6 Love Notes We Love
Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
“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’s pioneering novel Orlando – which addressed censorship and queer love – was based on the English poet Vita Sackville-West.
Sackville-West was to be Woolf’s lover and lifelong friend and the pair exchanged numerous intimate love letters.
This was an extract from a letter sent from Woolf to Sackville-West from January of 1927, shortly after the two had fallen madly in love.
Alex Turners Love Letter to Alexa Chung
"My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again is stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since, well, before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree."
When asked about press stories that irk her, Alexa Chung said, "There was a really upsetting one when Alex had written me a Valentine card and I had accidentally left it in a bar. And someone sold it to the Sun and then they printed it, and they changed it so it didn't look like a Valentine card, and they just said it was a love letter. They slated him for being really soppy."
"Was he peeved?" the reported asked.
"He was really cool with it," she said, "and he said, 'I'm not upset that everyone saw it because that's the truth and I couldn't give a shit.' And then he went [Chung dons a comedy northern accent], 'Eh, but at least you've got a copy of it now, eh?'"
Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera
Diego, my love,
‘Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to feel all the paths of my nerves which are yours.’
Your girl, Frida (Write me)
The relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is not your typical love story… They had messy fights, multiple extra-marital affairs and even divorced in 1939 only to remarry a year later. The duo painted each other for 25 years.
Jimi Hendrix to unknown girlfriend
Little girl.....happiness is within you....so unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow— like the sweet flower you are.....
I know the answer— Just spread your wings and set yourself
Love to you forever
Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich
I always love you and admire you and I have all sorts of mixed up feelings about you […]
please know that I love you always and forget you sometimes as I forget my heart beats.
But it beats always.”
A set unpublished letters and telegrams from the legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway to the German singer-actress Marlene Dietrich, which were only made public for the first time in 2007, reveal the depth of their passion for each other. The letters between Hemingway and Dietrich are a story of 30-years of unconsummated love, the timing was never right but they were intimate friends.
Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas
My dearest boy,
This is to assure you of my immortal, my eternal love for you. Tomorrow all will be over. If prison and dishonour be my destiny, think that my love for you and this idea, this still more divine belief, that you love me in return will sustain me in my unhappiness and will make me capable, I hope, of bearing my grief most patiently. Since the hope, nay rather the certainty, of meeting you again in some world is the goal and the encouragement of my present life, ah! I must continue to live in this world because of that.
In 1895, at the height of Oscar Wilde's literary success, with his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest drawing continuous acclaim across the stages of London, Wilde had Douglas’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, prosecuted for libel. But the evidence unearthed during the trial led to Wilde’s own arrest on charges of “gross indecency” with members of the same sex. Two more trials followed, after which he was sentenced for two years of “hard labor” in prison. On April 29 of that year, having hit emotional and psychological rock-bottom, his reputation ruined and his health deteriorating, Wilde wrote to Douglas on the eve of the final trial with the above note.
There are many beautiful love letters between the two of them which made it hard to choose but this one is particularly moving.