My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose…

…a Valentine post…

Not every great love is romantic in nature, so today I thought I’d send my Valentines to people, real or fictional, whose varied kinds of love have entertained and moved me over the years.

heart-and-roses* * * * *

Matthew and Anne
Anne of Green Gables

When shy Matthew Cuthbert goes to pick up a boy from the orphanage only to discover they’ve sent a skinny, red-haired little girl instead, he decides to leave it up to his sister Marilla to break the news to the child that she’ll have to go back. But during the drive home, little Anne chats brightly about her past and her imaginative impressions of this new place she’s found herself in, and by the time they reach Green Gables, Matthew has discovered he kinda likes having her around…

Matthew, much to his own surprise, was enjoying himself. Like most quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were willing to do the talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it.

Matthew soon becomes one of the pivotal people in Anne’s life, offering her support and admiration such as she has never known in her lonely life, and under his kind treatment she blossoms. Although Matthew doesn’t speak often, he has one of the most sob-worthy lines in the book…

“Well now, I’d rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne,’ said Matthew patting her hand. ‘Just mind you that – rather than a dozen boys. Well now, I guess it wasn’t a boy that took the Avery scholarship, was it? It was a girl – my girl – my girl that I’m proud of.”


* * * * *

Holmes and Watson
The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

Watson wears his deep love for his friend on his sleeve, but it’s not often Holmes shows his feelings. So it’s all the more affecting when he does…

…I broke through that cloud of despair and had a glimpse of Holmes’s face, white, rigid, and drawn with horror – the very look which I had seen upon the features of the dead. It was that vision which gave me an instant of sanity and of strength. I dashed from my chair, threw my arms round Holmes, and together we lurched through the door, and an instant afterwards had thrown ourselves down upon the grass plot and were lying side by side, conscious only of the glorious sunshine which was bursting its way through the hellish cloud of terror which had girt us in.

“Upon my word, Watson!” said Holmes at last with an unsteady voice, “I owe you both my thanks and an apology. It was an unjustifiable experiment even for one’s self, and doubly so for a friend. I am really very sorry.”

“You know,” I answered with some emotion, for I have never seen so much of Holmes’s heart before, “that it is my greatest joy and privilege to help you.”


* * * * *

Alexander the Great and Bucephalus

When the great horse Bucephalus was offered for sale to Philip of Macedonia, the price seemed too high for a beast that no one had been able to tame. But Philip’s young son Alexander greatly admired the massive, black horse with a white star on his forehead. He made a wager with the owner that if he could ride the horse, the price would be waived. Alexander guessed that the horse was spooked by his own shadow, so turned Bucephalus’s face to the sun, and the horse allowed him to mount. From that moment they were inseparable companions until Bucephalus died many years later at the Battle of the Hydaspes. As a tribute to his great and loyal friend, Alexander founded a town and named it Bucephala.

(I was so in love with this story as a child that, when I finally persuaded my parents to let me have a puppy, I wanted to call him Bucephalus. My brother wanted to call him Hercules. My dad put his foot down, and the puppy became Sandy. He was a miniature poodle. Perhaps Dad was right… 😉 )

'Alexander taming Bucephalus' statue by 19thC Scottish sculptor, John Steell, at Edinburgh City Chambers, Edinburgh, Scotland
‘Alexander taming Bucephalus’ statue by 19thC Scottish sculptor, John Steell, at Edinburgh City Chambers, Edinburgh, Scotland

* * * * *

Scarlett O’Hara and Tara
Gone with the Wind

Husbands may come and go in Scarlett’s life, but her father taught her early to love their land – Tara…

Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.

She learns her lesson well…

I can’t let Tara go. I won’t let it go while there’s a breath left in my body.

Even Rhett comes second…

Tara! Home. I’ll go home. And I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all… tomorrow is another day…

Personally, I prefer Rhett...
Personally, I’m not convinced she got her priorities right…

* * * * *

Lizzie and Jane
Pride and Prejudice

Long before Lizzie meets Darcy, she has another love in her life – her beloved sister Jane, whom she admires even while laughing at her just a little…

“But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person.”

“Dear Lizzy!”

“Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life.”

“I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I think.”

“I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enough — one meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or design — to take the good of everybody’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad — belongs to you alone.”

Oh, for goodness sake! It's Jane and Lizzie, okay? It's NOT a gratuitous Darcy pic!
Oh, for goodness sake! It’s Jane and Lizzie, okay? It’s NOT a gratuitous Darcy pic!

* * * * * *


51 thoughts on “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose…

  1. That excerpt from Holmes there could bring a tear to a glass eye! And I love that you wanted to call your puppy Bucephalus – a fine name for a poodle! What a shame you were out-voted, but perhaps your father was only being sensible. Now, this is a very romantic start to the day. My only chance of romance is a quick peace treaty with Boris and Nigel, but things could be worse… 😉
    Happy Valentines, my lovely friend!

    • Dear old Watson – he’s so sweet! Haha! My Dad said that if I thought he was going to stand outside in a housing estate in Glasgow shouting “Here, Bucephalus! Here, boy!” I had another think coming! I do see his point… 😉

      Haha! Well, I have no chance of romance, which I still think sounds better than yours! 😉 Happy Valentine’s, my dear!

