9 Famous Historical Love Letters That Transcend Time

Famous Historical Love Letters That Transcend Time

Throughout history, people have expressed their love in countless ways. Thanks to technology we can now show our affection through emojis and DMs. Even though sending a simple “❤️” is convenient, these famous historical love letters have shown us that nothing beats handwritten words on a piece of paper.

In this article, you’ll be taken on a journey of some of the best love letters ever of all time. A heartfelt love letter holds a special place in today’s world where connections are often fleeting. These famous historical love letters remind us that this emotion called “love” transcends just about everything.

Related: Love Letter For Each Zodiac Sign

9 Famous Historical Love Letters Of Eternal Devotion

1. Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most famous historical love letters ever written, and also one of the best love letters for her.

Johnny Cash pours his heart out in this letter to June Carter Cash by expressing his thankfulness for her constant support. He describes her as the object of his desire, and says she is the reason for his existence on Earth.

“Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get use to each other. We think alike.

We read each other’s 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.

Happy Birthday Princess.


2. Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

In one of the best lover letters ever, Frida Kahlo reveals just how much she really loves him. Although these two may not have had a very smooth relationship, their love for each other was unquestionable and irrefutable.


Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love. To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart. All this madness, if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.

I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth. I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.


Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera
Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931 by Frida Kahlo

3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Robert Browning

If you are thinking of dedicating a love letter to your boyfriend, then this is one of the best love letters for him. In the history of love letters, this is a classic example that goes beyond the usual expressions.

Her words portray a bond so deep and raw that it would’ve been impossible for anyone reading to go by without shedding at least a single tear.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

Related: How To Ask Someone To Be Your Valentine: 8 Creative Ways to Pop the Question

4. Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas

Poet Oscar Wilde fell madly in love with Lord Alfred Douglas, an undergraduate at Oxford University, and in no time, Douglas became his muse. Throughout their relationship, Wilde wrote many love letters for Douglas, with this one considered to be one of the best love letters ever in the history of love letters.

“My Own Boy,

Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red rose-leaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days.”

Famous historical love letters show the beauty of handwritten letters

5. Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved

Arguably, one of the most famous historical love letters ever written in the history of love letters. This can be considered one of the best love letters for her too, if you’re looking to dedicate one to your girlfriend.

This letter is a testament to the intense and tormented nature of his love. However, no one knows who received this letter but it has attracted readers because of its intense and deep emotions.

“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.

What longing in tears for you — You — my Life — my All — farewell. Oh, go on loving me — never doubt the faithfullest heart

Of your beloved,


Ever thine.
Ever mine.
Ever ours.”

6. Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte’s letters to Josephine offer a glimpse into the tender and vulnerable side of the renowned military leader. When he was a very young officer, he used to write letters to her while he was away at war, however, she rarely used to reply back.

This letter is a testament to the softer side of one of the most renowned and intimidating military leaders of all times, and can also serve as one of the best love letters for her.

“A few days ago I thought I loved you; but since I last saw you I feel I love you a thousand times more. All the time I have known you, I adore you more each day; that just shows how wrong was La Bruyére’s maxim that love comes all at once. Everything in nature has its own life and different stages of growth. I beg you, let me see some of your faults: be less beautiful, less graceful, less kind, less good…”

Related: John Steinbeck : A 1958 Letter To His Son On Falling In Love

7. Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West

Through her words, you can see how much she treasures Sackville-West as she describes their relationship. Not only do the letters show how deep their emotional connection was, but they also reveal her creative process and how love can be a fountainhead of literature.

“Look here Vita — throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.”

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West

8. Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wondering how to surprise your SO? This is one of the best love letters for her if you’re looking to show your love in a unique way!

Zelda Fitzgerald’s letters to her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, epitomize their deep love for each other perfectly, despite their rocky rollercoaster romance. One of the most famous historical love letters, it shows Zelda’s quirky persona and the way she had with words.

“Darling– I love these velvet nights. I’ve never been able to decide whether the night was a bitter enemie or a “grand patron” –or whether I love you most in the eternal classic half-lights where it blends with day or in the full religious fan-fare of mid-night or perhaps in the lux of noon.

Anyway, I love you most and you ‘phoned me just because you phoned me tonight– I walked on those telephone wires for two hours after holding your love like a parasol to balance me.”

9. Patti Smith to Robert Mapplethorpe

The love between punk icon Patti Smith and famous photographer Robert Mapplethorpe blossomed when they were both poor artists in New York City, but the relationship was short-lived.

However, their respect for each other and friendship lasted till the end of time. One of the best love letters which can also serve as one of the best love letters for him was written by Patti to Robert after he passed away.

“Dear Robert,

Often as I lie awake I wonder if you are also lying awake…You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist. I learned to see through you and never compose a line or draw a curve that does not come from the knowledge I derived in our precious time together…

The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occured to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.


Related: A Final Letter To The Man Who Broke Me

Every one of these famous historical love letters offers us a glimpse into how different people experience love in different ways. In the history of love letters, these are considered to be some of the best love letters ever, because they beautifully portray the depth of emotion, complexities of of relationships and how love influenced some of the most famous minds in history.

Which of these famous historical love letters were your favourites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

history of love letters

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