7 Literary Love Letters To Read When You Need A Reminder That Romance Is Real
Lately it seems like, whether you're flipping through TV stations, scrolling on social media, or simply walking down the street, it is impossible to avoid the barrage of bad, sad, and infuriating news. While it is important to stay informed and connected to what is happening in the country and around the world, it is also important to give yourself a break every once in a while by doing something relaxing and uplifting, like reading romantic literary love letters just for fun. They may not be the most relevant pieces of writing you can read today, but they will certainly be the most optimistic, and honestly who couldn't use a little more positivity these days?
Let's face it, the world has seemed like a pretty dark and dreary place lately. Not a day goes by without a new and heartbreaking headline about sexual assault, deadly natural disasters, or migrant children being separated from their families. With so many horrible things happening in the United States, and all over the world, it's easy to feel perpetually hopeless — but there are things you can do to do to fight back and there are things you can do to cheer up, including reading.
If you need a break from all the anger-inducing, stomach-turning news, then read one of these seven romantic literary love letters and get ready to feel your heart swell with joy, not anxiety, for the first time in weeks.
Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliot, from 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen
Near the end of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth writes Anne Elliot a letter that just might hold the title for the best declaration of love in literature:
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you."
Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald, from 'Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald' by
Readers may never know what the letter Daisy received the day before her wedding night said in The Great Gatsby, but we do know how author F. Scott Fitzgerald professed his love to his wife Zelda, and how she reciprocated in turn, thanks to the heartwarming collection Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda. Zelda Fitzgerald wrote the following in the spring of 1919:
"There’s nothing in all the world I want but you and your precious love. All the material things are nothing. I’d just hate to live a sordid, colorless existence because you’d soon love me less and less and I’d do anything — anything — to keep your heart for my own. I don’t want to live—I want to love first, and live incidentally… Don’t—don’t ever think of the things you can’t give me. You’ve trusted me with the dearest heart of all—and it’s so damn much more than anybody else in all the world has ever had.”
Will Traynor to Louisa Clark, from 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes
Although the love story in Me Before You didn't get a happy ending, it include a beautiful and heartwarming and romantic letter from Will Traynor to Louisa Clark near the end:
"So this is it. You are scored on my heart, Clark. You were from the first day you walked in, with your ridiculous clothes and your bad jokes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt," Will writes to Clark in a moving note she receives after his death. "You changed my life so much more than this money will ever change yours."
Vladimir Nabokov to Vera Nabokov, from 'Letters to Vera' by Vladimir Nabokov
Readers who know Vladimir Nabokov by Lolita probably wouldn't consider him to be romantic, but a published collection of letters from the famous author to his wife, Vera, will convince them otherwise. As found in Letters To Vera:
"My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life's work is moving pen over paper, I don't know how to tell you how I love you, how I desire you. Such agitation — and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine — mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting — and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint — my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations."
Lara Jean Covey to Peter Kavinsky, from 'P.S. I Still Love You' by Jenny Han
If you thought To All the Boys I Loved Before was romantic, wait until you read its follow up, P.S. I Still Love You, which is filled with heartwarming love letters. This one is from Lara Jean Covey to Peter Kavinsky:
"Sometimes I like you so much I can't stand it. It fills up inside me, all the way to the brim, and I feel like I could overflow. I like you so much I don't know what to do with it. My heart beats so fast when I know I'm going to see you again. And then, when you look at me the way you do, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
Randolph Ash to Christabel La Motte, from 'Possession' by A.S. Bryant
Throughout Possession, readers will find romantic letters and swoon-worthy poems from Randolf Ash and Christabel La Motte, the two fictional Victorian poets at the heart of A.S. Bryant's layerd romance novel. This one is from Randolph to Christabel:
"I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed."
John Keats to Fanny Brawne, from 'Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne' by John Keats
Though the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne was cut tragically short when Keats died from tuberculosis at the young age of 25, it was filled with beautiful, lyrical, and swoon-worthy love letters, as documented in Bright Star. Here's one from Keats to Brawne:
"You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass'd my window home yesterday, I was fill'd with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you."