Top 10 famous love stories in history

Love stories are easy to find in movies and literature. Amongst all of the stories of romance and lovers, Romeo and Juliet is the most famous one. The love between them is considered to be the purest and the most impactful.

Most of the love stories that are considered famous have a tragic end to it, and almost all the lovers had to fight for their love.

Despite the rough situation, the lovers stay together and fight for their togetherness until the end, which shows that true love is stronger than everything else in the world.

Other love stories like Shah Jahan-Mumtaz Mahal, Cleopatra-Mark Anthony, and John – Abigail Adams, are also well-known for inspiring people then and now. 

Here is the list of 10 most famous love stories in the history with details.  

10. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony

Cleopatra and Mark Anthony love story

Cleopatra was an ambitious, energetic, spiritual, intelligent last queen of the dynasty, Egypt. It was founded on the death of Alexander the Great. Mark Anthony was courageous and a blunt soldier who had received the government of the East and West part of the Roman world.

After the death of Julius Caesar, Mark – cousin of Caesar, suspected Cleopatra of the foul play in Caesar’s murder and asked her to come forward and explain the whole incident. 

When she came to explain, instead of punishing her for her ill deed, he fell for her immediately, and that’s when their love story began, and they got married.

With the beginning of their intriguing, memorable, and moving love story, Egypt came in a dominant position which outraged the Romans who were against the powerful state of Egypt. 

The love story between these two is considered to be one of the most famous stories due to its tragic end. When the war was on, Mark got false news of Cleopatra’s death, and he committed suicide by stabbing himself. 

Later, when Cleopatra heard about Mark’s death, she killed herself by using the poison of a snake. Their dead bodies are buried together in an unknown location.

9. Paris and Helen

Paris and Helen love story

Paris, son of King and Queen of Troy – Priam and Hecuba, is also known as Alexander and Helen of Sparta is considerably the most beautiful woman in the world

The love story between the two started with Paris choosing Aphrodite as the fairest amongst the three goddesses Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera.

Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman – Helen, who was then married to King Menelaus. Paris immediately fell in love with Helen because of her beauty.

After a few years, Paris went to Sparta, abducted Helen and brought her to Troy which led to a massive war – The Trojan War when Menelaus assembled a vast Greek Army which attacked and destroyed Troy.

The love story of Paris and Helen is also one of the most famous stories due to its tragic end. With the destruction of Troy, Helen returns to Sparta with King Menelaus and lives there for the rest of her life.

8. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal love story

Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, was the intellectual emperor with impactful physique and Mumtaz originally named aa Arjumand Banu, was the daughter of a wealthy Persian nobleman.

The love story between the two began when they got married and went on smooth until and after the death of Mumtaz. Mumtaz married Shah Jahan when she was 15 years old. 

Though she was not the only wife of Shah Jahan, she was able to impress him and become the favourite of all wives. They had a total of 14 children.

With the demise of Shah’s favourite wife, Mumtaz, he decided on building a monument for their love. The monument was named Taj Mahal, which became the most famous architectural masterpiece in history.

After a few years, Shah Jahan got ill and was overthrown by his eldest son. He then was kept under house arrest where he spent his time staring at the monument to his beloved wife until his death. His body was buried beside Mumtaz’s in Taj Mahal.

7. Lancelot and Guinevere

love story of Lancelot and Guinevere

Lancelot was one of the Knights of the Round Table and the greatest companion of King Arthur and Guinevere was a beautiful and noble queen.

The love story between these two is considered as one of the best-known stories of Arthurian Legend. The story began when Lancelot fell in love with the wife of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere. 

Despite their most memorable love affair, Guinevere tried to keep Lancelot away from her but not for long.

One night, when they were in their chamber together, King Arthur’s nephew – Agravain and Modred along with 12 knights burned down the chamber and the lovers.

Lancelot somehow managed to escape the fire, but unfortunately, Queen Guinevere was not so lucky, so she was stuck there, but after a few days, he returned again to rescue her and weakened King Arthur’s kingdom by dividing the Knights of the Round Table into two halves – Lancelot team and Arthur team.

Though he saved her from the evil plan, she turned into a nun and stayed at Amesbury till her death, and he was left to spend his remaining days as a lowly hermit until his death.

6. Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon and Josephine love story

Napoleon was a French military leader, and an emperor whereas Josephine was born in Martinique to a minor aristocrat. Her original name was Marie Josephe Rose Tasher de la Pagerie.

The love story between the two began when Napoleon saw Marie Josephe Rose at a party and fell in love with her instantly. He then asked her to change her name to Josephine as he did not like her original name.

When Napoleon proposed Josephine, she did not accept at first, but once she heard that he was after someone else, she accepted his proposal and married him.

Though they were married, Josephine kept on having extramarital affairs. Napoleon was out in Italy in a military mission, and he wrote many letters asking her to visit him but always found some excuses to not visit him.

She once told him that she was pregnant, but when they finally met, she lied about having a miscarriage.

After a few years, Napoleon found out about Josephine’s lies, and one lie that hurt him the most was when he found out that she was unable to bear a child.

