How to Write a Romantic Letter in Victorian Style

by Karen

The most polished victorian letter writer may very well wish to have a little extra help when he or she is writing a loveletter. In victorian times, there were several letter writing manuals for this very purpose. The Lover’s Letter Writer offered advice on correct letter writing for every stage of a relationship (acquaintance, business, friendship, courtship, and marriage) and 66 example letters to suit every imaginable social need. The Lover’s Casket was designed to aid even the most faint-hearted suitor in writing a romantic love letter. The Mystery of Love, Courtship and Marriage Explained (1890) also contained much useful advice, even sample letters to suit your special circumstances. Not having these particular manuals anymore, perhaps you will find this article a sufficient substitute.

 A love victorian letter should be written with dignity and express sincere esteem and affection. If your epistle should fall into wrong hands, you would not wish to embarrass your beloved.  

Unfortunately, laying down rules for writing love letters is nearly impossible. And it can be difficult. Some young gentlemen overdo their task and render themselves ridiculous. This may be especially possible during engagement, as engaged young ladies may find too much sugar in the letter repulsive. So, avoid putting too many honeyed adjectives in your letters and, as a rule of thumb, do not repeat endearing terms. It seems that many people prefer one dose of adulation at a time, and some girls of the “sensible” type may wince at even that much. However, most women love to be loved and to be told so. You see the difficulties. Given the complications of writing love letters, lovers must not expect too much from each other’s romantic efforts. As this little treatise is designed to assist young men in their courtships, we will offer a few specimens of letters that may be meant to bring about an understanding between parties.  

More tips: In victorian times, women were sometimes allowed to lightly perfume their letters. Love letters tended to end with “as ever your friend,” rather than with “love.” Black wax seals were associated with mourning, and between men, red wax was always used (especially when the letter concerned business). While men were supposed to only use red wax when writing women, women were not asked to follow any regulations about what colors of seals to use, no matter the correspondent.

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