Thu
Feb 9 2012 9:11am

Your First Literary Crush?

Christian Bale as Laurie in Little Women

Awhile back, we asked you Who Floats Your (Book) Boat?: The Book Character You’d Most Like to Sleep With and today, inspired by the recent postings of Disney heroes reimagined as hot hunks, we’d like to ask:

Who was your first literary crush? Was it Laurie from Little Women, or Tom Sawyer or bad boy Huck Finn? One of the Hardy Boys? Ned Nickerson, Nancy Drew’s boyfriend?

Who was the first fictional character to make you swoony?

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51 comments
Darlene Marshall
1. darlenemarshall
Oh, now we're going way,way back! My first literary crush was Sheftu, the mysterious and handsome Egyptian priest in Eloise Jarvis McGraw's Mara, Daughter of the Nile.

I was 12, he was hawt, and the book has held up over the years better than I have.[g] It's still in print, and I highly recommend this YA novel.

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2. crush
For me it was Leo Kovalensky in Rand's We The Living. Which probably explains a lot of my general problems, lol. I think I fell in love with him when I was thirteen or fourteen or so.

There have been so many since then, but you always remember your first crush.
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3. Deb Marlowe
Jim, Trixie Belden's red-headed boyfriend. Sigh.
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4. Mina Khan
Um, this is going to sound strange, but my first literary crush was Macbeth. I guess I have thing for tortured, tragic, dark anti-hero types :)
Vanessa Ouadi
5. Lafka
My, my, my, I've had so many literary crushes, how could I pick just one? lol!

Mh the first real crush I remember I've had (I started reading quite early, it's extremely possible that I had some crushes I don't remember) for a fictionnal character was probably D'Artagnan, in Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. I remember reading the book when I was around 9-10 years old, after seeing one of the many screen adaptations (I think it was the 1961 french version) where I was so impressed by D'Artagnan's good looks, sword skills and most of all quick wits. The novel didn't disappoint in the slightest, and I fell head over heels for this dashing Musketeer! *swoon*

He was soon replaced by Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief _ who himself was replaced by Julien Sorel _ who was replaced by Edmond Dantès _ who then was replaced by Mr Rochester (my first english-character crush!). And so many after them. When I tell you, I'm a literary strumpet, jajajaja.
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6. Samantha Kane
Do rabbits count? Bigwig from Richard Adams' Watership Down.
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7. Sandi Jones
Anton from Summer of my German Soldier. My teacher assigned that book in sixth grade. She created a monster! I've been hooked on romances ever since.
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8. Stella Price
Simon from The Silver Kiss. Yes, he was a vamp, and yes he was tortured... Everything an angsty young girl needed... I still read that book and revisit him *Sigh*
Megan Frampton
9. MFrampton
@SamanthaKane: "Do rabbits count?" Awesome!

All these books I've never read, some of which I've never heard of! I think one of mine was Athos, not Lafka's D'Artagnan, from Three Musketeers (even then I had a penchant for moody, tortured types).
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10. KateNagy
Calvin O'Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time, of course. So nice. So smart. So friendly. And he had red hair. And in later books he and Meg actually got married and had lots of sex and babies (seriously, didn't they have like seven kids?). SWOON.

Honorable mention: Rhys Thuryn, the brilliant, gentle Healer from Katherine Kurtz's Camber books. He was such a good egg. And also a redhead!

Honorable mention I'm a little embarrassed to admit: Jaxom from Anne McCaffrey's The White Dragon. Actually, I think I may have mostly been attracted to the cheekbones on the cover model, but dude, he flew a white dragon around town! All my friends were wild for Jaxom.
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11. CdnMrs
I loved Professor Bahr (sp?) from Little Women. He was European, educated, he let Jo talk and valued her opinion. He got Jo to realize her potential and got her book published. *swoon*
Vanessa Ouadi
12. Lafka
@mframpton : Just like you, there are so many books mentionned here I've never read or even heard of!

