Your Favorite Romantic Epic novel?

Their stories take you on a long adventurous journey, the romance tears at your heart strings, the action transports you to another place and time where men were men and women ladies.

what are your favorite romantic epic novels? Mine are as follows in no special order:
The Far Pavillions M.M.KAYE
Gone with The Wind Margaret Mitchell
Shadow of the Moon M.M.KAYE

Please share your favorites with me.

Gone with the wind

I can think of authors… like Kathleen Woodwiss…I like most all of hers …also Frances Patton Statham… both good:thumbsup:

Shogun by James Clavell comes to mind.

Ben Hur. Love of his Jewish faith, love of his family, love of the Roman that adopted him, even the love of the man that betrayed him, and ultimately, the love he found for Jesus.

It has to be Jane Eyre.

Both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, for sure.

I suppose you can call Jane Austen romantic to an extent but you can’t call her epic, otherwise I’d put Pride and Prejudice and Emma in as well.

And there’s a fantastic Australian novel called ‘For the Term of His Natural Life’ which, although it’s very much about the horrors of the convict system in Australia (and I mean horrors - there are some extremely gruesome and mostly true-though-fictionalised episodes) has a fantastic love story/triangle as well.

I read BEN HUR at least three times. I love it. In the same genre a great novel about the early Christians is QUO VADIS? by Hendryk Siencewicz(Spelling?)

I have the book Ben Hur and video also Quo Vadis.
Saw Ben Hur in 1960 in Omaha. Every time I watch that video I pick up something else. Took me awhile to see the water connection throughout.

GWTW and “Green Dolphin Street”.

Gone With the Wind
The Forsyte Saga
Jane Eyre

Swooooon!!! :o :rolleyes:


What drama and romance! Ah!


Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago… I am enjoying it tremendously at the moment.

John Galsworthy. :nerd: I’ve only ever seen bits of a TV adaptation, but it seems good. I must remember to put that on my ‘to read’ list.

Another one that I just thought of is ‘Anna Karenina’, by Leo Tolstoy. There are a lot of good Russian ones - ‘Eugene Onegin’ (it’s poetry but the story is great), ‘War and Peace’ …

Right you are!!! The Masterpiece Theatre version is outstanding!!! This is one instance where I am glad I watched it before I read it. There are a LOT of charicters, and being able to put actual faces with the names really helped keep it all straight. And it was so perfectly cast that I didn’t mind it a bit, it was not a spoiler to the book at all.

Just so you know - to purchase the entire series on new DVDs is well over $80.


True confession from Cat–I am just not as “literary” as some of you.

When I think of “romantic epic novel,” I think of curling up in a big comfy chair with a bag of something yummy (in my case, Cheetoes Puffs), with classical guitar music playing in the background, and losing myself as the heroine is swept up in adventures that take her all over the world in search of her true love. When I close the book, I’d better be sighing and maybe even crying! And the first thing I do is go online and look to see if there’s a sequel.

*Gone With The Wind *is definitely a standout in the genre.

If you haven’t read it, run to the store and buy Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. It’s extremely well-written, a literary triumph; I read at least one review that said “Pulitzer Prize material,” and I agree. It’s set in the world of the circus, and it’s gritty in places, including a masturbation scene. But I and my two daughters all loved the novel anyway, and after all, the world IS gritty. My older daughter read it at Barnes and Nobles, and sat and cried when she finished reading it, and people came up to her and asked if she was OK, and she showed them the novel, and they said that they had cried, too, when they read it. I cried. I want to see a MOVIE made from this novel!

ANYTHING by Victoria Holt!! These are the perfect romance novels because they aren’t “soft porn.” They are well-written, with good plots and strong characters, a little bit of history or culture, and the romance is passionate and stirring without titillating sex scenes.