  2. Ah, a fine reminder that the greatest loves of all are not necessarily the obvious romantic ones! I was never much of one for Valentine’s Day (I felt people should show they care about each other on more than 1 commercially-fuelled day a year, but I guess this was interpreted as meaning ‘not even on that one day, so never’). So today I dare say I will be reigniting my ‘passion’ for the French tax office…

    • Ah, yes, I think Valentine’s Day is much more fun when we leave the romance (and the cards) out of it! Haha! The nearest I’ll get to passion today is when I give Tommy his cat treats… 😉

      • TEENSY????!!!!

        Joking aside (and leaving aside the greeting card manufacturers trying to get us to send cards to everyone including a pet parrot, there does seem to be an idea of ‘a wider love’ floating around at the moment. I lightheartedly assumed, a friend away for a couple of days, with wife, was having a Romantic Time, and wished them HV Day – it turns out, they are on a mission of another kind of manifestation of love – trying to sort out care for the ageing parent of one, but, as was pointed out (it warmed the uncommercial cockles of my heart) this actually was, also, an act of love and fell within the true spirit of the day. Something which your lovely post is also indicating

        Oh…….and the thought occurred to me that your father might also have been bringing loving harmony and compromise in dog naming. Sandy being an abbreviation for Alexander – and ALSO, in that rabble rousing song The British Grenadiers, there is the recounting of various classical heroes, and paired together comes the line ‘Of Hector and LYSANDER and such great names as these. So………..’Sandy’ means both you and bro got the name of the other connected personage to your chosen name. Wise Pa!!!!

      • Drat. Hercules, not Hector. May P wasn’t quite as fabulously diplomatic as I thought, but gave little FF a connection to her horse, nonetheless, with Sandy. But, if it was a horse you were after, you could just have called Sandy (a reddish colour?) Red Rum, and been done with it

          • Hahahaha! Well, my Dad would undoubtedly have been thrilled to discover how intellectual and well read he clearly was without realising it! Sandy was a champagne poodle with apricot ears – doesn’t that sound so glamorous and posh?? Didn’t stop him rolling in elephant dung while out on a walk where a circus had just been… he never seemed to understand that he was a Greek hero, little pleb! Proving that poodles only turn out poodly if people make them be…

  3. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, FictionFan. And thanks for the reminder that love and attachment can take many forms. It’s not always about romance at all. And those deep attachments can really fuel and sustain us. What a great post.

    • Haha! I could add a section “Kay and Chocolate” but I fear it could lead to jealousy, resentment and downright spitefulness! Mainly from me… 😉

      Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  4. Nicely done and some of my great favourites too, especially Anne. I do think your Dad was right about the name of the miniature poodle, Hercules may have been a little overwhelming! On a final point, I’m not sure whether you’re being entirely honest about the last pic although that did show admirable constraint! 😉

    • Thanks, Cleo – glad you enjoyed it! I loved that line from Matthew – still makes me gulp a bit! Haha! Yes, now that I’m a LITTLE older, I do see my Dad’s point, but I thought he was a real spoilsport at the time… 😉 Now, look here, I did everything I could to keep that man out, but is it my fault that’s the only pic I could find of Lizzie and Jane?!?!?

  5. Mathew is such a dear. I loved the book Gone with the wind. I would love to re read it at some point of time. I can still remember how strongly Scarlett loved Tara. Lizzie and Jane are surely forever. I really liked this post. It is something new. 🙂

    • I think I love Matthew even more than Gilbert. I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read Gone with the Wind, but I’ve seen the film a million times, so I guess I must love it too! And I love Lizzie and Jane’s relationship – they’re so different and yet couldn’t be closer. Aw, thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  6. Aw, such a sweet post for Valentine’s Day, FF!! I especially love Gone with the Wind — Scarlett’s fiery Irish papa spoke the truth when he praised the land. People might let you down on occasion, but the land is forever. And yes, your dad was onto something when he insisted on a more “callable” name for your puppy! Happy Valentine’s Day to you — ’tis a perfect excuse to have some chocolate (as if we needed an excuse, ha!)

  7. Great post, especially the unexpected couplings 🙂 Even if it didn’t make the post, I hope chocolate features for you somewhere on this Valentine’s Day 🙂

    • Haha! Glad you enjoyed it – and not a love triangle in sight! I don’t know how he managed to sneak in – I was so determined to keep him out this time. I think he must be stalking me… *swoons*

  8. What a great post! How refreshing. And, as I’m sure you know, I’m very happy to see Anne and Matthew on this list. 🙂
    I have to say, though, that Darcy looks a bit grouchy in that picture…
    Happy V-Day to you!

  9. Aw, I love that you included Matthew and Anne, such a wonderful relationship! And I laughed at the idea of naming a mini poodle Bucephalus. Though my brother and I named our dog after Julius Caesar so I can sympathize!

    • I think I love Matthew at least as much as I love Gilbert! Haha! I hope your dog was a bit bigger than ours, then! But since we nearly always called Sandy “Sausage” anyway, I’m not sure Dad really won… 😉

        • I’m very hopeful, because I already know I love the story from the film (even if it’s a bit different in places) and so many people have mentioned how much they loved her writing. Ha! Epic is right though – it’s the length that’s making it so difficult for me to fit it in amongst all these pesky review books…

  10. Thank goodness Dad put his foot down – Sandy would have got many fewre walks from me if I had had to shout “Bucephalus, get out of that puddle/mud/ putrifying matter! 🙂

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