‘Love loves to love love…’ Has any other subject inspired history’s greatest writers more? As we prepare to celebrate A Little, Aloud with Love‘s first birthday this Valentines Day we’re collating our favourite love quotes from the world’s wordsmiths.
Let’s face it, by now we all know what light through yonder window breaks. Oscar Wilde has long convinced us that no one, being loved, is poor. The literary greats of the world have shaped and embellished our thoughts about love since humans first put pen to paper and as Valentines Day approaches the lovers among us shall no doubt be delving into their bookcases for the sweetest verse and most honeyed vows of adoration.
So we thought we’d play cupid and help steer you past the same old lines from Shakespeare and Keats to adorn your Valentines card this February.
Here at The Reader we’ll be writing Happy Anniversary cards this Valentines to celebrate one year since we launched A Little, Aloud with Love at Waterstones in Liverpool ONE. The anthology is designed to be shared and has been collated to bring real pleasure to the reader and the loved one with whom they share it. Each short story or extract is matched with a complimentary poem, exploring themes of love from great literature with a mix of old favourites and new discoveries.
And we’ll be dipping into our beautiful pink anthology for some loving words of wisdom too.
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”
Wendall Berry, Hannah Coulter
Hannah Coulter is the story of a twice-widowed woman who, now in her 80s, finds herself alone. She begins sorting through her memories and understanding of the family, friends and neighbours she’s known throughout her years, coming to see herself as a part of the great continuum of love and memory, grief and devotion.
“I’m not explaining this right. What happened was this. There were these beautiful feelings and loose little pleasures inside me. And this woman was something like an assembly line for my soul. I run these little pieces of myself through her and I come out complete. Now do you follow me?”
Carson McCullers, A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
In A Little, Aloud with Love our extract from Wuthering Heights recalls the passionate meeting of Heathcliff and Cathy after she has given birth to a daughter and has fallen dangerously ill. All our extracts are paired with a poem, in this case Wuthering Heights is matched with an extract from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Epipsychidion.
“You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell; what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me.
You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided, you could draw me to any exposure and disgrace.
This and the confusion of my thoughts, so that I am fit for nothing, is what I mean by your being the ruin of me. But if you would return a favourable answer to my offer of myself in marrige, you could draw me to any good – every good – with equal force.”
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”
George Eliot, Adam Bede
“Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
In A Little, Aloud with Love our extract from Jane Eyre is paired with a poem by English poet Robert Graves.
If you’re looking for a Valentines present that will bring joy to your loved one and bring you both something special to share, why not give the gift of Shared Reading through A Little, Aloud with Love?
A Little, Aloud with Love