Upon reading these beautifully constructed letters, I couldn't help but to think that they were in fact letters, private letters, never intended for the public eye. That is undoubtedly what make them so utterly captivating, as you get to see a different and unexpected side of the great and famous men. Who would have thought Napoleon could be so comically desperate and helpless in his pursuit of his Josephine, and who would ever think that Henry VII could be so fond of Anne Boleyn when he eventually sentenced her to death?
Reading this book mostly felt like peeping through a secret keyhole.
"You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest, the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest
" - John Keats.
My favorite letters were those of John Keats to his Fanny, written in such a lyrical harmony and yet with an undertone of greedy despair. Richard Steele's letter to Mary Scurlock was enjoyable as well, perfectly accurate in its simplicity, implying a sincere domestic happiness. Daniel Webster also entertained me with his witty reflections upon returning a forgotten bonnet.
And of course, Lord Byron impressed me with his intensity. I can easily understand why so many women fell under his spell.
"I wanted to catch butterflies as letter-carriers to you
" - Robert Schumann.