because it is the month of love,
i thought it would be fun to have
a few flashbacks of our love to lead
up to valentines day! when i left to live
in london a few years ago, we were used to
long distance, but not on different continents.
before i left, chase bought me the book of love letters
between john & abigail adams, which is full of the most
darling and formal love letters that they wrote back and
forth while they were apart. chase wrote his own love letter
in the front cover of "my dearest friend." it said...
he had gone alone with the book and written in an old-fashioned
style, and i remember reading it on my way to the airport and crying.
this darling romantic letter led to an entire summer of us writing
back & forth in this old fashioned language. we had always sent lots of
emails, but that entire summer we sent these actual letters, written in this
style. i felt like i was living in the 1800s and had my very own mr. darcy!!
it was fun to write in this style, and i would always love getting his letters
to see what he had come up with. here are some of the letters we sent
back and forth, and some evidence of the fact that i found such a catch. :) xo
*his letters are in grey, my letters are in pink*
So happy that you made it to your new London residence! I couldn't be more pleased that you've arrived and am relieved that you're safe. My afternoons and evenings feel empty without you and I am not able to relate how much I miss you. Please do not think for one moment that you have been forgotten. Your absence only intensifies my adoration for you! I cannot seem to get you off my mind. Contemplation is constant and reflection relentless! I'm mad about you my dear! I pray London finds you well and that your new quarters are hospitable. Write to me soon love.
9 May 2011
Hello my dear,
Yes I have arrived at the estate and find it quite charming. The journey was a bit harrowing but we did avoid any harmful instances so I am most glad to be here safely! It is most comforting to have the ability to correspond with you as well. As I strolled around this London city today I was filled with joy at a new place and experience, but I was similarly filled with a most deep longing for my love. I am enthralled by the city, but it only makes me wish you were by my side experiencing it as I do! My every thought concerns you, and it is my hope that you are able to sense my adoration all the way across the Atlantic. Each day without you feels like an eternity and so I must concentrate on taking it one day at a time. This is probably easier to say than do, but I will make an effort to keep calm & carry on. I assure you I will take full advantage of my time in the United Kingdom to better myself and learn, but I will be constantly dreaming of the 22nd day of July with fervor and excitement.
I adore you my love.
10 May 2011
I'm afraid that I have little to report other than my daily dealings without you. I long to send you my whispers and warm affections, nevertheless the distance confines me and i must convey my tender sentiments to you through pen only. While I would send a quartet of violins to affirm my love, i am forced to spell it with this instrument and pray that the space between us will not impair my attempts to indulge you. Sabbath services at the meetinghouse felt bare without you. I find I am more with the spirit when I am in your company. I have discovered that your absence paralyzes my cognition and I fear I am unable to concentrate on matters at hand. I simply adore you too much my darling. I have become quite fond of you, as to dote upon you in every occasion and am partial to memories of you that take my mind like sweeping storms. I am enchanted by your every move and while you are away, I will be seeking more instruction at the university in hopes to become a proper suitor, fit for his queen to come home from London. With all my love until you return to my arms,
12 May 2011
Life has been quite hectic since commencing my new apprenticeship with the parliament. My first day consisted of bustling around the premises and becoming familiar with the area. It is quite complex once you’re on the interior and witnessing the inner workings. It is a bit overwhelming, but I do find it most satisfactory and I feel that it will exceed all expectations. The lively city life and happenings of the parliament sometimes distract my mind from being away from you and I begin to fool myself for a moment, thinking that I will be able to see you come day’s end. That is the reason why come nightfall, I have been a bit melancholy and even more conscious of the fact something is absent from my life. It is a novel feeling for me to be so captivated by one thought and one person...I might be a bit bold to admit that no other lad has ever captured my attention as you have and continue to do. I yearn to be able to grasp your hand, or to be held in your strapping arms. My body and heart literally ache for your presence and regrettably I am capable only of expressing these things by quill at the present moment. But, as we have discovered, the quill can be quite powerful. However I must say, although we are at a distance I do feel you with me! I witness remarkable sights and scenery and although you aren’t by my side, I share them with you my love, the same way I share all things with you...my worries, my joys, my possessions, my heart. I feel relief knowing that in the future we shall return to this soil with one another and be in a state of pure and unrequitting bliss.
I look forward to that day, as well as the day when I am reunited with you on any soil whatsoever.
