Famous love letters have served as an inspiration for numerous men and women, who chose to express their feelings by means of a written message. These letters remained in history because they were composed by people who had an important role within the society, regardless of their being artists or heads of state, for example. However, it is both the beauty of the letters themselves and the stories that stand behind those words on the paper that make us treasure them even now. Here are 10 of these famous letters, composed by well-known people for their loved ones. I hope they will encourage you to continue creating love letters, because they will never cease to represent a link between a lover and his sweetheart, between past and present, between a man and his soul…
1. From Ludwig Van Beethoven to his mysterious sweetheart
Quote: “My heart is full of many things to say to you – Ah! — there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all – cheer up -remain my true, only treasure, my all as I am yours; the gods must send us the rest that which shall be best for us”
Ludwig van Beethoven had a very interesting, yet tragic life. He died at the early age of 57, of unknown causes. His love letters are famous not only because of their uncontested beauty, but also because of the secrecy surrounding them: the lady who won Beethoven’s heart remained anonymous; moreover, no one knows why they could not be together. However, it is clear that their love was true and strong, as it lasted for many decades and ended with the composer’s death.
2. From Charlotte Bronte to Professor Constantin Heger
Quote: “Monsieur, the poor have not need of much to sustain them — they ask only for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table. But if they are refused the crumbs they die of hunger. Nor do I, either, need much affection from those I love. I should not know what to do with a friendship entire and complete – I am not used to it.”
The famous author of “Jane Eyre” is believed to have written this humble love letter when she was 28 years old. It was addressed to an old teacher of hers, Constantin Heger. This is a controversial story, because the man was married and because there is no evidence that her love was ever answered.
3. From Napoleon Bonaparte to his beloved Josephine
Quote: “I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! “
No one would have suspected that behind the military coat hid such a romantic soul! The love letters of Napoleon Bonaparte could be an inspiration to any person that still cares to use this romantic way of communicating with his lover. The emperor seems to have enjoyed writing because he sent thousands of letters to his wife, not only when he was courting her, but after their marriage as well.
4. From Heloise to Peter Abelard
Quote: “I have your picture in my room. I never pass by it without stopping to look at it; and yet when you were present with me, I scare ever cast my eyes upon it. If a picture which is but a mute representation of an object can give such pleasure, what cannot letters inspire?”
This is one of the most romantic stories I have ever heard. It dates back in the 12th century and it describes the beautiful love between one of the most reputed philosophers of that age and the young Heloise. Apparently, they got secretly married, but their relationship was discovered by her uncle and Heloise was forced to enter a convent and become a nun, while her lover was castrated. However, they continued to exchange letters years after the tragic ending of their affair.
5. From Victor Hugo to Adele Foucher:
Quote: “This union is love, true love, …a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.”
This is one of the numerous letters which stand as a testimony of a pure, yet passionate love story which lasted for a lifetime. Friends since childhood, Victor Hugo and Adele fell in love for each other in adolescence and married even though their families could not agree to their relationship. The two lovers proved them wrong and had a beautiful life together.
6. From King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn
Quote: “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…”
The famous love letters between these two historical characters are as interesting as their own lives. King Henry VIII of England is notorious for having had as many as 6 wives, in his attempt to produce a male heir to the throne. Anne Boleyn was one of the two wives he executed. Even though the end of their relationship was tragic their love letters are still remembered and treasured.
7. From James Joyce to his soon-to-be-wife Nora
Quote: “When I am with you I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature. I wish I felt your head on my shoulder. I think I will go to bed.”
Romantic love letters always reached the hearts of sensitive women. Thus, one of the reasons for which these famous men were so successful in their love relationships was probably their writing talent. James Joyce was one of these men: he conquered the heart of Nora with the help of his beautiful letters and married her soon after.
8. From Ronald Reagan to Nancy
Quote:“I know tradition has it that on this morning I place cards Happy Anniversary cards on your breakfast tray[…]Still this is the day, the day that marks 31 years of such happiness as comes to few men. I told you once that it was like an adolescent’s dream of what marriage should be like. That hasn’t changed.”
In modern times, we also have famous love letters which will eternally represent a sweet testimony of love of two people that had an important role in the history of the human kind. This letter is really lovely because it shows that affection can really last for a life time and that letters have a role not only in building, but also in maintaining a love story.
9. From Publius Ovidius Naso to his lost wife
Quote: “My burden, most faithful wife, is a harder one than that which the son of AEson bore. You, too, whom I left still young at my departure from the City, I can believe to have grown old under my calamities. Oh, grant it, ye Gods, that I may be enabled to see you, even if such, and to give the joyous kiss on each cheek in its turn…”
The Roman writer is renowned for having been exiled to Tomis (nowadays Constanta, in Romania), where he died some years later. What is not known by most is that he left behind a young and (at least in his eyes) beautiful wife, who never saw him again. The acknowledged author of many love poems had no problem composing incomparable love letters to his wife, which represent works of art in themselves.
10.From Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet
Quote: “I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die.”
This is a fragment from one of the most famous love letters that were ever written. There is no surprise that the lovers were both artists of the words. The relationship that gave birth to such passionate love finally ended leaving Flaubert empty inside. Sadly, this was his first and only serious relationship and he remained single for his entire life.