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Literary men we love

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Some of the most attractive men in history are found on the pages of great books - and come alive only in the imagination of their readers. In this gallery, Stylist invites you to curl-up with 35 of the most irresistible literary males. Swoon over Bronte's Byronic hero Heathcliff, Homer's fearsome Achilles, and charismatic rebels like Catch-22's Yossarian, revel in the inappropriate allure of intelligent killers like Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov and Shakespeare's Hamlet, and be seduced by the arrogant charms of the likes of Rhett Butler, the intelligence of Sherlock Holmes, the gruff swashbuckling Richard Sharpe, and the dangerous but delicious Edward Cullen.

Click an image below to open the gallery, then let us know which literary man you adore on Twitter.

Words: Anna Pollitt

  • Fitzwilliam Darcy

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Key quote: "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever."

  • James Bond

    Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

    Key quote: "A Dry Martini. One. In a deep champagne goblet... Three measures of Gordons, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemonpeel. Got it?"

  • Mark Antony

    Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

    Key quote: "There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd."

  • George Emerson

    A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

    Key quote: “It is fate that I am here but you can call it Italy if it makes you less unhappy.”

  • Giacomo Casanova

    History of my Life by Giacomo Casanova

    Key quote: “As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it.”

  • John Yossarian

    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Key quote: "Why, you evil-eyed, mechanically-aptituded, disaffiliated son of a bitch, did you walk around with anything in your cheeks?"

  • Edmond Dantès

    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    Key quote: "I, who have also been betrayed, assassinated and cast into a tomb, I have emerged from that tomb by the grace of God and I owe it to God to take my revenge. He sent me for that purpose. Here I am."

  • Prince Charming

    Cinderella by the Grimm brothers

    Key quote: "No one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits."

  • Rodion Raskolnikov

    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Key quote: "Power is given only to him who dates to stoop and take it ... one must have the courage to dare."

  • Tom Jones

    The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling, by Henry Fielding

    Key quote: "Can I think of soliciting such a creature to consent to her own ruin? Shall I indulge any passion of mine at such a price? Shall I lurk about this country like a thief, with such intentions? - No, I disdain, I detest the thought. Farewell, Sophia; farewell, most lovely, most beloved."

  • Rhett Butler

    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Key quote: "You need kissing badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. All your beaux have respected you too much, though God knows why, or they have been too afraid of you to really do right by you. The result is that you are unendurably uppity. You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.”

  • Edward Fairfax Rochester

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Key quote: "I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not - did not strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing."

  • Prince Hamlet

    Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    Key quote: "To be or not to be-that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them."

  • Heathcliff

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    Key quote: "If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years, as I could in a day."

  • Captain Frederick Wentworth

    Persuasion by Jane Austen

    Key quote: "A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not."

  • Achilles

    The Iliad by Homer

    Key quote: "Are Atreus' sons the only men who love their wives?"

  • Oliver Mellors

    Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

    Key quote: "Well, so many words, because I can't touch you. If I could sleep with my arms around you, the ink could stay in the bottle."

  • Sir Lancelot

    The Lady of Shalot by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Key quote: "She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott."

  • Theodore "Laurie" Laurence

    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    Key quote: "I worked hard to please you, and I gave up billiards and everything you didn't like, and waited and never complained, for I hoped you'd love me, though I'm not half good enough."

  • Will Ladislaw

    Middlemarch by George Eliot

    Key quote: "Now you will go and be shut up in that stone prison at Lowick: you will be buried alive. It makes me savage to think of it! I would rather never have seen you than think of you with such a prospect."

  • Julien Sorel

    The Red and the Black by Stendhal

    Key quote: "Amid the most lofty thoughts about annihilation, death, the infinite, etc., I can see no reality save a shocking fear of ridicule."

  • John Thornton

    North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

    Key quote: "Oh! Margaret, could you not have loved me? I am but uncouth and hard, but I would never have led you into any falsehood for me."

  • Jay Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Key quote: "I keep it always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people."

  • Henry Tilney

    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

    Key quote: "Now I must give you one smirk, then we can be rational again."

  • Eugene Wrayburn

    Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

    Key quote: "I said that I would find her out by any means, fair or foul. These are foul, and I'll take them."

  • Romeo Montague

    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

    Key quote: "Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again."

  • Sydney Carton

    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    Key quote: "For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you."

  • Sherlock Holmes

    The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Key quote: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

  • Horatio Hornblower

    Horatio Hornblower series by C. S. Forester.

    Key quote: ""My respects to Sir Edward and I shall condescend to make a brief appearance.""

  • Howard Roark

    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

    Key quote: "I've given you not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me. If you married me now, I would become your whole existence. But I would not want you then. You would not want yourself-and so you would not love me long. To say 'I love you' one must first know how to say the 'I'."

  • Major Richard Sharpe

    Sharpe's Rifles by Bernard Cornwell

    Key quote: "Lovers keep secrets from each other, yet they still make love."

  • Stephen Dedalus

    Ulysses by James Joyce

    Key quote: "A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery."

  • Vicomte de Valmont

    The Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos

    Key quote: "One has lived long enough if one has had time to win the love of women and the esteem of men."

  • Edward Cullen

    Breaking Dawn: The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

    Key quote: "No measure of time with you will be long enough. But let's start with forever."

  • Jean Valjean

    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

    Key quote: "My name is Jean Valjean. I am a convict from the galleys."

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