My fondest sentiments,
14 May 2011
I have received your post dated May 12 and sincerely thank you for it. I know not how I should support an absence already tedious, and many times attended with melancholy reflections if it was not for so frequently hearing from you. Your telling of employment overjoyed me and I find much satisfaction that you are safe and cared for. The proprietor of your estate is an honourable man? I pray those staying with you are deserving of your company and that your setting is agreeable. I beg thee to mention more of them in your next relay as to settle these questions in my mind. I have returned to my studies and work, and find they consume most of my time. I say time but refrain from claiming thought, as my mind is not apt to entertain things that have little to do with you. On Friday this week I called upon your brother and sent him birthday wishes and spoke with your mother as I felt she had need to be congratulated as well. I pray that you will not protest my speaking with them while you are away, as I have grown very fond of them and do not wish to be deprived of their company while you are abroad. As of recently, I happened upon my classmate Jacob and his bride-to-be Ms. Larson. Heaven finds them in good spirits, and as you may presume, anxiously are awaiting to become espoused July 21, a day before your scheduled return. They inquired upon you and send their regards. Albeit a happy occasion to chance them, I confess that it deeply affected me and consequently provoked me to think on circumstance how my lady was not alongside me. I commonly try to hide myself from this reality, however as this account affirms, I am neither able to escape nor evade the regrettable truth that I am parted from you, my love, and am without for some time. I beg God hastens the hands of time and our meeting will come soon.
May health, harmony and my heart find you always.
Ever ever yours,
17 May 2011
My dear Mr. Rigby,
I was most pleased to receive your post this drizzling afternoon. I had grown quite impatient whilst waiting for a reply, and I had to reproach myself for the desperation within me which has made me so very keen to correspond with you regularly.
It really is a blessing to have found work to fill up my days. Otherwise I would likely have taken the next steamboat back across the Atlantic straight away. When I am occupied by parliamentary duties it somewhat helps me to bear in mind that I am here for a purpose and there is an opportunity to gain knowledge & experience a great deal. I only want to better myself for you my dear, so if this period in Great Britain improves my nature in the slightest or somehow makes me more suitable for you, I will know it is worth the seemingly endless hours apart. The weekend past provided a wonderful exploration and new understanding of the city. I endeavoured upon many new boroughs and was most delighted at my discoveries. The high level of activity here is quite suitable, with endless things to do, learn, and take in. The theatre I was quite mesmerized by, and the adaption of "Les Miserables" was very moving. The tremors of their brilliant voices matched the tremors in my heart which came from missing you. There are few things which rival a night at the theatre, especially on your arm. It was wonderful but your absence was most glaringly obvious to me. I also thoroughly enjoyed the various markets we happened upon over the course of the weekend, as well as the time we spent at the National Portrait Gallery. An admiration for art is very important and one I believe we both share.
Sunday afternoon found me most agreeable, because I was able to attend church services and immediately experienced comfort and familiarity upon entering the doors of the meetinghouse. I find it quite profound that no matter where one wanders, the constancy and truth at church will never change. Now at the present, I have returned to my governmental duties after the marvelous three day weekend; so now I am once again consumed with demanding projects and tasks. Can you dare to suppose that the British Parliament is willing to give a lady vocation in their institution? Many in the city were astonished by my hiring and have been carrying on conversations concerning it, which has made me resolute to change their views about the capabilities of women. Not only are they astounded to find a woman performing parliamentary duties, but an American as well! I believe this is the week you have commenced your studies for the summer season...correct me if I am misguided. It is difficult to keep track of the goings-on at home from so far away. If you are in fact starting, my thoughts are with you and I pray you have not taken on more than you should. Your mind is very quick and your work ethic strong, but between studies and the clerking apprenticeship you're holding, it's possible that you could get too much going. I worry that it will cause high amounts of strain for you, so you musn't let it. My heart is contented to know that you have happened upon my family relations around town. Please carry on seeing them at opportune times for you. It gives me gladness to envision my most favorite loved ones together as I have not the ability to be with any of you at the present time. I will have you know that Monday last, I wrapped myself in the pink sweater you so generously gave me in honour of my birthday. I wore it with delight all day thinking that your hands had purchased it and wrapped it up with me in mind.
Well, I close this long-winded letter by hoping it finds you well whenever you may come across it. I hope when you open it, a flood of my adoration washes over you and leaves you feeling whole. This time apart is a bit harrowing but as all difficult things are, it is very valuable. You have become quite necessary to my delight, and the recognition of that simple principle is unrivaled in it's worth and meaning to me.
I love you across the Atlantic Ocean and back.
