Reading List on Love

Photo of the Beer Garden at St John's College, Durham

I have listed below the books, poems and films which I personally have found most helpful in investigating the the definition, nature and philosophy of love. I hope that it is of some use to readers. I would also like to add a special thanks to Hardev Matharoo for recommending some of these books.


Chityil, George, Love Poem Collection – The Greatest Love Poems and Quotes of All Time (Illustrated) – only available as an Amazon Kindle eBook

Cleverly, Charlie, Song of Songs: The Divine Romance

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, “V. Love” in Essays, First Series

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Maxims and Reflections

Goethe, Johann Wolgang von, The Sorrows of Young Werther

Lewis, C.S., C. S. Lewis Bible: New Revised Standard Version

Lewis, C.S., Chapters 5 (Sexual Morality) and 6 (Christian Marriage) of Book 3 (Christian Behaviour) of Mere Christianity

Lewis, C.S., “Eros” in The Four Loves

Rochefoucauld, Francois Duc De La, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims

Shakespeare, William, As You Like It, especially Act 2, Scene 4

Shakespeare, William, Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare, William, The Merchant of Venice, especially Act 2, Scene 6

Sousa, Ronald de, Love: A Very Short Introduction

Stendhal, On Love (sometimes instead entitled Love)

Stump, Eleonore, Chapter 5 on “The Nature of Love” in Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering

Tolstoy, Leo, Chapters 22-25 of On Life

Tolstoy, Leo, Father Sergius

Watson, Graeme, The Song of Songs: A Contemplative Guide

1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

Song of Songs/Song of Solomon, especially 8:6-7


Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Thou art to me a delicious torment

Shakespeare, William, Sonnet 116

Shakespeare, William, Sonnet 130

Shakespeare, William, Sonnet 147

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, Love’s Philosophy


The 1993 film Shadowlands

By Ben Somervell

Thanks for reading this article. If you enjoyed it, you might be interested in the following articles which I have also written on love:

(1) The Great Mystery of Human Love

(2) My Favourite Quotations about Love

(3) Love’s Powers of Self-Discovery and Self-Transformation

(4) Is Love really blind?

(5) The Concept of “The One” in Song of Songs

(6) Is unrequited love “the infinite curse of a lonely heart”?

7 thoughts on “Reading List on Love

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