What strikes me is that is seems most of our first literary crushes were actually not from romance novels :-)
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13. Renee Williams Writes
Such a great question! I think I started young and woul have to say Almanzo Wilder. I loved and raced through all the Little House books. And I lobed the show. Dean Butler as Manly was fine then. I do still love a charmer.
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14. Jen G.
CdnMrs. -- Prof. Bhaer was my first literary crush too. Since I first saw the film version (the one with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor) as a child, I swoon at a good Eastern European accent.

I also love Gilbert Blythe. My best friend and I still substitute "looking for our Gilberts" for "looking for true love."
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15. Rae39
showing my scifi/fantasy start in literature -- F'lar from Dragonriders of Pern. Fierce, intelligent and willing to kick butt given the slightest excuse when it was deserved. He took a girl who had potential and made her a lady who ruled and challenged him when he deserved it...and he would, eventually, listen
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16. KTN
I'll cop to a Laurie crush too. Professor Bhaer seemed too old for Jo (read: me) and I always hated how dreadful Amy was rewarded with marriage to the swoonworthy Laurie. But stepping away from actual literature, how's this for embarrassing: I had a thing for Bruce Patman from Sweet Valley High. Gorgeous? Check. Rich? Check. Total snob and usually a jerk? Check. But I shipped him with good girl Elizabeth before I ever knew what shipping was.

Honestly, I've ALWAYS been a shipper. Even as a kid, I was less interested in a movie or book if it didn't have at least one romantic element. My brother and sister loved the adventure and comedy of Willow, but I was all about Val Kilmer hooking up with the daughter of the evil queen. Ditto Lone Star and Vespa from Spaceballs. And I couldn't get enough of the romantic subplots in Overboard, Desperately Seeking Susan and of course, The Princess Bride. (The scene on the hill when Buttercup discovers that the Dread Pirate Roberts is actually Westley? When she tumbles down after him and then crawls into his arms? I swoon just as much now as I did when I was 12.)

Can you tell that I was a child of the mid-'80's? Lol.
Darlene Marshall
17. darlenemarshall
@Lafka--I didn't realize it at the time, but now I'd classify Mara
as a romance novel, though I'm sure it would be considered more a coming-of-age book. It has lots of the romance tropes: plucky heroine, dangerous hero, exotic setting, intrigue, and a romance novel ending. No wonder I fell in love with the book, and with the hero!
Anna Bowling
18. AnnaBowling
Do comic books count? If so, Steve Trevor from Wonder Woman holds the first crush title for me. Charming, honorable, able to admire a woman's strength and even if his powers of perception are fuzzy (seriously, my husband can tell it's still me when I take off my glasses and take down my hair) I still miss that man.

Okay, and Bruce Wayne. The man had style, a tragic backstory and a secret identity; romance reader bait if ever there was any. Plus the Bat Cave was and is very, very cool.

But from books-books, John Doolittle from the Doctor Doolittle series. I loved that he was able to handle frequent reversals of fortune, was ever-resourceful and the whole talking to animals thing? What girl's head wouldn't be turned by that? Life would never be boring with Dr. Doolittle around, that's for sure.
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19. Barb in Maryland
Okay, I am probably revealing my age here--but I read Witch of Blackbird Pond in 4th grade the year it won the Newbery. And I was so smitten with Nathaniel Eaton. Sigh.
I have slowly been collecting my favorite books from my school years and every single one of them has a romance. Every one! LOL!!
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20. LHS
Brian de Bois Gilbert the templar from " Ivanhoe". At 12 I couldnot understand why Rebecca didnot just go with him! I have always had a liking for rakes and bad boys in my romances since then.
Aly O'Hare
23. wingZER0angel
Jondalar from Earth's Children. I was 14 when I read those (Clan of the Cave Bear was summer reading before freshmen year). I HATED reading before that series got me hooked. Seriously, I faked so many book reports before that. After, I couldn't enough...still can't. My mother is quite proud.
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24. Isabel C.
...Aragorn. Followed quickly and embarrassingly by Conan, Rhett Butler, Drizzt Do'Urden (...the hell, younger self?), Raistlin Majere (...the HELL, younger self?) and James Bond.

And then Mr. Darcy. Although I admit to seeing the movie first.
Aly O'Hare
25. wingZER0angel
@Isabel C.

