Saturday, February 12, 2011

"...for they set my blood on fire." Romantic Love Letters in History

Napoleon Bonaparte may have caused havoc during the Napoleonic Wars, but he was passionatly in love with his wife Josephine de Beauharnais. This letter was written just before their marriage.


Paris, December 1795

I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?... My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for you lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!


You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.


Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.

Bonaparte


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