What if Famous Authors Wrote Valentine’s Day Cards?

atkins-bookshelf-literatureIn the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, spouses and lovers scour the greeting card aisles looking for just the right expression of affection. For many, nothing is more terrifying than those cards that are blank inside. What does one say? That’s why consumers quickly move away from that section and peruse the carefully-crafted, one-size-fits-all sentiments written by a greeting card writer who churns out dozens of these a day. And for many, this suffices. But what if famous authors wrote Valentine’s cards? Unlike a greeting cards writer, who keeps it safe and must adhere to all sorts of conventions and boundaries, a real author digs deep inside his soul, rips open his or her heart, and lets the profound emotions pour out, washing over the page. In our quest to ascertain what famous authors would write about love, we enlist the assistance of the editors of Stylist who pored over novels and books of poetry, with a hanky in one hand and a highlighter in the other, to come up with some of the most romantic lines from literature that are perfectly suited for a Valentine’s Day card. When it comes to love, spouses and lovers should trust the great writers if they truly care enough to send the very best.

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No … don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!”
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

“I wonder by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved? were we not weaned till then?”
The Good-Morrow by John Donne

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for 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.”
Persuasion by Jane Austen

“I wish I knew how to quit you.”
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

“She is a mortal danger to all men. She is beautiful without knowing it, and possesses charms that she’s not even aware of. She is like a trap set by nature – a sweet perfumed rose in whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush! Anyone who has seen her smile has known perfection. She instills grace in every common thing and divinity in every careless gesture. Venus in her shell was never so lovely, and Diana in the forest never so graceful as my Lady when she strides through Paris!”
Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

“To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“By my soul, I can neither eat, drink, nor sleep; nor, what’s still worse, love any woman in the world but her.”
Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson

“You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.”
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.”
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

“Now, I’m not going to deny that I was aware of your beauty. But the point is, this has nothing to do with your beauty. As I got to know you, I began to realise that beauty was the least of your qualities. I became fascinated by your goodness. I was drawn in by it. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. And it was only when I began to feel actual, physical pain every time you left the room that it finally dawned on me: I was in love, for the first time in my life. I knew it was hopeless, but that didn’t matter to me. And it’s not that I want to have you. All I want is to deserve you. Tell me what to do. Show me how to behave. I’ll do anything you say.”
Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos

“You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell; what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me. You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided, you could draw me to any exposure and disgrace. This and the confusion of my thoughts, so that I am fit for nothing, is what I mean by your being the ruin of me. But if you would return a favourable answer to my offer of myself in marringe, you could draw me to any good – every good – with equal force.”
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

“It has made me better loving you … it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

“He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest.”
Stop All the Clocks by W. H. Auden

“Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.”
Hamlet by William Shakespeare

“You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought.”
The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle

Read related posts: Famous Love Quotes from the Movies
Most Romantic Movies of All Time
How Do You Find the Ideal Mate?
For further reading: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/top-50-most-romantic-lines-from-literature


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