If you are still thinking or searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie, then I have the perfect idea for you. Try an old-fashioned approach and write a love letter. What ever happened to the love letter? This past week I have been thinking to myself and wondering if people these days even write love emails. Maybe romantic gestures only exist within text messages where words have been replaced by a round yellow face with pouting lips or heart shaped eyes. If it’s true, this makes my heart ache. There is something about a handwritten letter that is personally significant. A letter means that a single person sat down and took a significant amount of time out of their day to think about you. To receive a handwritten letter can be heartwarming, touching and romantic. It reminds you that someone out there cares dearly for you. Who wouldn’t want that? I can guarantee any girl or guy’s heart would flip if they received a love letter.
Even if you don’t have a sweet someone in your life, I bet a grandparent, a parent, a sibling or a best friend would love to receive a letter on this day. Many people loathe this day because it’s all about being coupled up, so remind those that don’t have a significant other that they are loved and you are thinking of them.
Find beautiful stationary at a your local Paper Source and you’re halfway done!
Now if you are feeling intimidated by your blank sheet of stationery and ball point pen, then I want to share some of the greatest love letters of all-time. Read these to see how some of the men of our past wooed their loved ones with a pen and paper, and to help you get started.
The first love letter is sent from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. For some reason I have always found their relationship to be riveting. Maybe it’s because he was a controversial figure and I believe she was a big reason for that. If you are unfamiliar with their love affair, Anne Boleyn rejected being Henry VIII’s mistress, which resulted in him divorcing his first wife even though he was unable to obtain an annulment from the Pope. Unfortunately Anne was unable to produce a male heir and she was beheaded. But before things went awry they seemed to be madly in love, resulting in such letters as these:
My Mistress and Friend,
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…
For myself the pang of absence is already to great, and when I think of the increase of what I must needs suffer it would be well nigh intolerable but for my firm hope of your unchangeable affection…
In debating with myself the contents of your letters I have been put to a great agony; not knowing how to understand them, whether to my disadvantage as shown in some places, or to my advantage as in others. I beseech you now with all my heart definitely to let me know your whole mind as to the love between us; for necessity compels me to plague you for a reply, having been for more than a year now struck by the dart of love, and being uncertain either of failure or of finding a place in your heart and affection, which point has certainly kept me for some time for naming you my mistress, since if you only love me with an ordinary love the name is not appropriate to you, seeing that it stands for an uncommon position very remote from the ordinary; but if it pleases you to do the duty of a true, loyal mistress and friend, and to give yourself body and heart to me, who have been, and will be, your very loyal servant (if your rigor does not forbid me), I promise you that not only the name will be due to you, but also to take you as my sole mistress, casting off all others than yourself out of mind and affection, and to serve you only; begging you to make me a complete reply to this my rude letter as to how far and in what I can trust; and if it does not please you to reply in writing, to let me know of some place where I can have it by word of mouth, the which place I will seek out with all my heart. No more for fear of wearying you. Written by the hand of him who would willingingly remain yours
This next love letter is written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to his wife Constanze Mozart. Mozart was a child prodigy of his time, and became an expert pianist at an extremely young age. If you need a quick reminder as to who this genius was, listen to Marriage of Figaro.
September 30, 1790
Dearest little Wife of my heart!
If only I had a letter from you, everything would be all right. — I hope you received my letter from Efferding and one from Frankfurt. — I told you in my last letter to talk to Ribisel Face; — I would prefer it, just to be on the safe side, if I could raise 2,000 gulden on the draft by H…– but you’d have to give some other reason, for example, that I have some business deal in mind, but you don’t know exactly what. — Dearest, I have no doubt that I shall get something going here, but it won’t be easy as you and some of our friends think. — It is true, I am known and respected here; but, well — No — let us just see what happens. — In any case, I do prefer to play it safe, that why I would like to conclude this deal with H… because I would get some money into my possession without having to pay any out; all I would have to do then is work, and I shall be only too happy to do that for my little wife. — When you write to me, always address your letter: General delivery. — …
Since I don’t know whether you are in Vienna or Baden at present, I’m addressing this letter to Madame Hofer. I get all excited like a child when I think about being with you again — If people could see into my heart I should almost feel ashamed. Everything is cold to me — ice cold. — If you were here with me, maybe I would find the courtesies people are showing me more enjoyable, — but as it is, it’s all so empty — adieu — my dear — I am forever
your Mozart who loves you
with his entire soul
October 17, 1790
P.S. — 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, General Delivery — That is the safest course. As I do not yet know for certain whether I shall go to Regensburg, I can’t tell yet 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.
For some reason I was surprised to see Edgar Allen Poe’s name listed in the table of contents of Love Letters of Great Men. After listening to The Raven one too many times on that one episode of Gilmore Girls I assumed he was too dark and morbid a man for love, but apparently not. His love letter was written to his second love, whom he met a year or so after his wife’s death.
October 1, 1848
The Bronx, New York
I cannot better explain to you what I felt than by saying that your unknown heart seemed to pass into my bosom — there to dwell forever — while mine, I thought, was translated into your own.
From that hour I loved you. Yes, I now feel that it was then — on that evening of sweet dreams — that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight, half of anxiety… for years your name never past my lips, while my soul drank in, with a delirious thirst, all that was uttered in my presence respecting you.
The merest whisper that concerned you awoke in me a shuddering sixth sense, vaguely compounded of fear, ecstatic happiness, and a wild, inexplicable sentiment that resembled nothing so nearly as the consciousness of guilt.
Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, which is explains the sign-off, is most remembered for his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but what most don’t know is that supposedly when he met Olivia Langdon it was love at first site. Their marriage lasted thirty-four years until Olivia’s death.
Buffalo, New York
I have already mailed today’s letter, but I am so proud of my privilege of writing the dearest girl in the world whenever I please, that I must add a few lines if only to say I love you, Livy.
For I do love you, Livy… as the dew loves the flowers; as the birds love the sunshine; as the wavelets love the breeze; as mothers love their first-born; as memory loves old faces; as the yearning tides love the moon; as the angels love the pure in heart… Take my kiss and my benediction, and try to be reconciled to the fact that I am
P.S. — I have read this letter over and it is flippant and foolish and puppyish. I wish I had gone to bed when I got back, without writing. You said I must never tear up a letter after writing it to you and so I send it. Burn it, Livy, I did not think I was writing so clownishly and shabbily. I was in much too good a humor for sensible letter writing.
May 12, 1869
Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confided to my life — long keeping.
You cannot see its intangible waves as they flow towards you, darling, but in these lines you will hear, as it were, the distant beating of the surf.