The Best Love Letters Of All Time

Shutterstock / morrowlight © Best Love Letters Of All Time. Images features a stack of enveloped and folded love letters tied in a string bow and sprinkled with tiny pink rose buds.

Love was bursting from the hearts of these famous artists, writers and poets from bygone eras. Read some of the best love letters ever written! 


Vita Sackville-West’s Secret Love Letters to Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and Vita Sackville-West a successful novelist, poet, journalist and garden designer.

Although both women were married to men, this was a time when people rarely wed for love and same-sex marriage was illegal. So they settled for a secret affair and penned hundreds of love letters to each other. 

It will come as no surprise that their love letters were beautifully written. However, unlike Virginia Woolf’s favour of flowery language, Vita was very much to the point in her prose.

In January 1927, Vita sent her most unguarded letter. It reads: “I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it.

“And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain.

“It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.” 


Charles Rennie Mackintosh And Margaret Mackintosh’s Passionate Partnership

Some artists have muses, others have collaborators. Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a lucky man. He found both in one woman, his wife Margaret.

The pair collaborated pretty much their entire careers, yet it’s difficult to decipher exactly which projects Margaret influenced. Victorian society unfortunately cast her husband’s success as a shadow over her own.

However, Margaret’s brilliance was not lost on Charles. In fact, he emphasised how vital she was to his work in a love letter, “You must remember that in all my architectural efforts you have been half if not three quarters in them.”

The best example of just how madly in love Charles was with Margaret, was when he wrote to her almost every day during a six week separation. This was 27 years into their marriage. Margaret had to visit London for medical and dental care while Charles remained at their home in the French coastal town of Port Vendre. 

Margaret’s letters no longer exist, but Charles’ do. Despite what historians now believe was dyslexia, his love for Margaret was so clearly spelled out on paper.

In one letter he wrote, “In your last letter I hear a little cry as if you were tired of being alone. Well Margaret I have hated being alone all the time. Nothing is the same when you are not here, everything has a flatness. I feel as if I am waiting for something all the time, and that is true because I am waiting for you. Dear Margaret, it will not be long now until we meet again.” 

Then just before Margaret’s return to France, he concluded his ‘chronycle’ of letters, ”This chronicle seems to be full of fleeting impressions and disconnected sentences, but anyone who can read their meaning would find only three words, ‘I love you’.” 

They were so infatuated with one another that even their peers noticed and wrote poetically of them. After visiting their home in 1905, French painter, Blanche Ernest Kalas described the couple as “two visionary souls, in loving mateship … wafted still further aloft to the heavenly realms of creation.”


Oscar Wilde’s Undying Love For Lord Alfred Douglas 

Popular playwright Oscar Wilde met Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas in June 1891. The Oxford student and talented poet became Wilde’s muse and lover, but their relationship was controversial for its time. In fact, Wilde faced societal condemnation and was sentenced to two years imprisonment for their love.

Yet, it was during the course of their tumultuous love affair that Wilde wrote some his best work including The Importance of being Earnest and Salome. They continued their relationship in secret and Wilde’s surviving love letters provide detailed insight into the inner workings of their love.

In one letter, Wilde wrote: “Everyone is furious with me for going back to you, but they don’t understand us. I feel that it is only with you that I can do anything at all.

“Do remake my ruined life for me, and then our friendship and love will have a different meaning to the world. I wish that when we met at Rouen we had not parted at all.

“There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us. But we love each other.” 


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Hannah McLaren

I've worked at DC Thomson for six years! I began as an intern at My Weekly and The Scots Magazine, which was extended by a few months to help out at The People's Friend. I then covered maternity as Celebrity Editor for My Weekly, before I became Multimedia Journalist at The Scots Magazine. Currently I'm writing digital content across each title.