In a romantic mood: These famous love letters from world-renowned scribes evoke big feelings.
Valentine’s Day was first celebrated as an occasion for love and romance in the 14th century, but the history of love letters reaches back even further. Historical records show such declarations of love even in Ancient times. True sophistication was bestowed upon missives of love during the Romantic movement. At no other time were there more love letters written and received than in the 18th and 19th century. Some couples wrote so prolifically that their letters could fill multiple books. Even today, the story of the love letter is far from over. Admittedly, nowadays those passages of longing might be transmitted via satellite and not by the postman. But who is to say that a DM on Instagram is less romantic than something hidden behind a wax seal? No matter if a love letter is sent online or offline, the message stays the same and warms the heart. To put our readers in a romantic mood, we here at novum have collected excerpts from some of the most beautiful love letters ever written. Maybe they’ll even inspire you to write your own expressions of love? And don’t forget: If you need a little inspiration, you can always borrow some from the examples shown below!
Famous love letters from world-renowned authors
Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West
Look Here Vita — throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.
Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas
My Own Boy,
Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red rose-leaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days…
Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Robert Browning
And now listen to me in turn. You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me — my heart was full when you came here today. Henceforward I am yours for everything…
Leo Tolstoy to Valeria Arsenev
I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever previous – your heat, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings.
Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf
…I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any more by giving myself away like this — 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.
Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet
I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you [sic] with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports… When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.
Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald
There’s nothing in all the world I want but you and your precious love. All the material things are nothing. I’d just hate to live a sordid, colorless existence because you’d soon love me less and less and I’d do anything — anything — to keep your heart for my own. I don’t want to live—I want to love first, and live incidentally… Don’t—don’t ever think of the things you can’t give me. You’ve trusted me with the dearest heart of all—and it’s so damn much more than anybody else in all the world has ever had.
Our article has awakened the spring fever in you? Here are seven sweet spots perfect for your writing and inspiration!
Keep writing, keep typing!