7. Sense and Sensibility: Sisters and soul mates.
Another Jane Austen classic from 1811, this love story focuses around the Dashwood sisters – Elinor and Marianne. When their father dies, they lose their family estate and are reduced to a life of poverty. The story follows the sisters as they move in with a distant relative, leading them to equal parts heartache and romance.
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Fun Fact: In Ang Lee's 1995 remake of Sense and Sensibility, there are six actors who went on to play parts in the Harry Potter films: Emma Thompson (Sybil Trelawney), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey), Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge), Elizabeth Spriggs (The Fat Lady) and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge).
8. Dangerous Liaisons: Les Liaisons dangereuses is a novel composed of letters.
The classic eighteenth-century novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos is the ultimate dark tale of lust, greed, deception and romance, featuring the Marquise de Merteuil, who requests that her partner, the Vicomte de Valmont, seduce the young daughter of her cousin. Meanwhile, young Cecile has the hots for her teacher, Chevalier Danceny. Love affairs, deception and lies aplenty unfold.
Fun Fact: The 1999 cult movie hit Cruel Intentions was a modern adaptation of the novel Dangerous Liaisons.
9. Pride and Prejudice: A literary game of cat and mouse, widely known as Jane Austen’s most famous novel.
Charles Bingley is new to town and has leased an estate with his sisters and close friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. Named a "catch" by all the single ladies in town (due to surprise . . . his looks and money), Darcy is also known as snob. Neighbor Elizabeth Bennet finds herself repulsed by Darcy’s ego. The resulting pas de deux between the feisty twosome makes for a quite a page-turner.
Fun Fact: Helen Fielding’s book Bridget Jones's Diary was inspired by Pride and Prejudice.
10. Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame: Oh Quasimodo!
Victor Hugo’s story, set in Paris in 1482, centers around Norte Dame cathedral. In this "true love comes from within" story, Gypsy dancer Esmeralda is longed for by Quasimodo, Notre Dame's kind-hearted but deformed bellringer. Upon order of Archdeacon Frollo, Quasimodo attempts to kidnap Esmeralda, but is caught. Standing trial, Quasimodo is humiliated by the public and his victim Esmeralda has pity on him. Soon after Esmeralda is blackmailed and sentenced to death for the murder of her crush Phoebus. On her sentencing day, Esmeralda is saved from death by her dear Quasimodo. But can true love overcome her distaste for his looks?
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Fun Fact: Hunchback of Notre Dame has been adpated to the screen numerous times and cast two famous Anthonys in the leading Quasimodo role - Anthony Quinn in 1956 and Anthony Hopkins in 1982.