Valentine's Day is the most loved-up day of the year - so if you're planning to pen some prose for your better half take a tip from some of the best
Royal lothario: Henry was quite the wordsmith it seems
Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year - so what better way to declare your affection for someone than with a love letter?
A verse of passion, longing or adoration is no modern phenomenon though, loved-up couples have been doing it for years.
Plenty of well-known faces have put down in words just how much someone means to them throughout history.
Henry VIII, Charlotte Bronte, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill amongst many others have penned their love for their significant other.
So if you're planning a scribble or two to your loved one later today take a look at these famous writings for inspiration. Continue reading........
Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn (c.1528)
Even though he was still married to Catherine of Aragon, the notorious royal lothario set about seducing Anne Boleyn by picking up his quill and writing:
"If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you,” he wrote in French “I shall scarcely be forgotten, for I am yours. Henry Rex forever.”
Charlotte Bronte to Prof. Constantin Heger (Nov 18, 1844)
The author of Jane Eyre ought to have to known a thing or two about conducting love affairs but she just melted when it came to the academic, Prof Heger, who taught her languages in Brussels. He tore them up in shock, since he was married, but, ironically, his wife fished the remnants out of the bin.
“Truly I find it difficult to be cheerful,” she wrote to him “solong (CORRECT) as I think I shall never see you no more.”
Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas (January 1897)
The writer ended up in Reading jail after he embarked on an affair with the young aristocrat, but it did give the world his 50,000 word letter to Lord Douglas, De Profundis.
“Our ill-fated and most lamentable friendship has ended in ruin and public infamy for me,” said Wilde “yet the memory of our ancient affection is often with me, and the thought that loathing, bitterness and contempt should for ever take that place in my heart held by love is very sad to me.”
Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton (March 15, 1974)
Antony and Cleopatra: Taylor wrote this note on her and Burton's tenth anniversary
On their tenth wedding anniversary the actress sent her husband a letter which reflected their infamously passionate relationship.
“I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight,” she wrote “my pure animal pleasure of you – (with you) – my jealousy, my pride, my anger at you, at times.
"Most of all my love for you, and whatever love you can dole out to me – I wish I could write about it but I can’t. I can only ‘boil and bubble’ inside and hope you understand how I really feel. Anyway I lust thee, Your (still) Wife.” The couple split up days later.
Mark Twain to Olivia Langdon (May 12, 1869)
What more would you expect from one of the giants of the literary world? Twain penned these eloquent words to the woman who would become his wife:
“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.”
Marie Antoinette to Axel von Fersen (June 28, 1791)
During the French revolution the imprisoned Queen of France continued to write to her lover and, even though she existed in constant peril, it didn’t diminish her love for the Swedish Count.
“I am alive here my beloved, for the reason to adore you.” Antoinette wrote to him in a coded letter. “I cannot write any more but nothing in the world could stop me from adoring you until death.”
Winston Churchill to his wife, Clemmie (Jan 23, 1935)
Peace: Churchill was quite the romantic in his spare time
He provided the most rousing inspirational speeches in history and helped bolster Britain as it battled through World War Two, so it’s no surprise to learn Sir Winston was pretty nifty when it came to writing letters too.
“What it has been to me to live all these years in your heart and companionship no phrases can convey.” he wrote to his wife. “Time passes swiftly, but is it not joyous to see how great and growing is the treasure we have gathered together”
Napolean Bonaparte to Josephine (December 1795)
The French empire builder was a prolific writer and was said to have produced some 75,000 letters in his life, but few were more heated than this correspondence with Josephine just before their wedding day:
“I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart!
"But is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire?”
Lord Byron to Annabella Millbanke (November 16, 1814)
He was known as one of England’s most notorious womanisers and his incomparable skill will language was the ultimate weapon in his seductive arsenal. Just drink in these lines as he describes being apart from his future wife:
“We are thus far separated - but after all one mile is as bad as a thousand - which is a great consolation to one who must travel six hundred before he meets you again.
"If it will give you any satisfaction - I am as comfortless as a pilgrim with peas in his shoes - and as cold as Charity - Chastity or any other Virtue.”
Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan (March 4, 1983)
President Reagan wrote this romantic note for his wife Nancy on their 31st anniversary
Not known for his eloquence when speaking, the US president did a pretty good job when it came to writing a letter to his wife on the occasion of their 31st wedding anniversary:
“I told you once that it was like an adolescent’s dream of what marriage should be like. That hasn’t changed. I more than love you, I’m not whole without you.
"You are life itself to me. When you are gone I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.”
Dylan Thomas to wife Caitlin March 16 (1950)
We expect great things from writers, but the tone of Thomas’s letter home penned during a reading tour of North America is simply heartbreaking.
“Have you forgotten me? I am the man you used to say you loved. I used to sleep in your arms - do you remember? But you never write. You are perhaps mindless of me. I am not of you. I love you.
"There isn’t a moment of any hideous day when I do not say to myself. ‘It will be alright. I shall go home. Caitlin loves me. I love Caitlin.’
"But perhaps you have forgotten. If you have forgotten, or lost your affection for me, please, my Cat, let me know. I Love You.”
Sir Walter Raleigh to his wife, Elizabeth (1603)
Just before being executed on a false charge of treason, the former favourite of Queen Elizabeth wrote these words to the queen of his heart, begging her not to mourn for him forever.
“You shall now receive (my dear wife) my last words in these my last lines. My love I send you that you may keep it when I am dead, and my counsel that you may remember it when I am no more.
"I would not by my will present you with sorrows (dear Besse) let them go to the grave with me and be buried in the dust.”