If I ever receive an entirely hand-written love letter from a man, I will probably fall in love with him, unless I already am in love with him, in which case I will likely fall deeper in love. There is something so very romantic and honest about a hand-written letter; it is more thoughtful and personal than a typed letter, a text message, or an email because it is fairly more time-consuming and requires more effort. [I like to think that] when a person writes a letter by hand, he or she took the time to do it because he or she cares about the person they are writing to.
“The 10 Best Love Letters Ever Written,” an article published by Jillian Lucas for HowAboutWe on July 9, 2013, shares a handful of love letters of well-known men and women. In her article, Lucas says:
Nothing can truly replace the romance and emotion of a hand-written love letter.
I agree with Lucas entirely; I’ve hand-written countless letters to my family members and closest friends, but I have never written a love letter. Someday (hopefully!) I will fall in love and have the pleasure of composing a letter to my lover. Because I am a lover of classic literature and proper English grammar usage, I can guarantee my letter will be comparable to a poem and likely written like love letters by some of the greatest writers and men in history, some of whose letters have been compiled by Ursula Doyle into a book called “Love Letters of Great Men.” The compilation never existed until “Sex and the City” the movie, which featured “Love Letters of Great Men” as a book Carrie Bradshaw rented from the library of New York City prior to her big wedding to Mr. Big. After the movie premiered, thousands of people searched for the book, but it was merely a book written into the movie, not a book published in reality. The book was written subsequently to the movie in order to satisfy the thousands of people who wished to read love letters from John Keats, Napoleon Bonaparte, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and many more great men. Perhaps the vast amount of people who desired to read these love letters represents the vast amount of people who desire to have love letters such as these written to, or from, them. Here are some excerpts I found most touching and share-worthy:
1. Lord Byron (1788-1824)
When he was twenty-five, Lord Byron fell in love with Lady Caroline Lamb, a married woman.
I care not who knows this, what use is made of it—it is to you and to you only, yourself. I was, and am yours, freely and entirely, to obey, to honour, love and fly with you, when, where, and how, yourself might and may determine.
At age thirty-one, he fell in love with seventeen-year-old Countess Gucciolim, also a married woman. He wrote this particular letter on the inside of a novel she had lent him.
But I more than love you and cannot cease to love you. Think of us sometimes, when the Alps and ocean divide us, but they never will, unless you wish it.
2. John Keats (1795-1821)
The poet had one love in his entire short life, and that was his fiancé, Fanny Brawne. He wrote on July 8, 1819:
I kissed your writing over in the hope you had indulged me by leaving a trace of honey.
In 1820, he wrote:
When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out the window; you always concentrate my whole senses.
3. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
The author of “The Scarlet Letter” was married to Sophia Peabody. He wrote:
Thou art the only person in the world that was ever necessary to me…I think I was always more at ease alone than in anybody’s company until I knew thee.
4. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
The great composer was never married nor was he ever publically in love with anyone. However, after his death, three unsent love letters written by him were discovered. They are addressed to “Immortal Beloved.”
You—my Life—my All—farewell. Oh, go on loving me—never doubt the faithfullest heart Of your beloved
5. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
The Mexican artist was married to a fellow Mexican artist, Diego Rivera. The marriage was trouble and they cheated on one another often. They divorced once, but remarried.
All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.
6. Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962)
The author and poet was most well known for her affair with famous Virginia Woolf in the 1920s. She wrote to Woolf:
But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don’t really resent it.
- Allison Bellows