Christian '50 Shades Of Grey' Grey may have ignited the passions of bored housewives worldwide, but as literary hunks go, he's a rookie. Albeit one who's trying very hard.

Because there have been heart throbs in literature since the very beginning - indeed, even in the first (oft-disputed) novel, Aphra Behn's 1688 Oroonoko, a total babe was at the centre of the narrative.

So if we were to set up an imaginary version of Take Me Out with these fictional lovelies, who would you keep your light on for?

Are gentle giants, romping horse riders or brooding baddies more your kinda guy? Luckily, there's a literary love icon for every reader.

Let us know in the comments below if we've missed out your favourite.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Jay Gatsby

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The extravagantly rich and elusive party king of 1920s New York, and title character of <em>The Great Gatsby</em>. <strong>WHY?</strong> Firstly, those parties. Granted, you wouldn't see much of him at them, but you'd definitely get first dibs on canapes. Secondly, his mysterious, mysterious past. Oh, to be the person to truly unravel Gatsby... <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> Where to start? We reckon Gatsby's dream date is out on a boat somewhere, followed by a nightcap in his expansive library. Grr. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Having the best wardrobe belonging to a man in all of fiction. Well, nearly. IMAGE: PA

  • Mr Darcy

    <strong>WHO?</strong> Mr Darcy? Really? Oh. Well he's the moody chap from <em>Pride and Prejudice</em> who sets the Bennett ladies on fan-fluttering metaphorical fire. <strong>WHY?</strong> Well, this is the point - nobody really knows. He's grumpy, doesn't dance at parties, is hugely arrogant, and yet... *sigh*, nobody can resist him. He's also minted, which might have something to do with it. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> As physically far away from your overbearing mother as possible. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Having Fitzwilliam as a first name. IMAGE: PA

  • Captain Ahab

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The maniacal, whale-obsessed seaman who runs the Pequod, the ship in <em>Moby Dick</em>. <strong>WHY?</strong> He's clearly an obsessive - can you imagine if, instead of being fixated on killing that whale, he was super dedicated to the lady in his life? Yeah. Wow. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> The sea may rouse old feelings for his buddy Moby Dick, so probably a good seaside watering hole. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> The man's got a wooden leg. IMAGE: Wikipedia.

  • Atticus Finch

    <strong>WHO?</strong> Wonderful lawyer single Dad in <em>To Kill A Mockingbird</em>. <strong>WHY?</strong> Lovely Atticus - a man who uses the law for good. If ever there was a man of morals in literature, Atticus Finch is it. All while remaining a wise parent to two boisterous kids. One for the maternal types out there. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> There aren't many places in Maycomb County where the living legend Finch wouldn't be recognised, so we reckon a romantic stroll in and around the Alabama countryside. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Raising Scout, one of the coolest little girls in literary history. IMAGE: PA

  • Sirius Black

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The troublesome good guy godfather to Harry Potter. <strong>WHY?</strong> His dark family secrets (and the wizard gold that comes with them), the life experience in notorious wizard prison Azkaban and his ability to transform into a huge black dog. Sexy. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> We imagine that Sirius would want to escape Hogsmeade and his tumbling family pile, 12 Grimmauld Place. Maybe for a couple of Butterbeers in the local? He's that kinda guy. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> That excellent moustache, as showcased here in Warner Bros filmic invention of Black. IMAGE: Warner Bros.

  • Dexter

    <strong>WHO?</strong> Rakish, easily influenced posh boy. Unlikely other half of <em>One Day</em>'s Emma. <strong>WHY?</strong> Ok, so we're trying not to focus on the image from Random House Films here. Visual aids aside, Dexter is a charming, infuriating, hopeless, at one point drug-addicted idiot. An utterly, utterly irresistible idiot. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> Depending on what age Dexter you fancy, either a jaunt up to Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, a trendy London club in the 90s, or an understated eatery in Notting Hill. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> That hilarious joke of a Mockney accent. IMAGE: Random House Films

  • Christian Grey

    <strong>WHO?</strong> Take your head out of that paper bag. <strong>WHY?</strong> He's made the knees tremble of millions of housewives, for a start. He's also made the concept of grey eponymous with 'sexy'. Pretty good going. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> A meeting in his office, clearly. Be prepared to be strapped up within around 15 minutes. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Bringing erotica into coffee mornings.

  • BFG

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The kindly, dream-delivering protagonist of the self-titled Roald Dahl book. <strong>WHY?</strong> He's big. He's friendly. He's a giant. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> If the book's anything to go by, Buckingham Palace. Swish! <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> He's evidently very comfortable with farting.

  • Carl

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The intellectual kid from the streets who sets the cat among the pigeons in <em>On Beauty</em>. <strong>WHY?</strong> Well we know he's beautiful, but more than that, he's a poet. But a really, really cool poet, who gatecrashes university seminars and creates a hip-hop archive in the library. Swoon! <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> Somewhere cool and edgy for excellent street food, followed up by drinks in the poetry cafe, where he accidentally does an impromptu slam. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Telling snobby intellectuals where to shove it.

  • Rupert Campbell Black

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The ultimate Jilly Cooper creation, Campbell Black is the baby daddy to many, the seducer of the lucky, and the lust interest of millions of readers. <strong>WHY?</strong> He's posh, he's good at riding horses, he's clearly an animal in the sack. You see that book cover? That's his tanned, perfectly-cuffed hand. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> Somewhere expensive, in the home counties, under a pseudonym. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Still inspiring fantasies, 10 books, and 30 years after his first appearance.

  • Mr Rochester

    <strong>WHO?</strong> The ultimate Byronic male - tough, sullen, lonely grump who employs Jane Eyre in his big ol' scary house as a Governess. <strong>WHY?</strong> Well he's stamping around on a horse when we first meet Rochester, there's something very appealing about that. Plus, although many may see the mad wife locked up in the attic as a slight con, we take comfort that he's clearly capable to deal with *ahem* strong women. <strong>WHERE FOR A DATE?</strong> Horses. The Moors. He might lend you a cape if you're lucky. <strong>BONUS POINTS FOR</strong> Being the subject matter of the line, "Reader, I married him." IMAGE: BBC

ALSO: