Prisoners, politicians and players do it

The art of writing love letters may not be dead, but it might be in need of a spin-doctor. Free association brings the words "stalker" and "sleaze" to mind. It also invokes such high-profile correspondents as MP Jerry Hayes (who favoured House of Commons notepaper for his missives to the doe-eyed boy researcher Paul Stone) and Darius Guppy, the high- class convict who carried on a besotted daily correspondence with his wife, Patricia, while banged up for fraud.

Despite advances in technology, the pen is still mightier than the phone, the Internet or the fax, though the latter two may at least be said to keep the art of passionate writing alive: Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi corresponded extensively by fax long before they actually met, and in the States, marriages begun on the internet are not even news any more. But for those who believe in romance, it's got to be pen and paper.

Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields got to know each other by fax long before they ever clapped eyes on each other. Still, the spark was there, and they are currently engaged to be married

Separation was painful for Darius and Patricia Guppy when he was banged up for insurance fraud. But love letters exhanged daily for his three years inside kept the passion alive

Tory MP Jerry Hayes used House of Commons paper to write affectionate letters to researcher Paul Stone, with whom he denies having had a sexual relationship

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