I liked the title, I’m reasonable familiar with Austen’s heroes, so sure, go ahead and show me your take on ranking them all …
A few rules before we get to the list. Who counts as a “hero,” or love interest, to use a better term? For my purposes, any male character who begins one of Austen’s novels single and ends up married or engaged, unless they are a fairly minor supporting character like Emma’s Mr. Weston. My most important criterion is “this man is someone you would actually want to be with in real life.”
Oh ho, Mr. Collins is 4th from the bottom! Although I can’t actually argue with this ranking on logical grounds, he is probably my very least favorite male character in all of Austen’s work. Ugh.
Ah, this list puts Captain Wentworth above Mr. Darcy! I can’t actually argue with that either.
Top place on this list goes to Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. I don’t know. I rather recently watched a movie version and was not impressed with the movie as a whole — the entire relationship between Henry and Catherine is sort of hinted at rather than visible on the screen. Maybe if I re-read the book I might agree. But Mr. Darcy stands out a lot more for me, along with Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon. In contrast I have apparently found Henry Tilney pretty forgettable.