50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

love… immortalized

Writing love letters is a lost art. Gone are the days when men and women sat down to think of the words that would carry their feelings for their beloved across great distances. Now, people whip out their smartphones and laptops and type out their feelings in 140 characters or less. Where’s the romance in, “Hey babe, love ‘ya”?

Okay, okay, people in this technology-dependent world may find the above statement romantic enough, but not for this literary nerd. Give me a handwritten love letter and watch me crumble. Yes, that’s right. Your resident kulot is a hopeless romantic.

Carrie reading from the wrong page of the book. Tsk tsk.

And this is why, when I saw Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City with a copy of the book, 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time, and heard her read an excerpt, I just about died. Here was a book that held within its covers evidence that TRUE LOVE existed and, if you are as hopeless a romantic as I, might still continue to exist until now.

Here’s what the text on the jacket cover says:

Even in this age of e-mail, faxes, and instant messaging, nothing has ever replaced the power of a love letter. Much the way light displays every color when passed through a prism, love letters express the spectrum of our emotions, offering a colorful glimpse into the soul of the writer, and of the writer’s beloved. For passionate readers and lovers of words, a letter is irresistible.

My favorite love letters are from poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning to her brother George about her husband, Robert; Beethoven to the “Immortal Beloved”; Simone de Beauvoir to Nelson Algren; and Anne Sexton to Philip Legler.

Unfortunately, Fully Booked no longer carries this book. I think it’s already out of print. Your best bet for a copy is online. In my case, I spotted a secondhand hardbound copy in Booksale. I thanked the heavens for my luck and immediately purchased it.

If you do get your hands on a copy, don’t ever let it go. Cherish each word, each phrase, each sentence that holds volumes of love within it.

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3 thoughts on “50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

  1. I read “I Walked the Line” by Vivienne Cash, where she kept love letters from Johnny Cash when they were still engaged. I loved it. Sobrang big deal ang love letters dati especially during the war, it was like their life line back then. They were superbly written, too. Yeah, we can still take pen to paper, but it doesn’t have the same urgency or sincerity or they rarely do anymore. I think people wrote love letters differently then. 🙂

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