Me too for Raistlin, me too...

And I'm going to say Mr. Darcy is a given for everybody. In fact, I'd be curious to see if anyone does NOT have a massive crush on dear old Darcy.
Wendy Lewis
26. wsl0612
@Isabel C. I had to wiki those references, very interesting! Now that you've been so honest I have to say that my version of Tarzan was heavily influenced by Saturday morning cartoon version (he was drawn VERY well)
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27. Angel301
I had a huge crush on the Count Jeoffrey de Peyrac (in Angelique) - he was so intriguing with his limp and the scar across his cheek. I read all the 12 books when I was 13 and I still swoon when I see the film after all these years!
Joanna Novins
28. JoannaNovins
Oh, those musketeers, but who could chose just one? Then there were those Sabatini bad boys (Captain Blood, Scaramouche). But always and forever, Percy, the Scarlet Pimpernel...
Vanessa Ouadi
29. Lafka
@wingZER0angel _ I do have a huge literary crush on Darcy, he just wasn't my first one ;-)

@Angel301 : my, thank you so much for mentionning Jeoffrey! I just love this character! And Robert Hossein was so hot in the movies! *swoon* I read the books when I was like you, around 13, and I was simply hooked! I've a huge fondness for scarred heroes since Jeoffrey (either in a book or on screen, I'll take it!).
Out of curiosity, where are you from Angel? I wondered if the movies are known out of Europe ^^ I think the books have been translated into many languages, but I don't know about the movies :-)
marion bergner
30. ducky
Probably Sydney Carton from A Tale Of Two Cities - my first literary crush and heartbreak all in one.

He may have started my life long love for the antihero.
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31. RobinC
F'nor from McCaffrey's Pern series (and Robinton, too, of course); Gwydion from Alexander Lloyd's Prydain Cycle; the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades; Katherine Kurtz's Morgan and Rhys (Duncan and Joram were off limits) and Percy, the Scarlet Pimpernel (started a major crush on Anthony Andrews back in the day)
Marian DeVol
32. ladyengineer
As a kid, my source for reading material was the local public library where Mom would take my sister and me every couple of weeks. Sometime before I was 12, I discovered Science Fiction - you know, those books in the children's section of the library which had a rocket or an atomic symbol on a sticker on the spine. It was my childhood addiction.

I'm not sure if he was first, but a very early crush of mine was Captain Pausert of James Schmitz's The Witches of Karres (checked out of the library). The way he could handle a vatch - sigh....! ;->

I was also swoony over both Athos AND D'Artagnan, although my crush on them is probably cinematic in origin. My current ambition is to finally read Les Trois Mousquetaires and Vingt Ans Aprés in the original French. I just hope my high school/college French (admittedly VERY rusty) and my Larousse dictionary (French-to-French, not French-to-English) are up to the task. Did you know that Kindle editions of both of them are free?! :-)
Marian DeVol
33. ladyengineer
@Rae39 and @RobinC - although I had a crush on both F'lar and F'nor, and STILL have one on Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon (more than on his son, Dominic, Marquis of Vidal), they just were not my first literary heartthrobs.

I probably read Dragonflight (1968) and Dragonquest (1971) when I was in high school (about the time they both made it to paperback) which was also when I discovered Georgette Heyer and These Old Shades.

I was fortunate to have met Anne McCaffrey at a book signing at the Science Fiction and Mystery Book Store (now sadly defunct) when she visited Atlanta a number of years ago. She will be missed.
C Hunter
34. huntece
Thorn from The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart Thornton. He was the first character that made my heart pitter patter just when he is on stage talking. Loved how he could look beyind Imrhien's flaws and see a real person.
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35. BeretBrenckman
The Count of Monte Cristo! All that angst, love, hope, disappointment, REVENGE, killer genius. Loved him.
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36. shyhyatt
Does it count if I had to go look his name up? All I could think of was the tough guy from Trixie Belden. So his name is
Dan Mangan.
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37. Rose In RoseBear
Castor and Pollux Stone, the red-headed teenaged capitalist reprobates in Robert Heinlein's The Rolling Stones. It was the first science fiction book I ever read, and those Stone boys were the coolest people I'd ever read about, so different from Ned Nickerson and the Bobbsey boys and the Clock men.

