A Valentine From Joan Larsen: Love Letters

Posted on February 14, 2018


By Joan Larsen


Now, all but past the middle age of life, I still remain a total romantic.  I don’t expect to ever get past that phase.  .  . and I often wonder how many others feel the same way.  I feel a life without love is no life at all.  And, as the years go by, old memories tend to pop up in our minds more and more – hopefully of a life well spent and love in abundance.



Am I the only one who has saved old love letters?  I mean all of them as I do nothing half way.  I am talking pen-and-ink letters – hundreds of them, the envelopes carefully opened and saved as well — the rich feeling paper, the wonderful handwriting, the spilling of words that had been given so much thought – with words often easier to write than to say.  At one time long ago, one could have been under my pillow . . . or folded and re-folded so many times that the crease was permanent.

For so many years, those letters – often tied in bunches with blue satin ribbon – and placed in boxes – have travelled with us on every move.  Just knowing they, as well as my photographs, are there warms my heart, giving substance to memories.  They are my mementos, the tangible reminders that there is no greater gift than love.

We have always been told that the love letters between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning stand alone and apart.

I will let you decide:


5-CharlesBut even relatively recently, before the time of email, I have come across a series of love notes, much more casually written, from Prince Charles to a woman-of-the-moment named Janet, only a bit before he married Princess Diana.  One of the notes suggested a romantic tryst.  He wrote:  “I would have thought your apartment is the quietest place.  If we went out the press would be on to it in a flash and that would be misery.”Another talked about his concerns about failed marriage:  “Making a mistake like that is, frankly, something which concerns me enormously.”

We definitely come to know Prince Charles a bit better after a glimpse of his own love letters.

For those of us who have saved our own love letters, we know their future is uncertain.  But for now, they have no price tags for they truly are some of the most precious pieces of our hearts.


Writer Joan Larsen has spent a lifetime searching for the most remote places on Earth.  But it is the polar regions of our world that she has been drawn back to again and again.  She has done research in these lands of ice, and considers Antarctica to be her “other home.”