Love letters

In terminology, love letters are is a colloquial expression referring to passionate letters, sent to significant others, often filled with deeper emotional content.

On 12 Apr 1885, Henry Adams, while on an extended work stay-over in Washington, wrote Clover the following:

Social chemistry—the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules—is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life.”

It would seem, here, to be the case, speculatively speaking, that the three human molecules Adams had in mind in this statement, subsequently, would have been himself, his side love affair (or interest) Elizabeth Cameron, and his wife Clover Adams.

In 1898 to 1903, the love letters of Ernst Haeckel have mentions the concept of elective affinity at least three times in respect to his own romantic relationships. In one letter to a Franziska von Altenhausen, Haeckel defines elective affinity as a strange psychological chemotropism: [1]

“… seductive women—why should I, despite all scruples and obstacles, cast myself into the dust before you? Dearst Franziska, herein lies the enigma of ‘elective affinity’, of that strange psychological ‘chemotropism’, of whose power I have spoken repeatedly in my books—little dreaming that I myself should fall a victim to it in my old age!”

In 1895, Russian symbolist poet Vyacheslav Ivanov penned a number of love letters to Lidiya Dmitrievna Zinov’eva-Annibal, whom he met early that year, and who eventually became his second wife, which are filled with references to Goethe’s Elective Affinities, in regards to theory and comparisons of the characters to himself.

See also
Gunter Grass
Honore Balzac
True love

1. Haeckel, Ernst. (1930). The Love Letters of Ernst Haeckel: Written Between 1898 and 1903 (editor: Johannes Werner) (elective affinity, pgs. 101, 212, 260). Methuen.

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