To Jane Welsh Carlyle love letters were 'paper kisses', to Mary Wordsworth the 'beating of thy inmost heart upon paper'. Passion, longing, the desolation of unrequited love or the end of an affair are some of the consuming emotions in this ravishing compendium which reveals the enduring power of the love affair to produce ardent and often unguarded personal writing. From Emily Dickinson to Anais Nin, Anne Boleyn to the Empress Josephine, a miner's wife writing to her dead husband to prisoners of war in a Russian jail writing to friends and family, as well as contemporary figures such as Winnie Mandela and poets Suniti Namjoshi and Gillian Hanscombe, all wrote marvellous, highly charged love letters. With the promise of intimate glimpses into the writers' hearts, this anthology delivers Virginia Woolf at her wittiest, Colette in ardent and dreamy mood, Simone de Beauvoir at her most private and provocative, and many others.
'As we head down the super-highway of email and fax, we shall all need instruction in this old-fashioned art' Aisling Foster, TLS