21 May 2011
My Affectionate Emily,
I have received your post by way of the carrier the morning of last. The words you pen always entreat me and lead me to think that I am beside you for but a moment midst this lonely life of separation we live. Along with it brings assurance to be informed about your whereabouts and doings and to know that you are safe and well cared for in a foreign land in which I cannot attend you. My anticipation to see you will not relent and every hour to me will be a day whilst you are away from me. I am so unhappy without you and pray its duration be in proportion to its value and that our love may be felt in the pages we send. I was quite pleased to hear about your employment with Parliament. Am delighted to know that you find it favourable. Based upon your report, I perceive our affinity with the Crown has grown since the war and relation increased? I pray tell. The fact they employ a Patriot such as yourself must attribute to this and speaks highly of your capability and skill my dear. My work and studies continue and I find they are considerably demanding. Classes stretch my mind while the labor drains my body. Happily I was built with a frame to endure and am discovering that I thrive at the challenge to manage both. Our weather hasn't been agreeable in the least, and oft being indoors has proven to be shelter from the storms. On behalf of this, friends of mine have taken holiday to the Southeast and have found refuge upon its sultry shores. Despite my want to go, my hands are busy building a life for us here and I did not accompany them. Although I must confess I was saddened at their departure, I find endless satisfaction my dear, as my work and education will one day carry us to places beyond the Southeast and our amusement will be far more eternal than the immature indulgences I could spend without you. In one of my many attempts to distract myself from your absence, I attended the theatre as of recent and found that I do not enjoy the presentations quite like I do when I am in your company. We have attended many together and anticipate many more in the future. I have discovered that the theatre isn't the only one of life's venues that feels meaningless without you. Church services also provide a ne'erending reminder that I am left without. How is your health? I pray your cough you noted past has ceased. I am afraid with no one there to restrict you, you will continue to work while ignoring your conditions and fatigue yourself even further. Procure the necessary hours of sleep so that you might be strong my love. That is all the instruction I will give thee, please note that as our hearts are intertwined your well-being determines a great deal of mine as well. Well darling, my light grows dim and oil have I none. I pray you will excuse the brevity of my note as night befalls me. You apologize for the length of your letters and I ought to excuse the shortness and emptiness of mine and I shall not attempt to write my feelings altogether for the situation in which we are in vexes me. I would give the world to be with you tomorrow, but distance is great and the ocean vast which prevent me from coming to you. Could I part the sea that separates us and walk to where you are, I would. Remember my love dear, that exceeds what I am capable of conveying by the pen. Know of my desire to abide with you, not just momentarily but forevermore and then some. Until that day, I pray you will write to me oft as to prevent me from growing worrisome in my solitude.
Unremittingly Yours Forever,
25 May 2011
My Esteemed Mr. Rigby,
I have been reflecting on our distance situation this week past, and have come to a realization. Many lovers do not ever have to cope with this sort of separation and torment. They merrily go through courtship and life together, never understanding how it feels to be away from one other. These kind of couples have a fine love. It is wonderful, but it is not the utmost that it can be. This of no fault of their own, it is just that the highest level of romance and true love is attained by surviving time apart; by experiencing the feelings of life without your most loved. It is then that fundamental love transforms into the ultimate love. Once you consider it, it seems that all of the most epic and classic true love stories in history include a period of time in which the lovers must experience life without their other half. I think of Allie & Noah and all their years apart subsequent to when Allie moved away, suffering for one another...his daily letters never reaching her until years later.
I think of Lady Kathleen Kelly and Mr. Joe Fox, who didn't even truly meet during their courtship and had to survive solely on written words. But she wanted it to be him so badly the entire time, and he strove to keep his two lives separate until the time was right. I daresay his patience paid off. I think of Wesley and Princess Buttercup, who had so many years apart, all the while Buttercup mistakenly believing that her true love was deceased. Annie and Sam enter my thoughts, who inhabited opposite ends of the country until finally reuniting atop the Empire State Building. My mind remembers Emma and Joseph, separated by dire circumstances for all that time only for him to be martyred. I dwell on John and Abigail Adams, apart more than they were together but who still managed to keep the flame of their love burning. It seems no great love ever came without immense struggle. And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. Although we have had an abundance of this time apart, I feel that all of it thrusts us into a different level of love and proves our perseverance, dedication, and devotion to one another. It also increases our appreciation of such a love and I feel it will serve us well the rest of our lives. With that soliloquy complete, I will endeavour to answer the inquiries from your most recent letter. My affinity for the crown has neither increased nor decreased whilst here thus far. I am indeed intrigued by the monarchy and interested in learning the workings of the royal and governmental systems here, but I continually find myself most proud to hail from a free land which pulses with a vibrant democracy. Our great President from the United States is in the city now, and I find myself swollen with pride and glad to know he is here representing my country. I am most surprised that you would choose not to participate in the holiday your friends have departed on to the panhandle province, but I am impressed with your wise choices and flattered if any part of you would rather save your hard earned wages and depart somewhere just the two of us. It sounds like a dream, the type of dream that comes true. This kind of love comes but once in a lifetime, Mr. Rigby. I feel lucky to have found what I think is the most true kind of love anyone has ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Just dwelling on it for a moment gives me a shy smile I won't be able to rid the rest of the day.
