Edited by Helene Scheu-Riesz

Long before jumbo-trons and hot-air balloon rides at dawn, the most elegant proposals of marriage were done so through the written word, in the form of a love letter. Will You Marry Me? brings together some of the most beautiful, memorable, and also notorious and unusual love-letters and matrimonial requests throughout history. Arranged in chapters by era, you can peruse proposals from the Victorians, Renaissance and even what the editors have termed the Gothic era - which is actually the high to late Middle Ages - in which one can read the love letter of 14-year old Arthur, Prince of Wales, to his Spanish bride, Catherine of Aragon. Each letter is preceded by some historical context and tells you if the letter was successful in wooing a wife. There are some remarkably romantic notes (as a certain Thomas Carlyle’s is to his future wife), and some are as unromantic and pragmatic as a business contract (a great deal of these were unsuccessful!) There are also several examples of letters written by enterprising young women who were too high-spirited and intelligent to wait for young men to declare themselves. This slim volume is a perfect companion for Valentine’s Day whether you celebrate it or not – there are letters enough for the romantics out there as well as the cynics – presented as it is with beautifully illustrated old engravings. It may also be a handy guide for those who are planning for a future proposal of their own! Click here to find it in our on-line catalogue.


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