The Torrid Love Letters of Famous Authors

By Emily Temple

The loving, touching, and downright weird things that the literary greats wrote to their lovers

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Authors' Dirty Love Letters

When authors pen love letters, sometimes they can get a little scandalous. After all, we know that great authors can tend to be a little dirtier than your average swooner, and what better place to let their freak flag fly than in private correspondences they never dreamed would go down in history? If you're lucky, this Valentine's Day will bring a plethora of long, handwritten love letters for you to peruse by candlelight, but since you probably aren't that lucky, we've collected a few of our favorite literary love letters for you to read by the soft glow of your computer screen.

Some are flat-out obscene (James Joyce, we're looking at you) and some composed of more subtle and suggestive flirting, but all of them are titillating, romantic, and of course, exceedingly well-written. We're not saying that you should necessarily pick up any tips for when you write tonight's Valentine's Day card from these, but then again, if your lady is a Flaubert fan, it might be exactly the ticket.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Image credit: AP Images

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/02/the-torrid-love-letters-of-famous-authors/253089/