Originally written in 1994 on June’s 65th birthday, the letter reads:
"Happy Birthday Princess,
We get old and get use to each other. We think alike.
We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.
But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me.
You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
Happy Birthday Princess.
The pair married in 1968 and remained together for more than 30 years. June died in May 2003. Johnny Cash passed away just four months later.
A history of love
A history of love
1/13 Plato's Symposium
One of the Plato’s most famous works, this dialogue between Greek philosophers that takes place over dinner, explores the very nature of love, what it means to be in love, and has shaped the modern definition of platonic love.
2/13 Romeo and Juliet
Shakepeare's tale of two young star-crossed lovers has stood the test of time and continues to be adapted for film, stage and even opera.
3/13 Troilus and Criseyde
Considered one of Chaucer’s finest works the poem written in Middle-English brought about the term ‘all good things come to an end’ as Criseyde’s lover dies a tragic death in the Siege of Troy.
4/13 Pride and Prejudice
Having sold over 20 million copies, Jane Austen’s novel based on the themes of manners, upbringing, morality and marriage continues to make women worldwide swoon at the thought of finding their very own Mr. Darcy.
5/13 Sigmund Freud
Freud thought that not only a couple’s love for one another, but the parent’s love for the child and the child’s for the parent were basically of the same kind.
6/13 Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte’s eerie tale of jealousy and vengefulness still haunts readers today and even inspired Kate Bush’s 1978 hit.
7/13 Orpheus & Eurydice
Perhaps the ultimate tragic love story, this Greek myth explores love at first sight and Orpheus’s doomed journey to the Underworld to be reunited with his wife.
8/13 Song of Songs in the Bible
A celebration of sexual love, The Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon is widely considered one of the most beautiful expressions of love and harmony.
9/13 The Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
A story of love so epic that it led to the creation of one of the Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal, this is a grief stricken Mughal Emperor’s exquisite manifestation of love for his favourite wife who died in childbirth.
10/13 Madame Bovary, Flaubert
Flaubert’s 19th century realist novel follows narcissist Emma Bovary and her descent into adultery and despair as the boredom of bourgeois life consumes her.
11/13 Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s exploration of love as a kind of fate which can be a blessing but also a curse that leads to destruction is deeply embedded in modern culture.
12/13 Doctor Zhivago
Set during a war, the classic love triangle of a man who has fallen for two women is a tale of broken hearts and twists of fate.
13/13 Layla and Majnun
Persian poet, Nizami Ganjavi, narrates a story of young love which can only be united in death as the legendary lovers are buried side by side, to be reunited in the afterlife.
Other odes that made the Top 10, compiled by life insurance company Beagle Street, include a 1964 letter from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor and a beautifully written note from poet John Keats to his neighbour, Fanny Brawne, sent in 1818.
See extracts from the Top 10 letters below:
1. Johnny Cash wishes wife June Carter Cash a happy 65th birthday (1994)
2. Winston Churchill to his wife, Clementine Churchill, in 1935
3. Poet John Keats to his neighbour Fanny Brawne in 1819
4. Author Ernest Hemingway to actress Marlene Dietrich in 1951
5. Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796
6. Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor in 1964
7. King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn in 1527
8. Beethoven to his anonymous “Immortal Beloved” in 1812
9. US President Gerald Ford to his wife Betty Ford in 1974
Musician Jimi Hendrix writes to an unknown girlfriend (date unknown)
happiness is within you....so unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow—
like the sweet flower you are.....
I know the answer–
Just spread your wings and set yourself
Love to you forever