This week is quite the week. We are on the tail end of a few holidays including the Chinese New Year (Monday- it’s my year! I’m a Monkey!) – Mardi Gras yesterday- today, Ash Wednesday. (Which starts my favorite religious period of the year.) However, this weekend ends with Valentine’s Day and next week kicks off with President’s Day – President Lincoln, I salute you!
Can we say, whoa, holidays?!
As we get ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I want to get you in the mood of writing letters to your loved ones, I’m sharing one of my absolute favorite love writings from fiction. Obviously, I’m a writer, a paper lover and well, a lover of well written fiction so I have many letter passages from fictional works that I love, but this letter by Captain Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot is one of my favorites.
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone fore ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. -Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?-I had not waited even these ten says, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others.-Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in F.W.
I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never.” – “Persuasion,” Jane Austen
To give you some history, I was late to Jane Austen. I can remember when the craze hit in the 90s, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea, even though I did greatly enjoy other fictional novels written during her time period. It wasn’t until I had to read “Emma” as part of my English Literature degree at The George Washington University that I truly fell for Jane Austen and her characters. It was also around this time that my aunt and I discovered the BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice” with Colin Firth as Darcy. We started an annual weekend to watch it together. Elizabeth and Darcy solidified my love, obviously.
I have slowly tackled Austen’s work loving each for various reasons since then. Although, I must admit that I have read “Pride and Prejudice” more often than the others. Which is why when I found myself in love with “Persuasion” I was shocked. See, I encountered Persuasion backwards – I watched it first as a movie on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater and loved it. I then bought the book and read it and loved it more. It is my favorite Austen novel. The page where the letter I shared above sits in my copy is dogeared a few times.
I can only imagine what receiving a letter like this would cause feeling wise. And maybe that’s why I love it so and wanted to share today.
If you have a favorite letter, please let me know. I’d love to expand on my collection. In fact, I think we all should keep a collection of save worthy love letters – it reminds us of what we’re capable of doing, feeling and enduring.