Like every year, the 14th of February saw lovelorn lads and ladies flinging their pennies at saccharine greeting cards. Meanwhile, World Book Day saw Sixth Formers at my school adorning themselves with fairy wings and glitter in a celebration of true literature (i.e the Rainbow Magic series from our childhoods).
With the two holidays almost coinciding, I was reminded of a languages trip to the city of Barcelona, which celebrates St George’s Day every April with boys traditionally giving roses to girls, and girls giving books to boys. What better way to marry Valentine’s Day with World Book Day than by combining these traditions and looking to your favourite books for tips for your love life?
Gone are the days of bribing someone for their affection with overpriced chocolate! Gone are the days of waiting for your beloved’s bitmoji to pop up and the slightly pathetic attempts to slide into a suitor’s DMs! No longer shall men brand women convoluted and difficult to understand! I present to you, ‘How to woo a lady in 8 easy steps’ according to iconic books and plays:
1. Dress up as an old gypsy woman in an attempt to get your crush to confess their feelings for you. Lock up your mad wife in the attic, there’s no need to bother your fiancée with that information just yet. Bigamy is chill as long as she doesn’t find out.
2. Dance reluctantly, maintaining a surly persona. (A) Insult her looks, (B) malign her family and social position then (C) ardently declare your love. Extra points if you have a nice house.
3. Stab her cousin. This seems like a good idea at the time.
4. Stab her father. This will never not work.
5. Idealise her beyond belief…but if she brings up actual feelings, change the conversation to cows.
6. Break and enter through her window to watch her slumber. Tell her that you sparkle. Say things like ‘this is the skin of a killer.’ So brooding. So appealing.
7. After your numerous advances are inevitably rejected, marry her sister.
8. Leave her with a baby and die of shame very publicly.
Bonus advice: location is key!
For an romantic ambience, date in graveyards. This is exactly what Mary Shelley did in order to to liaise secretly with Percy Shelley. And because that’s not extra enough, they met each time by the gravestone of her dead mother. Swoon.
1. [‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte]
2. [‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen]
3. [‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare]
4. [‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare]
5. [Levin in ‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy]
6. [‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer. NB: Twilight doesn’t count as literature, it just has messed up relationships]
7. [‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott]
8. [‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne]