I bought a book a few years ago from the bargain section at Barnes & Noble that was entirely comprised of love letters written by famous people, called The World's Greatest Love Letters. I read it all in one sitting because I was completely sucked into it. I've always loved history, and I'm also pretty nosy, so this was right up my alley. It's a nice mix of old and new, ranging from letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots to Edgar Allan Poe to John Keats. It's also broken down into sections, everything from Playful Love to Long-Distance Love, to Bad Love and Unrequited Love. The book has something for everyone who is a sap at heart.
It also had me searching out other love letters from famous people, so here are just a few of my favorite excerpts to sweeten up your Valentine's cards:
1. John Keats to Fanny Brawne: "For myself, I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair. I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days-- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
2. Johnny Cash to June Carter-Cash: "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."
3. Vladimir Nabokov to Vera: "I need you, my fairy tale. Because you are the only person I can talk with about the shade of a cloud, about the song of a thought-- and about how, when I went out to work today and looked a tall sunflower in the face, it smiled at me with all its seeds."
4. James Joyce to Nora Barnacle Joyce: "My darling, I suppose that compared with your splendid generous love for me my love for you looks very poor and thread-bare. But it is the best I can give you, my own dear sweetheart. Take it, my love, save me and shelter me."
5. Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo: "I love you because I love you. Because it would be impossible for me not to love you. I love you without question, without calculation, without reason good or bad, faithfully, with all my heart and soul, and every facility. Believe it, for it is true. If you cannot believe, I being at your side, I will make a drastic effort to force you to do so."