I like a wonderful novel called Song of the Black Witch by Elisabeth Barr. Here is a link (to Ebay-sorry!): I’ve read it dozens of times, and it gets better with every reading. Set in Wales, and takes you from the depths of poverty in the mining communities to the heights of wealth in the minister’s house. The heroine really does sing, but she’s definitely not a witch–that’s just what all her enemies call her. I wish there were a sequel.

I also like a novel called Mavreen by Claire Lorrimer. There are two sequels, but they are awful–very depressing. But the opening novel in the trilogy is so much fun–the heroine travels all over the world in search of Gerard, her lover. Just a little spicy in places, and the sex is extra-marital, so not something to read to the daughters.

One classic old-fashioned romance is the epic poem, “Evangeline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It’s also a very Catholic poem. I really recommend it; it made my husband cry. Our daughter is named after the heroine. I would like to see a really good screenplay of this poem. This IS a good story to read to the daughters, and the sons.

And–I know this will sound terribly snotty and horn-tooting!–I have written a six-novel series for young teens that includes a wonderful epic romance between the adult characters. I personally love this epic! The hero spends three years wooing and almost losing and then winning and then losing and coming close to getting killed (several times) and then finally winning–we think–the woman he loves, against the backdrop of the ice skating rink and the world of synchronized skating.

There are also lots of “side romances” with all the other characters, including the teen characters, and several weddings and babies and a funeral and parties and travels and of course, lots and lots of skating. There’s even a “rich family who lives in a mansion up on the hill,” the classic formula for soap opera success! The novels take place in locations like North Carolina, Paris, Hollywood, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.

Two of the novels are out, the third will be out this summer. So far, many of my “fans,” especially the adults who read them, write and tell me that they have a major crush on the hero! (He’s impossibly cool and very Catholic–the best kind of hero!)

Re the Forsyte Sage and John Galsworthy:

Just a couple of ‘tweaks’ here. One: The public TV production that many of us remember was not part of Masterpiece Theatre. (It was actually broadcast first in 1969. Masterpiece Theatre was not yet a part of PBS at that time. Masterpiece Theater DID present a ‘remake’ of the Forsyte Saga in 2003-2004 though. No where near as good. And for the truly ‘wonky’ of us, there was a 1940s movie based on the first book alone, called “That Forsyte Woman” which mished up the storyline. Avoid it.

Two: John Galsworthy produced a Trilogy about the Forsyte Family. (He also wrote a book of short stories about some of the family members that casts some interesting sidelights onto some of the characters such as George, and Euphemia). The first book was “The Forsyte Saga” (and it in turn was composed of ‘books’, notably “The Man of Property” and “To Let”, “Indian Summer of a Forsyte”, etc.

The second book of the Trilogy was “A Modern Comedy.”

The serial of the Forsyte Saga actually incorporates elements of those two books together. The end of the Forsyte Saga (book) has Jon and Irene leaving for Canada and Fleur deciding to marry Michael Mont. In A Modern Comedy (books include “The White Monkey” and “The Silver Spoon”) we see Fleur’s young married life, and her meeting Jon (who has since married an American, Anne), their one-time tryst of passion, Jon’s subsequent final rejection of Fleur, Fleur’s despair which leads to her accidentally setting her father’s paintings gallery on fire and nearly being killed, but Soames saves her though ultimately dying of injuries he received in doing so. . .in the end, Soames and Fleur realize how much each meant to the other; Soames dies happy (finally ‘loved’), Fleur’s passion for Jon has been completely replaced by a determination to ‘carry on’ as her father had wished, and she (already a mother of a 2 year old son Kit) goes on with Michael to have a daughter, Kat).

The third book of the Trilogy is “End of the Chapter” (includes books “Maid in Waiting”, “Flowering Wilderness” and “One More River” and deals only peripherally at times with Fleur. The heroine of this part is Dinny Cherwell, a connection of Michael’s family; her awakening to love of Wilfred (one time would be lover of Fleur’s and best friend to Michael), their tragic separation, his ultimate death and her finding love and fulfilment at last.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit