Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I’m personally trying to find more romantic inspiration in my life, as I’m may be a tad too happily single at the moment (All that time to read an no one else to consider, can you blame me?). I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of books of love letters in the vein of the list of books about witches that I published this past Halloween, so that I can give myself a year to read them and review all (or most) of them by next Valentine’s Day.
This list will actually be the inverse of my Witches book list because while in that case all the books but one were fictional, for this list of books of love letters, all but one are nonfiction. I decided to include a novel written as a series of love letters that I’ve heard of so many times since I started book blogging, and that I really want to read – The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
If you have any other suggestions for either real life or fictional books of love letters I should consider, let me know in the comments.
P.S. All the blurbs about each book below are from Goodreads.
Love Letters Of Great Men, Vol. 1
by John C. Kirkland
When words of love do not come to you on their own, then read these letters. Complete, actual love letters of great men like Lord Byron, John Keats and Voltaire. Dozens of intimate letters, coupled with over a score of period illustrations. Plus fascinating biographies, and insights into the couples’ relationships-how they got there, the obstacles they faced, and what happened next.
So Bright And Delicate: Love Letters And Poems Of John Keats To Fanny Browne
by John Keats
This edition comprises all the love letters that John Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne, and the poetry he wrote for her. John fell in love with Fanny when he saw her in November 1818 in Hampstead and was inspired to produce some of the most beautiful verse and love letters ever written.
A Lifelong Passion:
The Letters Of Nicholas & Alexandra
by Andrei Maylunas and Sergey Mironenko
These letters, most of which are published here for the first time, offer an intimate look at some of the most momentous events of the early 1900s. Among the correspondents are Alexandra’s beloved but domineering grandmother, Queen Victoria of England, and Nicholas’ cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. Most poignant, though, are the letters and diaries of the last Tsar and Tsarina, which stand as eloquent expressions of one of the great love affairs of this century.
Letters To Milena
by Franz Kafka
In no other work does Kafka reveal himself as in the Letters to Milena, which begin essentially as a business correspondence but soon develop into a passionate “letter love.” Milena Jesenská was a gifted and charismatic woman of twenty-three. Kafka’s Czech translator, she was uniquely able to recognize his complex genius and his even more complex character.
Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda
The Love Letters Of F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald
Edited by Jackson R. Bryer & Cathy W. Barks
Through his alcoholism and her mental illness, his career lows and her institutional confinement, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s devotion to each other endured for over twenty-two years. Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda consists of more than 75 percent previously unpublished or out-of-print letters as well as extensive narrative on the Fitzgeralds’ marriage by Fitzgerald scholars Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks.
My Dearest Friend:
Letters Of Abigail And John Adam
Edited by Margaret A. Hogan and C. James Taylor
In 1762, John Adams penned a flirtatious note to “Miss Adorable,” the 17-year-old Abigail Smith. In 1801, Abigail wrote to wish her husband John a safe journey as he headed home to Quincy after serving as president of the nation he helped create. The letters that span these nearly forty years form the most significant correspondence–and reveal one of the most intriguing and inspiring partnerships–in American history.
The Letters Of Vita Sackville-West And Virginia Woolf
Edited by Louise DeSalvo And Mitchell Leaska
After they met in 1922, Vita Sackville-West, a British novelist married to foreign diplomat Harold Nicolson, and Virginia Woolf began a passionate relationship that lasted until Woolf’s death in 1941. Their revealing correspondence leaves no aspect of their lives untouched: daily dramas, bits of gossip, the strains and pleasures of writing, and always the same joy in each other’s company.
Letters To Vera
Edited By Olga Voronina And Brian Boyd
No marriage of a major twentieth-century writer lasted longer than Vladimir Nabokov’s. Véra Slonim shared his delight at the enchantment of life’s trifles and literature’s treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humour of any woman he had met. Vladimir’s letters to his beloved Véra form a narrative arc that tells a forty-six year-long love story, and they are memorable in their entirety.
Paula: A Memoir
by Isabel Allende
In December 1991, Isabel Allende’s daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and shortly thereafter fell into a coma. During hours in the hospital, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious daughter. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes, and we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers.
The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shafer And Annie Barrows
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways. January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book.
Have you read any of these books of love letters? If so, what did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!
For more recent posts on Novels And Nonfiction check out the 10 February 2018 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To, My Year In Books For 2017, and My Top Ten Favorite Books I Read In 2017.
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