However, I have read Love Letters of Great Women. According to the internet (which never lies, of course), Sex in the City made Love Letters of Great Men very popular.
In the spirit of my newly discovered knowledge, I have decided to share a few letters from the Men's book. Some guys are downright poetic when they are in love. *swoon*
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven left several unaddressed love letters in his desk drawer. They were found after he died.
Written July 7th (year unknown)
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you.
No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection?
My angel, I have just been told that the mail coach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
This one sounds pretty clandestine...
The Hague 1713
I am a prisoner here in the name of the King;
they can take my life, but not the love that I feel for you.
Yes, my adorable mistress, to-night I shall see you, if I had to put my head on the block to do it.
For heaven's sake, do not speak to me in such disastrous terms as you write; you must live and be cautious; beware of Madame your mother as of your worst enemy.
What do I say?
Beware of everybody; trust no one; keep yourself in readiness, as soon as the moon is visible; I shall leave the hotel incognito, take a carriage or a chaise, we shall drive like the wind to Sheveningen; I shall take paper and ink with me; we shall write our letters.
If you love me, reassure yourself; and call all your strength and presence of mind to your aid; do not let your mother notice anything, try to have your pictures, and be assured that the menace of the greatest tortures will not prevent me to serve you.
No, nothing has the power to part me from you; our love is based upon virtue, and will last as long as our lives.
Adieu, there is nothing that I will not brave for your sake; you deserve much more than that.
Adieu, my dear heart!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
October 17, 1790
(A Postscript to a Letter)
While I was writing the last page, tear after tear fell on the paper. But I must cheer up - catch! - An astonishing number of kisses are flying about - The deuce! - I see a whole crowd of them! Ha! Ha!...I have just caught three - They are delicious! - You can still answer this letter, but you must address your reply to Linz, Poste Restante - That is the safest course.
As I do not yet know for certain whether I shall go to Regensburg, I can't tell you anything definite. Just write on the cover that the letter is to be kept until called for.
Adieu - Dearest, most beloved little wife - Take care of your health - and don't think of walking into town. Do write and tell me how you like our new quarters - Adieu. I kiss you millions of times.
What is there to say about Napoleon? His passionate letters to his wife are basically legendary. The guy was INTENSE. I've included a couple of his letters to illustrate my point.
I awake full of you. Your image and the intoxication of last night give my senses no rest.
Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart. Are you angry? Do I see you sad? Are you worried? My soul breaks with grief, and there is no rest for your lover; but how much the more when I yield to this passion that rules me and drink a burning flame from your lips and your heart? Oh! This night has shown me that your portrait is not you!
You leave at midday; in three hours I shall see you.
Meanwhile, my sweet love, a thousand kisses; but do not give me any, for they set my blood on fire.
April 3, 1796
I have received all your letters, but none has made me such an impression as the last. How, my beloved, can you write to me like that? Don't you think my position is cruel enough, without adding my sorrows and crushing my spirit? What a style! What feelings you show! They are fire, and they burn my poor heart.
My one and only Josephine, apart from you there is no joy; away from you, the world is a desert where I am alone and cannot open my heart. You have taken more than my soul; you are the one thought of my life. When I am tired of the worry of work, when I feel the outcome, when men annoy me, when I am ready to curse being alive, I put my hand on my heart; your portrait hangs there, I look at it, and love brings me perfect happiness, and all is miling except the time I must spend away from my mistress.
By what art have you captivated all my facilities and concentrated my whole being in you? It is a sweet friend, that will die only when I do. To live for Josephine, that is the history of my life I long. I try to come near you. Fool! I don't notice that I am going further away. How many countries separate us! How long before you will read these words, this feeble expression of a captive soul where you are queen?
Oh, my adorable wife! I don't know what fate has in store for me, but if it keeps me apart from you any longer, it will be unbearable! My courage is not enough for that. Once upon a time I was proud of my courage, and sometimes I would think of the ills destiny might bring me and consider the most terrible horrors without blinking or feeling shaken. But, today the thought that my Josephine might be in trouble, that she may be ill, above the cruel, the awful thought that she may love me less blights my soul, stills my blood and makes me sad and depressed, without even the courage of rage and despair.
I used often to say men cannot harm one who dies without regret; but, now, to die not loved by you, to die without knowing, would be the torment of Hell, the living image of utter desolation. I feel I am suffocating. My one companion, you whom fate has destined to travel the sorry road of life beside me, the day I lose your heart will be the day Nature loses warmth and life for me. I stop, sweet friend; my soul is sad, my body tired, my spirit oppressed. men bore me. I ought to hate them: they take me away from my heart.
I am at Port Maurice, near Ognelia; tomorrow I reach Albenga. The two armies are moving, trying to outwit each other. Victory to the cleverer. I am pleased with Beauliu; he maneuvers well and is stronger than his predecessor. I will beat him soundly, I hope. Don't be frightened. Love me like your eyes; but that is not enough: like yourself, more than yourself, than your thoughts, your life, all of you. Forgive me, dear love, I am raving; Nature is frail when one feels deeply, when one is loved by you.
Sincere friendship to Barras, Sucy, Madame Tallien; respects to Madame Chateau-Renard; true love to Eugene, to Hortense.
Goodbye, goodbye! I shall go to bed without you, sleep without you. Let me sleep, I beg you. For several nights I have felt you in my arms; a happy dream, but it is not you.
If you want to read more, you can find the book here.