“What happened to romance? Sappy soppy longhand love letters.”
- Alex Flinn, Beastly
Letters used to be the most precious tokens of love - ardent, poetic, hidden in a corner which only you know about. Remember all those times when people would run to the door every time the bell rang, awaiting the postman desperately? Now all they deliver is bad news and bills. Pigeons no longer come bearing little chits of messages messily sprawled across them, affection oozing from each word.
But here's a little something for all of you who love reading letters - a collection of hand written ones by famous personalities - that will surely melt your heart into a pile of mush.
1. Beethoven to his ‘Immortal Beloved’ whose true identity is kept under covers (1812)
6 July, morning
My angel, my all, my own self — only a few words today, and that too with pencil (with yours) — only till tomorrow is my lodging definitely fixed. What abominable waste of time in such things — why this deep grief, where necessity speaks?
Can our love persist otherwise than through sacrifices, than by not demanding everything? Canst thou change it, that thou are not entirely mine, I not entirely thine? Oh, God, look into beautiful Nature and compose your mind to the inevitable. Love demands everything and is quite right, so it is for me with you, for you with me — only you forget so easily, that I must live for you and for me — were we quite united, you would notice this painful feeling as little as I should…
…We shall probably soon meet, even today I cannot communicate my remarks to you, which during these days I made about my life — were our hearts close together, I should probably not make any such remarks. My bosom is full, to tell you much — there are moments when I find that speech is nothing at all. Brighten up — remain my true and only treasure, my all, as I to you. The rest the gods must send, what must be for us and shall.
Good morning, on 7 July
Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us. I can only live, either altogether with you or not at all. Yes, I have determined to wander about for so long far away, until I can fly into your arms and call myself quite at home with you, can send my soul enveloped by yours into the realm of spirits — yes, I regret, it must be. You will get over it all the more as you know my faithfulness to you; never another one can own my heart, never — never! O God, why must one go away from what one loves so, and yet my life in W. as it is now is a miserable life. Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time. At my actual age I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances? Angel, I just hear that the post goes out every day — and must close therefore, so that you get the L. at once. Be calm — love me — today — yesterday.
What longing in tears for you — You — my Life — my All — farewell. Oh, go on loving me — never doubt the faithfullest heart
Of your beloved
2. From Charlie Parker to his girlfriend Chan Woods
Beautiful is the world, slow is one to take advantage. Wind up the world the other way. And at the start of the turning of the earth, lie my feelings for thou.
3. Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera (Mexican artists)
3. Johny Cash to June Carter Cash
Hey June, This is really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well. The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout. Love, John
Happy Birthday Princess
But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
4. Mark Twain to Olivia Louise Langdon
Livy Darling, I am grateful — grate-fuller than ever before — that you were born, & that your love is mine & our two lives woven & melded together! - SLC
5. Marlon Brando to an airline stewardess
Irrespective of your gothic aspects, you have passed something on in terms of your expression, mien and general comportment that is unusual and rewarding.
It’s been a pleasant if brief encounter and I wish you well and I hope we shall have occasion to cross eyes again sometime.
6. American artist Rockwell Kent to his wife Frances Kent
Frances! I am so lonely I can hardly bear it. As one needs happiness so have I needed love; that is the deepest need of the human spirit. And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love — to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know. How long these hours are alone!
Yet is good for me to know the measure of my love and need, that I may at least be brought to so govern myself as never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.
Dear Frances, let us make and keep our love more beautiful than any love has ever been before.
Forever, dearest one.
7. Jimi Hendrix to a girlfriend amicably called 'Little Girl'
8. King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn while he was still married to Catherine of Aragon
Darling, though I have scant leisure yet remembering my promise I thought it go convenient to certify you briefly as to how our affairs stand. As touching a lodging for you we have gotten one through my Lord Cardinal's means, the half of which could not have been found around here, for all causes, as this bearer shall more show you. As touching our other affairs I assure you there can be no more done, nor more diligence used, nor all manner of dangers better both foreseen and provided for, so that I trust it shall be hereafter to both our comfort, the specialties whereof were both too long to be written, and hardly to be sent through a messenger. Wherefore till your coming here, I keep something in store trusting it shall not be long to, for I have caused my lord, your father, to make his position with speed, and thus for lack of time darling, I make an end of my letter, written with the hand of him who wishes he were yours
Though it does not belong to a gentleman to take his lady in the place of a servant, however, in following your desires, I willingly grant it, that so you may be more agreeably in the place that you yourself have chosen, than you have been in that which I gave you. I shall be heartily obliged to you, if you please to have some some remembrance of me. B.N.R.I. de R.O.M.V.E.Z.
