Beautiful and subtle literary tattoos to reference your favourite books

Posted by
Penelope Travers
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Getting a tattoo is high on a lot of people's wishlist, but when it comes to it, the tricky bit is deciding just what to get an inking of. Let's face it, dolphins and 90s-style barbed wire have given body ink a bit of a bad rep.

But a new wave of literary-inspired tattoos is proving you can be a bit creative without ending up with a garish design. Tattoo artists the world over are being asked to immortalise their clients' favourite novels, poems and fairytales, be it with a quote or a symbol, and the results are surprisingly minimalist and stylish.

From The Notebook's most memorable line to Harry Potter's spectacles and Mr Darcy's hat, be prepared to be seriously inspired.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tattoo

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tattoo

  • Hamlet tattoo

    “This above all, to thine own self be true”.

    Via Pinterest

  • Ink and quill tattoo

  • The Great Gatsby tattoo

  • Alice in Wonderland quote tattoo

  • Pride & Prejudice “I declare” tattoo

  • Harry Potter stars tattoo

  • To Kill A Mockingbird tattoo

  • Harry Potter spectacles and scar tattoo

  • The Little Prince tattoo

  • Les Misérables tattoo

    A reference to Jean Valjean's prisoner number.

    Via Pinterest

  • On the Origin of Species tattoo

  • Peter Rabbit tattoo

  • Still I Rise (Maya Angelou) tattoo

  • The Notebook tattoo

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Penelope Travers

Penny Travers is a freelance writer covering anything from beauty and fashion to travel and lifestyle. She has a penchant for cheese, karaoke and shoes. Not necessarily in that order.