The Most Famous Love Stories of All Time

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The Most Famous Love Stories of All Time

What are the most famous love stories of all time? I don’t mean the stories you see in gossip rags in the checkout aisle of your local grocery store. I’m talking about love stories that transcend time and generations. Here are a few of my favorite ones, that are almost mythological through a modern lens.

Helen and Paris

famous love stories
Imagine loving someone so much you start a massive war to win their hand.

One of the most famous love stories that transcend time has to come in the form of Helen of Troy and Paris. You’ve heard the story before, a great love that spanned seas and started a war for the most beautiful woman in the world. The myth itself might be apocryphal, but you have to admire the scope of it.

Cleopatra and Marc Antony

famous love stories
This is one union that has been immortalized through the ages.

Cleopatra and Marc Antony is a relationship that has had its mythology emerge in the centuries since. While it may have been a political union, the lovers died together embroiled in a war with Rome. Octavian may not have been pleased with the lovers, but William Shakespeare immortalized them.

John and Abigail Adams

famous love stories
John and Abigail Adams are one of the model couples out of early American politics.

All of the Founding Fathers took wives, as was the custom for the day. Few experienced a union as joyous and bountiful as John and Abigail Adams. The second President and his first lady were tender with one another, in what amounts to one of the most famous love stories in the United States. The pair exchanged more than 1000 letters over their lifetimes.

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

famous love stories
Stein and Toklas were happily together, despite the contentious marriages of their peers.

The Lost Generation spawned many mythological authors. Stalwarts like F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway are constant fixtures on school reading lists. However, the leader of the collective, Gertrude Stein has one of the most famous love stories to come out of the era. She spent nearly 40 years with Alice Toklas, living in utter bliss despite the turmoil of the times.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

Kahlo and Rivera
Rivera and Kahlo had an explosive relationship that lasted 27 years.

Some of the most famous love stories you’ll see are tumultuous and unstable. Unbridled passion and gigantic personalities rule the day. For Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, it may have been volatile but it was 27 years of utter bliss. Kahlo once remarked, “You deserve a lover who listens when you sing.”

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Cash and Carter
While it was Cash’s second marriage, they were together until Carter’s death.

The first couple of country music, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, married in 1968. It is one of the most famous love stories of the 20th century for their stability, tenderness, and devotion to one another. They stay married until June’s death, with Johnny following not long after.

Dante and Beatrice

Dante and Beatrice
Dante would never win Beatrice’s hand in marriage, but she made a lasting mark on the poet.

Sometimes, the most famous love stories aren’t about happy endings. Poet Dante Alighieri is famous for his Divine Comedy but keen readers know the name Beatrice. Beatrice was indeed a real person and someone Dante carried a deep unrequited love over. She died young, at 24 years of age. Still, she left a mark on Dante, who immortalized her in his famous work.

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