Bridget Jones’s Diary is the most popular romantic book of the last 60 years say the Romantic Novelists' Association

Bridget Jones’s Diary has beaten tough competition to take the top spot

Bridget Jones's Diary Film adaptation still
(Image credit: United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo)

Bridget Jones’s Diary has long been one of the most popular works of fiction. Not only did the original book by Helen Fielding achieve great success, but the subsequent film adaptation starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant brought Bridget’s story to a whole new audience. 

Readers and viewers alike were captivated by the epic highs and lows of Bridget Jones’s love life. 

Now a poll conducted by the Romantic Novelist’s Association has revealed that Bridget Jones’s Diary is the most romantic book of the last 60 years. 

Why has Bridget Jones’s Diary won this accolade?

As part of the Romantic Novelist’s Association’s 60 year anniversary celebrations, they conducted a reader poll looking into the most romantic novels.

The Association wished to showcase and celebrate game-changing works of romantic fiction, together with the readers who love romance too. The overall winner Bridget Jones’s Diary was chosen from some of the bestselling romantic fiction titles published over the past 60 years as voted for by the public and RNA members.

A shortlist drawn from member votes was created for each year and an overall book winner from each decade from 1960s-2010s went into the final.

This hotly contested final saw Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding up against Jilly Cooper’s Riders for first place. 

Ultimately, Helen’s tale of the ever-relatable Bridget came out on top.

Cover of Bridget Jones's Diary

(Image credit: Amazon.co.uk)

Best-selling author and President of the RNA Katie Fforde has said, “In Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding gave us a new genre which has been endlessly copied but never surpassed”. 

Who were the other contenders?

Whilst only Bridget Jones’s Diary was given the position of overall winner in the end, each decade’s winning romantic novel was equally compelling. 

As Katie Fforde has said: “Romantic fiction is timeless and books written decades ago are still loved today. This is a wonderful list with some real classics on it.”

Helen Fielding’s hilarious classic made its way to the final after first being crowned the winning romantic novel of the 1990s. 

But there are plenty of other winners throughout the past 60 years well worth reading. 

Best Romantic Fiction of 1960’s

Best Romantic Fiction of 1970’s

Best Romantic Fiction of 1980’s

Best Romantic Fiction of 2000’s

Best Romantic Fiction of 2010’s

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is Senior Lifestyle Writer for Goodto.com, womanandhome.com and Myimperfectlife.com and she loves sharing the latest lifestyle, royal, celebrity and entertainment news. Before joining Future, previously TI Media, Emma was a Freelance Editor and before that a Publisher for an independent digital publisher. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!