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The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  31 reviews
If a picture speaks a thousand words, a love letter speaks a thousand more . . .

Even in this age of e-mail, faxes, and instant messaging, nothing has ever replaced the power of a love letter. Much the way light displays every color when passed through a prism, love letters express the spectrum of our emotions, offering a colorful glimpse into the soul of the writer, and of
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by Gramercy (first published 2002)
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Bennet
A fine if slight collection and a fun read. Can't say I consider them all the greatest, but enough to make four stars. And it's a colorful distraction from winter grays and a cozy read by a fire.

A handful are love pissed or lost letters, and I especially enjoyed the chapter Fire and Ice with its slings and arrows. As in Marcel Proust to Daniel Halevy: "You gave me quite a little thrashing, but your switches are so flowery that I can't be angry with you and the fragrance of those flowers has int
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Rhonda
I confess that these did not appear to be the 50 greatest love letters to me. While some of them are... well, exhilarating, others are merely famous. I wanted to like all of them very much, but found a few more than a little tame, something like reading some of my own relations' old letters to one another. I also wondered at several because they seemed too intimate to share. It made me think of the cavalier way in which we use these pictures of people simply because they are dead and can no long ...more
Daniela Benedetti
Ecco la mia recensione su Inchiostro Bianco.
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Decisi di andare alla ricerca di un libro contenente lettere d’amore dopo aver visto una scena del primo film di Sex and the City: Carrie leggeva al suo futuro marito un poesia di Beethoven che racchiudeva delle parole che tutte le donne vorrebbero sentirsi dire.
Sono andata in libreria, ho trovato questo volume che promette di racchiudere “Le più belle lettere d’amore di tutti i tempi” e dopo averlo letto posso dirvi con sicurezza che non credo c
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E.
Slim pickings. Some bright moments, and interesting famous folks, but really a poorly conceived collection. Lost love, young love, greatest love, unrequited love—there was a lot of room for letters that better captured what it feels like to expose one's heart.
N. Ray
Each letter began with a description of who was writing the letter and to whom it was being sent. The description along with the letter itself was more meaningful than a letter alone, as some people I had never heard of.
I believe the best letters came from presidents and soldiers. Also, I think ending the book with a letter from Lewis Carol to a young girl,(especially after the description of his odd fascination with young girls) was off putting. In my opinion, giving 2 stars was generous.
Liza
Greatest Love Letters of All Time? God, I hope not. To be honest, while it was interesting to read some of the letters, I found that I wouldn't classify most of them as even being love letters. Just because a letter ends with one or two romantic lines or the words "I love you" doesn't really make it a love letter. Perhaps it's merely my own personal distinction, but I consider a love letter to be a letter in which the main subject is the receiver. Usually it would, at least to some extent, discu ...more
Estella
I gave this book one star because a handful of the love letters included therein *were* beautiful. The majority of them, however, did not seem (to me) like love letters at all, and a couple were downright...well, creepy. A disappointment.
Kar Wai Ng
i had hope but this is not the 50 greatest love letters of all time. perhaps a few a really good but most are just... i think this is more like "50 love letters written by famous people"
Tori
I'm glad that I bought this for a dollar on Amazon. As much as I love beautiful love letters, this really was scarce of them.

Yes, a few selections are beautiful and lyrical, and the different categories of letters does show a decent range in their tone, but they are certainly not 50 of the greatest love letters. About ten of them aren't even love letters--they're jaded words exchanged when a love falls apart. I was hoping for much more from this, and I'm rather disappointed.

It was promising--and
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Goddesslv4
There where some really great love letters BUT most of them where to and from cheaters!!! Kinda makes me feel sad
Liz (reading wickedly)
The editor's choice of letters baffled me at times, and I relied heavily on the italicized biographies that came before and after each epistle to explain the context. If these truly were the "greatest love letters of all time," shouldn't they be able to speak for themselves?
Donna
I skipped the people I'd never heard of. Some were interesting.
Katie
Although I didn't love every letter is this book of "greatest" letters, I did find almost every one interesting, and there were several that I loved. One of the best things about this book is the way the author carefully introduces each letter. For each one, he provides a short synopsis of who the writer was, to whom the letter was written, and a bit of background on their relationship and the surrounding details. As all the writers are famous, historical figures, these little glimpses into thei ...more
Melissa
I love the idea of love letters being written and sent via mail, there is something more personal about it then an email or a text message. I love that the author introduces who the writer is and what their mark on history is before each love letter. Some of the love letters left a much bigger impression than others, but a good read nonetheless.
Kristy
I picked this one up after watching "Sex and the City" this past weekend and was disappointed by many of the letters chosen, particularly by the letter from a fan to Elvis. I understand that the author was trying to convey the broad spectrum of feelings and circumstances surrounding love letters, but it just didn't do anything for me.
Zainab
I thoroughly enjoyed reading these letters written by famous people I've learnt about in school, like Mozart, Beethoven, Napolean, etc. We've all heard of their accomplishments but reading these letters shows you that they're just like everybody else, with feelings, relationships, hopes, dreams and desires.
Chelsie
If these are truly the greatest love letters of all time, I am very disappointed. Some of these letters were great, but most were I think selected because of who wrote them. I would say I liked about 10% of the letters...which works out to 5!!! Not impressive.
Stacey
I'm about 3/4 through it. I like my IMing, email, and text messages, but well-written letters are a lost art that should return. People just don't write letters like this anymore. These letters are warm, honest, and revealing, and no emoticons. LOL
Jennifer
It's interesting to note that the best letter in the entire book (by the way, I dont know how they made the top 50) was Oscar Wilde's, not to his gay lover, but to his wife. Very beautiful.
Angela
I do not think these were the 50 greatest love letters of all time. While they were nice, I am not sure I can really believe that these are all at the very very top of the list.
Phuong
How does one determine that those 50 love letters were the greatest of ALL TIME? Some of them were pretty bad; I have received more touching love letters that those.
Kelly Lack
Still in process, but I like that the book explores different kinds of love by different types of people. Still looking for the best of the bunch...
C.A.
Jun 13, 2008 C.A. added it
Shelves: books-i-own
Some good selections, some puzzling ones. Probably not the best collection of literary love letters, but it's certainly a fun read.
Jillian
Interesting. I enjoyed the brief life history of the letter writers & recipients prior to reading the letters.
Judith
3.5 stars. Some of the letters were absolutely beautiful, but some were just a sentence or two of romance.
Khalil
A very interesting peek into the lives and 'affairs' of some of the biggest names in history.
Renee
This book was quite historical - didn't love it but liked it!
Krunal Stormy
i want to impress my girlfriend .. i think it will be helpful
Jefferson
Fantastic and Inspirational... It left me hopeful.
Melanie
This was a gift from my sister and I loved it!
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