The second episode of Reader, I married him - a 3 part TV series all about romantic fiction - looked at romantic heroes in Part 2 this week.
It's introduced by Daisy Goodwin, who has done an excellent job of making an entertaining TV programme which manages to be engrossing, informative and fun, and, even better, it isn't patronising. Daisy, we award you a night with the hero of your choice for services rendered to romance.
So who were the four top literary heroes of all time? They're a bit obvious, perhaps, but no less worthy of 'Best hero of all time' status for all that. In no particular order, they are:
Mr Darcy. Proud, arrogant, but willing to change. With ten thousand a year and Pemberley, to say nothing of a flawed but engaging character, how could he not feature in anyone's top 10?
When he marries Elizabeth, it's the perfect happy ever after.
Rhett Butler. A man who can be relied upon to come to the rescue, whether it's by bringing a girl a new bonnet, or finding a horse and cart to help her flee a war-torn town.
He's a man who's prepared to bide his time to get what he wants, and pay the price for it.
And of course he can be relied upon to sweep a girl off her feet as well . . .
Heathcliff. The original bad boy. Wild, passionate and not averse to banging his head against a tree if the occasion calls for it.
And then there's Mr Rochester. Brooding and enigmatic, he's the archetypal tortured hero, a man of mystery with pain in his past, and something in his attic . . .
So who is your favourite hero, and why?