You know who are just the worst kind of people? Lovers. All alone in their bubble of untouchable in-jokes, loving glances and butt-grabs. It’s sickening. And you know what’s worse than lovers? Lovers that existed in the age of love letter writing.
Whilst we may love to hate them, it’s mostly because they’re so perfectly perfect and epitomise a point in history that was just utterly romantic and distraction-free. A time when sending a dick pic would likely get you hung and quartered (and rightly so, huh ladies?).
Throughout just about, well.. all of history ever, love letters have stood as the ultimate romantic gesture. And as historical - albeit rose-coloured - testaments of grandeur, they’ve served as a way to preserve history and a way to make human the times gone by that we would only otherwise read about in history books (or Wikipedia).
Perhaps we hold love letters in such high esteem because we exist in a world where texted ‘netflix n chill?’s are the extent of some modern lovers’ literary charm. Perhaps the ancient art form of physically penning our feelings dives so much deeper into the human experience. Perhaps it means more because it can’t be deleted, and serves as a tangible motif of love forevermore.
In any case, we’ll admit it, we’re hopeless romantics in love with the love letter, and we’re here to share you some of our favs.
One of the most woo-worthy trips down memory lane has to be Abelard and Héloïse, 12th Century baes who existed well before Romeo and Juliet’s hot mess of a relationship was a thing. Abe was all up in Héloïse, but after they were dramatically separated by forces beyond their control, Abe was castrated (ouch) and forced to live in some kind of purgatory where Héloïse could only reach him via heartbreakingly longing love letters that lamented the desperation of their separation.
I never sought anything in you except yourself. . . . I looked for no marriage bond… if Augustus, emperor of the whole world, saw fit to honor me with marriage and conferred all the earth on me to possess forever, it would be dearer and more honorable to me to be called not his empress, but your whore.
But it wasn’t always the ladies hitting you in the feels. John Keats, mad poet in the 1800s loved himself a bit of a letter and his muse, Fanny Brawne didn’t hate receiving them either;
My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again.
Could you imagine receiving that on Tinder? You’d swipe left faster than you could question his hidden agenda..
How about Ernest Hemingway though? In 1951, the writer famously writes to his love, Marlene Dietrich;
I can't say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home. Nor too many things. But we were always cheerful and jokers together.
But before you roll over and cry yourself into a tub of Connoisseur proclaiming romance is dead, let us remind you the art of letter writing is far from dead.
Still not getting warm and fuzzy? Have a gander at Frida Kahlo’s musings to Diego Rivera;
Remember that once you finish the fresco we will be together forever once and for all, without arguments or anything, only to love one another.
If all else fails, you can always rely on Johnny Cash delivering the goods to his beautiful June;
Happy Birthday Princess,
We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others [sic] minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.
But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
Melted. Done. Complete.
What are some of your favourite love letters? Are you overdue a good ol’ love letter writing sesh? Find some inspiration between our pages here.