In today’s world it’s all about emails, Whatsapps, BBMs and instant messages, but in a time where social media didn’t dominate our lives, letters were the most effective ways to send a note, news or information, especially to a loved one – how romantic.
In the name of Valentine’s, Emirates Woman looks at some of the most beautiful love letters in history (get the tissues ready).
Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich
“You are getting so beautiful they will have to make passport pictures of you 9 feet tall. What do you really want to do for a life work? Break everybody’s heart for a dime? You could always break mine for a nickel and I’d bring the nickel.”
John Keats to his beloved Fanny Brawne
Upon my soul I have loved you to the extreme. I wish you could know the tenderness with which I continually brood over your different aspects of countenance, action and dress. I see you come down in the morning: I see you meet me at the Window. I see every thing over again eternally that I ever have seen… If I am destined to be happy with you here – how short is the longest Life. I wish to believe in immortality. I wish to live with you for ever… Let me be but certain that you are mine heart and soul, and I could die more happily than I could otherwise live.
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Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor (during their first marriage)
“My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you. You don’t realise of course, E.B., how fascinatingly beautiful you have always been, and how strangely you have acquired an added and special and dangerous loveliness.”
Napoleon to his wife Josephine, after leaving to command the French army in Italy
“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?”
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Henry VIII to his later executed wife Anne Boleyn
“I and my heart put ourselves in your hands, begging you to recommend us to your good grace and not to let absence lessen your affection… or myself the pang of absence is already to great, and when I think of the increase of what I must needs suffer it would be well nigh intolerable but for my firm hope of your unchangeable affection.”
Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan
“The important thing is I don’t want to be without you for the next 20 years, or 40, or however many there are. I’ve gotten very used to being happy and I love you very much indeed.”
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Zelda to her husband F Scott Fitzgerald
“Both of us are very splashy vivid pictures, those kind with the details left out, but I know our colours will blend, and I think we’ll look very well hanging beside each other in the gallery of life.”
Winston Churchill to his wife Clementine
“My darling Clemmie, in your letter from Madras you wrote some words very dear to me, about having enriched your life. I cannot tell you what pleasure this gave me, because I always feel so overwhelmingly in your debt, if there can be accounts in love…What it has been to me to live all these years in your heart and companionship no phrases can convey.”
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Noah to Allie from The Notebook (had to be included)
“My Dearest Allie. I couldn’t sleep last night because I know that it’s over between us. I’m not bitter anymore, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I’ll smile at you with joy and remember how we spent a summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give to you forever. I love you. I’ll be seeing you. Noah.”
Dylan Thomas to his wife Caitlin while on a reading tour in North America
“I love you. That is all I know. But all I know, too, is that I am writing into space: the kind of dreadful, unknown space I am just going to enter. I am going to Iowa, Illinois, Idaho, Indindiana, but these, though mis-spelt, *are* on the map. You are not.
Have you forgotten me? I am the man you used to say you loved. I used to sleep in your arms – do you remember? But you never write. You are perhaps mindless of me. I am not of you. I love you.”