Letter-writing is an art -- one that's sadly gone out of style -- but a story in the Feb/March issue of Mysterious Ways reminded us of the power of putting words to the page. Before texting was born many of the most famous and influential figures in history perferred to pour their undying love out on paper. Luckily, a few of those letters still exist today. From country legend Johnny Cash to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford to the Queen of England herself, here are a few famous love letters that prove pen and paper are the best way to express feelings.
In 1972, Ronald Reagan -- then Governor of California -- and his wife Nancy celebrated their 20th anniversary. Prior to that happy occassion, Reagan wrote a playful letter to the love of his life sharing the joy he felt in being her husband.
This note is to warn you of a diabolical plot entered into by some of our so called friends — (ha!) calendar makers and even our own children. These and others would have you believe we've been married 20 years. 20 minutes maybe — but never 20 years. In the first place it is a known fact that a human cannot sustain the high level of happiness I feel for more than a few minutes — and my happiness keeps increasing.
The great German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven penned one of the most famous love letters to an unknown woman in 1812. In it, Beethoven passionately declares his devotion to his "immortal beloved ..."
Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us. I can only live, either altogether with you or not at all.
Less than two months after Gerald R. Ford became President of the United States, Lady Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband penned a letter of support, encouragement and love, three things he provided throughout her battle with the disease.
No written words can adequately express our deep, deep love. We know how great you are and we, the children and Dad, will try to be as strong as you.
Our Faith in you and God will sustain us. Our total love for you is everlasting.
Celebrated poet and literary great John Keats met Fanny Brawne in 1818 when the two became neighbors in the small village of Hampstead. Despite Keats' poor health and financial difficulties, the two fell in love and became engaged. Sadly, Keats would succumb to tuberculosis just a couple of years later, but their love inspired some of the writer's greatest poetry.
You must believe you shall, you will that I can do nothing say nothing think nothing of you but what has its spring in the Love which has so long been my pleasure and torment.
The love story of Johnny and June is immortalized in plenty of classic country tunes, but Cash proved he had a knack for writing love letters as well as hit songs when he penned this sweet tribute to his wife on her 65th birthday.
... 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.
Winston Churchil and Clementine Ogilvy Hozier met once briefly before reuniting four years later at a dinner party in 1908. Just a few months later, the two were married and enjoyed a long and happy marriage despite the stress of Churchill's position as Prime Minister of England during the second World War. The two often wrote letters to one another that included affectionate nicknames -- he was her "pug," she his "cat" and p.k was a reference to their first child who they called "puppy kitten."
Sweet cat--I kiss your vision as it rises before my mind. Your dear heard throbs often in my own. God bless you darling keep you safe & sound.
Kiss the P.K. for me all over
With fondest love
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of the most widely celebrated English poets of the Victorian Era. She had already ahcieved fame and critical success when she met writer Robert Browning, who wrote her after reading her first collection of poems. The two were married a year later and continued to write together -- some of their most famous works were a result of their love and courtship -- while living in Italy with their son, Pen.
“Look down on you”,-my Ba? I would die for you, with triumphant happiness, God knows,-at a signal from your hand! But that,-look down,-never, tho’ you bade me again & again, and in such words! I look up,-always up,-My Ba, when I indulge in my deepest luxury, I make you stand .. do you not know that? I sit, and my Ba chooses to let me sit, and stands by,-understanding all the same how the relation really is between us,-how I would, and do, kiss her feet,-my Queen’s feet!
The match between Queen Victoria and her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was initially arranged by her uncle, King Leopold but the two grew to share an enduring love during their 21 year marriage. Victoria proposed to Albert on his second visit to Windsor in 1839 and the couple was married just a few months later. Though the pressure of the crown were rumored to have hurt their relationship, both husband and wife often wrote of their affection for one another throughout their years together.
... I need not tell you that since we left, all my thoughts have been with you at Windsor, and that your image fills my whole soul. Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth.
Okay, so Marci Seither isn't a famous poet or a Country icon, but she has followed in the footsteps of some, at least when it comes to letter writing. Her story in the latest issues of Mysterious Ways proves that love conquers all, even time. Her letters to husband John helped the couple reconnect after he served overseas and led to a love story worthy of being on this list.
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