Miss E. Dunn
3 June 2011
My Dearest Emily,
I received your post of the week past and was enthused to respond to your letter as quickly as possible, however work and other duties have postponed that which I love most; corresponding with my sweetheart. I am assured that you are occupied with your surroundings and scenery of Southern France and Italy amid reuniting with old acquaintances and pray that you have not lacked my letters much. If it be possible, I would have you tell of the magnificent land you behold, and the new ground you have explored. What of the people and places you have seen? Do not spare a single line in your reply my love. How has your Mother fared with you? Do you think it possible for us to return one day together? Many things notable have passed since I wrote to you last my dear. As always I will do my best to inform you of my doings, although I fear your journey to Europe trumps any noting I could possibly convey. I have continued to excel in school and find myself studying through the nights, either in academic instruction or religious texts. I have had to attend many a function without you on arm and by my side. Many people inquire about your ventures and I am quick to report that you are doing well. Weddings, commencements, socials and other summer outings are lifeless without you. Insipid at best without my left-handed lover. I had the opportunity to spend an evening with your Grandmother and her beau Mr. Cassidy. 'Twas a night to remember and your company was missed profoundly. Do I say that too often my dear? Have those words shed some validity due to the frequency of which I employ them? You are the love of my life and I pray that my expressions of admiration do not become common to you because I dare say that I cannot say them enough. My heart hurts to think upon the fact that we are still separated, however the arrival of a new month brings reassurance that our furlough is but a probation and it will soon conclude. When that day comes and I find you in my arms again I dream of every night. Mother and Father and the rest of the family are in good health. Babies continue to grow and Nephew William is constructing his first sentences. Tis a fine sight to see them grow and think you will be astounded upon your return at how big they have gotten. What do you hear from your Whitney and her expected baby? I need to send word to them as it has been some time since we saw them last. Is there any news you would have me deliver to them? I will keep you up to date on any other happenings I believe you have interest in knowing.
Other news I have none. Tis easy I have found, though ne'er do I dare, to let correspondence go to the things of the world that occupy us at the moment. I have recommitted myself to write to you most often my dear and I pray your reply will be timely. You are constantly on my mind and I am at ease when I have your letters to read.
To you I am devoted always and to us I remain ever committed,
13 June 2011
Darling Sir Rigby,
I must apologize for not responding by mail more swiftly. As I have been away on holiday with my mother, I did not receive your post until I returned and have been consumed with busy activities since arriving back in London. The time with Miss Linda was beyond any expectations and words can't do justice in describing it. It did my heart much good to spend time with my mother, and I had the chance to see many new areas which is my most favorite thing. I also was lucky to return to the French town where I once took residence and was able to reunite with the hospitable family I had lived with 2 years past. I hope you got the snapshots that I sent via post so that you can get a sense of the stunning scenery of our trip and of our smiling countenances. I adored returning to France and feeling my french speaking skills return..I am enrolled in more French classes come fall term so that I may continue to learn it. For that I am excited. Italy and the alps and everywhere else were most delightful, and I loved the cuisine, the sights, the culture, and the company. I did miss you by my side, and the post boxes were very infrequent in the towns I visited so I very much missed communicating with you. It is my understanding that you attempted to book passage on a ship to Paris in a few fortnights, but realized that I am actually in London. What a pity! I only wish that a visit were possible, but I shall return home come the end of July and I suppose we may try to come back one day in the future. I very much love to travel with you and it is my fervent hope that we might be able to in the future.
To you I bestow my utmost adoration.
Sincerely, Miss Emily
...these are just some of our letters, and i expect no one to read them all...but i happened upon them a while ago and LOVED rereading them, so i typed them up to be sure we had them forever. it's fun to read them again and see the funny clever ways we tried to write our letters, and also remember the real feelings of love & separation that were so good for us. i love love!