He then told her that they would remain as a married couple, but his love for her is no more. After hearing that, Josephine decided on being a loyal wife, but still, he divorced her and married Marie Louise.

5. Anarkali and Salim

love story of Anarkali and Salim

Anarkali was originally from Iran but later migrated to Lahore, Punjab. She was a legendary slave girl. Salim was a spoilt and rude crown-Prince.

The love story between the two began when Salim saw Anarkali performing Mujra for the emperor Akbar. He fell in love with her grace and beauty immediately. 

Despite her fame in Lahore, Anarkali was still a maid and a dancer. She was not considered as of noble blood, so their relationship was an illicit one. After knowing about their relation, Akbar decided on arresting Anarkali and keeping her in one of the dungeons in Lahore.

When Salim came to know about Akbar’s plan, he declared a war against his father but could not defeat him due to his vast army. 

With the defeat, Salim was sentenced to death. When Anarkali comes to know about it, she tries to intervene and save Salim, but she too is entombed alive in a massive brick wall in front of his eyes. 

4. St. Valentine

St. Valentine

St. Valentine was a Christian priest of the 3rd Century. While the Roman Emperor, Claudius II Gothicus was against love and marriage of the army as he thought the only reason troops do not want to come back to work was the love towards their family.

Valentine was the one who supported love and got the armies married secretly before they went for war. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s deeds, he imprisoned him and ordered for his death.

While Valentine in prison, he fell in love with a blind girl – daughter of a jailer. One day before his execution, he wrote a letter to his romance with the ink squeezed from violets. The blind girl became able to see again by reading his message as his letter had real deep words.

St. Valentine is considered to be an influential figure for all the lovers and those in support of love and affection. He gave up his life for all those young couples whose feeling was buried by the Roman Emperor.

February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day to honour St.VAlentine and his deeds.

3. John and Abigail Adams

John and Abigail Adams love story

John Adams ( 1735 – 1826 ) born in Braintree was an American statesman, writer, attorney, and diplomat and Abigail (1744 – 1818 ) was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts as Abigail Smith and became Abigail Adams after marrying John Adams.

Though they had known each other from their childhood, their love story started only when they were in adulthood.

The story began when Abigail was 17 and John was 26 years old. After being in a relationship for about 2 years, they were married by Abigail’s father, who was the local pastor.

Abigail was interested in gaining knowledge, so she learned writing, reading, and knew about political issues, but she never got a chance to go to school. She always spoke her mind openly about equality issues.

Both the couple were deeply in love and supported each other in every way possible. Even though they had to live apart during the revolution period, they never stopped being in love.

They wrote letters to each other, which are famous till today. There are almost 1200 letters written over their lifetimes.

They stayed together only after Abigail Adams became the president. They remained on their old farm until Adams death. John died 8 years after Abigail’s death. They two are considered to be the best friends.

2. Tristan and Iseult

Tristan and Iseult love story

Tristan was a Cornish Knight, and Isuelt was the Irish Princess.

Their love story is considered to be an influential romance with a tragic end. Adulterous lovers began their love affair when Tristan’s uncle, King Mark of Cornwall sends him to escort Iseult back to Cornwall to marry him. 

Tristan falls in love at the very first sight, and the same happens with Isuelt. Despite their love, she marries his uncle, King Mark but continues an extramarital affair with Tristan.

When King Mark finds about the two, he bans his nephew, Tristan from Cornwall but spares Isuelt. After some time, Tristan falls sick and sends out a message to Isuelt. 

As Isuelt does not come to cure him despite his message, Tristan dies of despair. Later, when Isuelt finds about his death, she too dies of grief.

1. Romeo and Juliet

love story of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo Montague is the male protagonist for the tragedy of William Shakespeare, and Juliet Capulet is the only daughter of House of Capulet’s patriarch.

The relation between Romeo and Juliet is considered to be the most famous one in history, which ends with a tragic turn. The love affair between the two starts when the two see each other for the first time.

Despite being from two feuding families, they fell in love and got married, which led to massive bloodshed with the death of Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt. After Tybalt’s death, Romeo gets banished, and then Juliet fakes her death.

Somehow Romeo gets false news about Juliet’s death, and he kills himself in her tomb. Unfortunately, Juliet wakes up later and hears about the real incident which breaks her down and goes beside Romeo’s corpse and kills herself.

With the death of the lovers, both the families decide on ending the feud. 

Conclusion:

Most of the stories mentioned above are immortal which were able to set some examples for those who were in support of love and emotions.

Some of the other significant love stories with an impactful romance include the love stories of Eloise and Abelard, Orpheus and Eurydice, Layla and Majnun, Alexander I and Draga Masm, and Odysseus and Penelope.

All their stories made us realize, have faith, and respect love. Though most of the stories had a tragic end, they never fail to impress and influence the upcoming lovers with actual feelings.

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Cite this article as: Richard Marrison, "Top 10 famous love stories in history," in HistoryTen, March 12, 2020, https://historyten.com/people/top-famous-love-stories-in-history/.
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