9. Elizabeth Taylor to husband Richard Burton
My darling, (my still) my husband
10. Napoleon Bonaparte to Joséphine de Beauharnais
I have your letters of the 16th and 21st. There are many days when you don’t write. What do you do, then? No, my darling, I am not jealous, but sometimes worried. Come soon; I warn you, if you delay, you will find me ill. Fatigue and your absence are too much.
Your letters are the joy of my days, and my days of happiness are not many. Junot is bringing twenty-two flags to Paris.
You must come back with him, you understand? — hopeless sorrow, inconsolable misery, sadness without end, if I am so unhappy as to see him return alone. Adorable friend, he will see you, he will breathe in your temple; perhaps you will even grant him the unique and perfect favor of kissing your cheek, and I shall be alone and far, far away. But you are coming, aren’t you? You are going to be here beside me, in my arms, on my breast, on my mouth? Take wing and come, come!
A kiss on your heart, and one much lower down, much lower!
11. Winston Churchill to Clementine Churchill
My darling, We have been out all day watching these great manoeuvres. . . .
I have a very nice horse from the Emperor’s stable, & am able to ride about wherever I chose with a suitable retinue. As I am supposed to be an ‘Excellency’ I get a vy good place. Freddie on the other hand is ill-used. These people are so amazingly routinière that anything the least out of the ordinary – anything they have not considered officially & for months—upsets them dreadfully….I saw the Emperor today & had a few mintues’ talk with him. He is vy sallow—but otherwise looks quite well. . . . .
We have had a banquet tonight at the Bavarian palace. A crowd of princes & princelets & the foreign officers of various countries. It began at 6 p.m. & was extremely dull. . . .
This army is a terrible engine. It marches sometimes 35 miles in a day. It is in number as the sands of the sea—& with all the modern conveniences. There is a complete divorce between the two sides of German life—the Imperialists & Socialist. Nothing unites them. They are two different nations. With us there are so many shades. Here it is all black & white (the Prussian colours). I think another 50 years will see a wiser & gentler world. But we shall not be spectators of it. Only the P.K. will glitter in a happier scene. How easily men could make things much better than they are—if only all tried together! Much as was attracts me & fascinates my mind with its tremendous situation—I feel more deeply every year—& can measure the feeling here in the midst of arms—what vile & wicked folly & barbarism it all is.
Sweet cat—I kiss your vision as it rises before my mind. Your dear heart throbs often in my own. God bless you darling keep you safe & sound.
Kiss the P.K. for me all over
With fondest love
12. Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas
My Own Boy,
Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place and lacks only you; but go to Salisbury first.
13. Mozart to his wife Constanze
PS.–while I was writing the last page, tear after tear fell on the paper. But I must cheer up — catch! — An astonishing number of kisses are flying about — The deuce!– I see a whole crowd of them! Ha! Ha!…I have just caught three– They are delicious!– You can still answer this letter, but you must address your reply to Linz, Poste Restante– That is the safest course. As I do not yet know for certain whether I shall go to Regensburg, I can’t tell you anything definite. Just write on the cover that the letter is to be kept until called for.
Adieu–Dearest, most beloved little wife– Take care of your health– and don’t think of walking into town. Do write and tell me how you like our new quarters– Adieu. I kiss you millions of times.
14. Ronald Reagan to his wife
My Darling Wife
20 minutes maybe — but never 20 years. In the first place it is a known fact that a human cannot sustain the high level of happiness I feel for more than a few minutes — and my happiness keeps increasing.
I will confess to one puzzlement but I’m sure it is just some trick perpetrated by our friends — (Ha again!) I can’t remember ever being without you and I know I was born more than 20 mins ago.
Oh well — that isn’t important. 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.
Your Husband of 20 something or other.
Do these letters make you feel like a lousy lover? Pick up a piece of paper today and write. Let your heart guide your hand. We need some pure, old-fashioned, cannot be put into mere 140 characters love, in this world again. We need fire.
Masthead source : Popsugar