The 10 Best Love Letters Ever Written

By Jillian Lucas for HowAboutWe

Nothing can truly replace the romance and emotion of a hand-written love letter. Historical figures that have graced the pages of our high school text books may have been known more for their contributions to literature, politics and the expansion of the settled world, but they were also romantics. Forbidden love, longing and wishful thinking can all be found within the handwritten words of these beautiful letters between lovers.

1. Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich

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"I can't say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home."

2. Napoleon to Josephine

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"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?"


3. Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

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"Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours."

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4. Georgia O'Keefe to Alfred Stieglitz

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"Dearest - my body is simply crazy with wanting you - If you don't come tomorrow - I don't see how I can wait for you - I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours - the kisses - the hotness - the wetness - all melting together - the being held so tight that it hurts - the strangle and the struggle."


5. Beethoven to his 'Immortal Beloved'

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"Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm-love me-today-yesterday-what tearful longings for you-you-you-my life-my all-farewell. Oh continue to love me-never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours."

6. George H. Bush to Barbara Bush

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"This should be a very easy letter to write - words should come easily and in short it should be simple for me to tell you how desperately happy I was to open the paper and see the announcement of our engagement, but somehow I can't possibly say all in a letter I should like to. I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you -"


7. Ronald Regan to Nancy Reagan

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"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."


8. Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas

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"Everyone is furious with me for going back to you, but they don't understand us. I feel that it is only with you that I can do anything at all. Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world. I wish that when we met at Rouen we had not parted at all. There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us. But we love each other."

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9. Henry VII to Anne Boleyn
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"But if you please to do the office of a true loyal mistress and friend, and to give up yourself body and heart to me, who will be, and have been, your most loyal servant, (if your rigour does not forbid me) I promise you that not only the name shall be given you, but also that I will take you for my only mistress, casting off all others besides you out of my thoughts and affections, and serve you only. I beseech you to give an entire answer to this my rude letter, that I may know on what and how far I may depend. And if it does not please you to answer me in writing, appoint some place where I may have it by word of mouth, and I will go thither with all my heart. No more, for fear of tiring you."


10. Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf
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"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."

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