I started devouring Heinlein's juvenile novels, and soon also fell hard for Kip Russell (Have Space Suit --- Will Travel) and Thorby (Citizen of the Galaxy) and a few others. I do believe my fondness for knives --- and the men who like them --- dates back to Rod Walker (Tunnel In The Sky).

Okay, now you've done it. Heinlein shelf, here I come!
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38. mrs knightley
MR. KNIGHTLEY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vanessa Ouadi
39. Lafka
@ladyengineer _ about reading Les Trois Mousquetaires and Vingt Ans Aprés in French, I'm sure your current skills in French will be enough to understand the books. Alexandre Dumas has quite a fluent writing style, less difficult to read than some great French authors. If you keep the Larousse near, you'll do just fine when some difficult or specific words pop up, don't worry :-) And it's no surprise that you can download these two books for free, they are not protected by copyright anymore ;-)
Cristina P
40. krissapl
Well, I was expecting Jane Austen in the comments, but I didn't realize the musketeers were so popular. Athos was my first crush as well. For a while, I was torn between him and D'Artagnan, but Athos won. The affection strenghtened over the sequel books :D.
However, none of the actors playing Athos in movies ever came up to my expectations (the movies were never half as good as the book for me).

After Athos, I have to say Mr. Darcy. Loved the book, then saw the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, so Colin Firth became my favorite actor. He still is..
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41. Angel301
@lafka sorry for replying so late. When I read the books I lived in Switzerland. Now I live in Italy (that's where I saw the movie for the first time). The books were riveting - but once I saw the movie Joffrey became Robert Hossein forever!!!!!
Lynn Ristau
42. Elsandra
Like many of the other ladies here my first crush ( I think, it was so long ago) was Athos. Guess I go for dark and brooding too! Part of my problem in remembering is some of my favorites are because of seeing the movie or tv show first (Rhett Butler, Buck Rogers) before reading the books. I also remember crushing on some of the male characters in Victoria Holt novels and the Calders in the Janet Dailey novels.

I really do need to read the rest of Dumas' novels about the musketeers.
Nicole Leapheart
43. BoxyFrown
Sneaking and reading my mom's romance novels, I discovered the Montgomery family and their cousins the Taggerts. It all started with The Black Lyon, Ranulf de Warbrooke, the sire of the Montgomery line. sigh.
Elizabeth Halliday
44. Ibbitts
I agree with @krissapl:
I fell in love with Mr. Darcy at about age 12 while reading the book and then again as I watched Colin Firth do such a great job with the role, but the two occurances happened more than 30 years apart...
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45. BrooklynShoeBabe
Peter from The Diary of Anne Frank, but only because the boy I had a huge crush on (who went on togive me my first kiss) played Peter in the school play.
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46. danny the tranny
MR KNIGHTLEY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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47. HIPPIEHELLO
Zane from Hawksong by Amelia-Atwater Rhodes quickly replaced by my love of Lancelot. What can I say Lancelot was a knight in shining armor :)
romance reader
48. bookstorecat
@RobinC

Ah, Prince Gwydion. I loved him very much and I know I first read The Book of Three, etc, etc in elementary school...so he might actually be my First. (And here I was thinking I'd never be able to remember back that far.)
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49. muniba
really for the first two to three years i remained incurably hooked to enid blyton.....in which i hardly ever liked the oh -so0 -proper people even while loving th stories...heyyyyyyyy...i liked julian from the naughtist girl:) probably had something to do with the pictures in the book
Janga
50. Janga
Gilbert Blythe and Joe Willard (Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series) were first. Darcy and Rhett Butler joined the list a bit later, as did Julian Day (Dawn's Early Light, the first book in Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg series).
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51. fairyprincessdo
Ronnie Tall Bear from Larry Watson's Montana 1948. Amazing!
Dumbledore from Lord of the Rings was another favourite. Damn those half moon spectacles!
But my childhood favourite was Napoleon from Animal Farm. Such a dynamic character.. such a good pig!
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