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Love Letters

  • Men who write love letters don't live in this century.

  • Beware of the man who writes flowery love letters; / he is preparing for years of silence.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "Seventeen Warnings in Search of a Feminist Poem," Half-Lives ()
  • Living is cold and technical without you, a death mask of itself. ... All afternoon I've been writing soggy words in the rain and feeling dank inside, and thinking of you. When a person crosses your high forehead and slides down into the pleasant valleys about your dear mouth it's like Hannibal crossing the Alps.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1930), in Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks, eds., Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda ()
  • It seemed very sad to see you going off in your new shoes alone.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1932), in Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks, eds., Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda ()
  • [To her late husband, King Hussein:] I will not fail you, my love. I will continue on the path we shared, and I know you will be there to help me, as you always were. And when we meet again at the journey's end, and we laugh together once more, I will have a thousand things to tell you.

  • ... should I draw you the picture of my heart, it would be what I hope you still would love, though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it, leave not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship, as to the days of love and innocence, and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time; nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear, untitled man to whom I gave my heart.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1782, in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The Letters of John and Abigail Adams ()
  • 'Tis four months wanting three days since we parted. Every day of the time I have mourned the absence of my friend, and felt a vacancy in my heart which nothing, nothing can supply. In vain the spring blooms or the birds sing. Their music has not its former melody, nor the spring its usual pleasures. I look around with a melancholy delight and sigh for my absent partner.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1777, in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The Letters of John and Abigail Adams ()
  • I must entreat you to remember me often. I never think your letters half long enough.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1776, in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The Letters of John and Abigail Adams ()
  • A real love letter is absolutely ridiculous to everyone except the writer and the recipient.

  • Did you ever read a love-letter that wasn't an evidence of idiocy — except your own?

  • I like love-letters. The more passion you put in the better, Billy. Soon you will know just how to suit my taste in letters. I am greedy for compliments and passion.

    • Vanessa Bell,
    • 1908, in Regina Marler, ed., Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell ()
  • When I am dead, I am certain that the imprint of my love will be found on my heart. It is impossible to worship as I do without leaving some visible trace behind when life is over.

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1845, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo ()
  • I must have true love or nothing.

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1836, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo ()
  • ... I could dispense with life sooner than with your love.

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1835, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of 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 faculty.

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1833, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo ()
  • ... I see only you, think only of you, speak only to you, touch only you, breathe you, desire you, dream of you; in a word, I love you!

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1833, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo ()
  • A fire that no longer blazes is quickly smothered in ashes. Only a love that scorches and dazzles is worthy of the name. Mine is like that.

    • Juliette Drouet,
    • 1833, in Louis Gimbaud, ed., The Love Letters of Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo ()
  • ... I was more pleased with possessing your heart than with any other happiness, and the man was the thing I least valued in you.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in M. Lincoln Schuster, The World's Great Letters ()
  • Letters were first invented for consoling such solitary wretches as myself. Having lost the substantial pleasures of seeing and possessing you, I shall in some measure compensate this loss by the satisfaction I shall find in your writing.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in M. Lincoln Schuster, The World's Great Letters ()
  • If a picture, which is but a mute representation of an object, can give such pleasure, what cannot letters inspire? They have souls; they can speak; they have in them all that force which expresses the transports of the heart; they have all the fire of our passions, they can raise them as much as if the persons themselves were present; they have all the tenderness and the delicacy of speech, and sometimes a boldness of expression even beyond it.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in M. Lincoln Schuster, The World's Great Letters ()
  • You are my lover and I am your mistress and kingdoms and empires and governments have tottered and succumbed before now to that mighty combination ...

    • Violet Trefusis,
    • in Mitchell A. Leaska, ed., Violet to Vita: The Letters of Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West 1910-1921 ()
  • There's no finer caress than a love letter, because it makes the world very small, and the writer and reader, the only rulers.

  • Love letters lack taste. No restraint: falling off cliffs, going up in flames.

  • [Letter to her future husband, Honoré de Balzac:] For you I am The Stranger, and shall remain so all my life.

    • Eveline Balzac,
    • 1832, in André Maurois, Prometheus: The Life of Balzac ()
  • A love letter is a caress on paper, a kiss that lasts forever.

  • If valentines are the equivalent of a gentle rain, love letters have all the power and unpredictability of a tropical storm.