Take Ten – Famous Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Today, couples around the world will take time to express their (hopefully, loving) feelings with cards, candy, and carnations (or carats, if you’re lucky!). A completely ordinary day to celebrate love; but there are a few famous couples who seem to have transcended time with their declarations of devotion. Below are ten biographies of real couples whose stories have caught the world’s imagination throughout the years.


Couple: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Book: Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death that Changed the British Monarchy – Helen Rappaport

  • Uses Royal Archives sources to examine how the untimely death of Prince Albert plunged both his queen and the nation into a profound state of grief that reshaped the British monarchy.


Couple: John and Abigail Adams

Book: First Family: Abigail and John – Joseph J. Ellis

  • Bringing his talents for narrative writing to the task, Ellis recounts the compelling relationship that included an awkward courtship and a life of sacrifice along with raising a family and constructing a legacy.


Couple: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Book: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century – Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

  • The definitive, larger-than-life account of the greatest Hollywood love story ever — the romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.


Couple: Elizabeth Barret and Robert Browning

Book: The Immortal Lovers: Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, A Biography – Frances Winwar

  • Traces the story of the courtship and marriage of the two extraordinary Nineteenth-Century poets.


Couple: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Book: Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend – Paul Schneider

  • Traces the background and criminal careers of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of America’s most notorious outlaws and devoted lovers who became partners in a series of violent bank robberies at the height of the Depression.


Couple: George Burns and Gracie Allen

Book: Gracie, A Love Story – George Burns

  • Burns pays tribute to his partner, wife, and love of many decades, contrasting the zany, scatterbrained radio person she presented with her private self–an intelligent, caring, and devoted actress, wife, and mother.


Couple: Antony and Cleopatra

Book: Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World – Diana Preston

  • Evaluates the relationship between the two leaders of the ancient world against the backdrop of their time, exploring the facts and mythology surrounding their individual lives and famous love affair as they influenced the rise of the Roman Empire.


Couple: Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt

Book: Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage – Hazel Rowley

  • Describes the remarkable courage and lack of convention–private and public–that kept FDR and Eleanor together. She reveals a partnership that was both supportive and daring–a partnership that they created according to their own ambitions and needs.


Couple: Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

Book: Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937: The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Duchess of Windsor

  • Describes the historical background for the romance and marriage between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, and shares the letters they exchanged between their meeting and marriage.


Couple: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller

Book: The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe – Jeffrey Meyers

  • Presents a look at the marriage of the American playwright and the movie star, discussing their different backgrounds, creative needs, dependency issues, and career conflicts which led to their divorce after five tumultuous years.


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