Read Richard Burton's Steamy Love Letters To Elizabeth Taylor

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Read Richard Burton's Steamy Love Letters To Elizabeth Taylor
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Gracing the cover of the latest Vanity Fair is Elizabeth Taylor, one half of "The Ultimate Celebrity Couple" known as Liz & Dick, whose love letters from two-times-her-husband Richard Burton have recently been made public in the book Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century.

And my oh my are they scintillating, at least what little we get in the excerpt.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We've read the book, which was co-authored by her favorite professor and advisor at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, Nancy Schoenberger, and it's juicy.

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On his need for Taylor: "If you leave me I shall have to kill myself. There is no life without you."

On her gifts as an actress: "You are probably the best actress in the world, which, com bined with your extraordinary beauty, makes you unique. … When, as an actress, you want to be funny, you are funnier than W.C. Fields; when, as an actress, you are meant to be tragic, you are tragic."

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On their misunderstandings: "You must know, of course, how much I love you. You must know, of course, how badly I treat you. But the fundamental and most vicious, swinish, murderous, and unchangeable fact is that we totally misunderstand each other … we operate on alien wave lengths."

On the idiocy of love: "I find it very difficult to allow my whole life to rest on the existence of another creature. I find it equally difficult, because of my innate arrogance, to believe in the idea of love. There is no such thing, I say to myself. There is lust, of course, and usage, and jealousy, and desire and spent powers, but no such thing as the idiocy of love. Who invented that concept? I have wracked my shabby brains and can find no answer."

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On his own acting: "I have never quite got over the fact that I thought and I'm afraid I still do think, that 'acting' for a man – a really proper man – is sissified and faintly ridiculous. … My heart, unlike yours, is not in it."

The one letter that Taylor declines to share publicly — though she read it aloud to a Vanity Fair reporter  was the last one he wrote to her, just days before his unexpected death from a brain hemorrhage.

In that letter, which Taylor keeps in a bedside drawer, he says he was happiest in life when he was with her, and wonders if they might have another shot together.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Claire Daniel is a love and entertainment writer. 
Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on June 2, 2010 and was updated with the latest information.

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