTOUNDED by how good it was. So yes, please do give it another try. :D

      Well, for this post I was mainly using books, but you can use literature or movies, I don't mind. I have to rewatch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers because I've never exactly cared for it but everyone loves it....soon, I hope. :)

      Thank you!!!


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