Instead of running through a list of the most beloved couples in literary history, this Valentine’s Day we decided to create a ‘what if’ list of potentially awful blind dates utilizing some of those same characters.
Romeo, the eternal romantic, and the fickle, tempestuous Scarlett would be a mismatch of epic proportions. Scarlett will live to love again and again and again. Alas for poor Romeo, “tomorrow is not another day.”
Left: The Death of Romeo (chromolitho), Deveria, Achille (1800-57) and Louis Boulanger (1800-67) / Private Collection Right: llustration (colour litho), Gino D’Achille (1935-2017) / Private Collection
This is perhaps our favorite match-up from hell. Imagine if you will the young and beautiful Snow White, who sings to the forest animals and who gives of herself to help the seven dwarfs, spending time with the crotchety, miserly, grumpy Ebenezer. This is not a match made in heaven.
Another romantic soul, poor Odysseus is willing to fend off sirens for twenty years in order to be finally reunited with his beloved. Anna Karenina would never love Odysseus as much as he loved her. The perpetually self-centered Anna is too distracted by a mess of her own making to love that deeply.
Left: Odysseus, study for the Apotheosis of Homer, c.1850 (oil on canvas), Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) / Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France Right: Anna Karenina, 1904 (oil on canvas), Heinrich Matvejevich Maniser (1847-1925) / Regional M. Vrubel Art Museum, Omsk
If you had been anointed by Aphrodite as the most beautiful woman in existence, you’d probably get a big head too. Helen is the most sought after bride in the ancient world and although Hugo’s protagonist is kind-hearted and heroic, the homely protagonist would not be Helen’s or her celestial parent’s first choice in a suitor.