Elizabeth Taylor love letters to be sold at auction

A collection of passionate letters from a young Elizabeth Taylor to her first love are to be sold at auction.

The 66 unpublished letters were penned when the Hollywood legend, who died last month, was just 17.

She sent them to her first fiance William Pawley, the 22-year-old son of a former US ambassador to Brazil.

Written between March and November 1949, they give an insight into Dame Elizabeth's rise from Hollywood starlet to eight-times married Oscar-winner, whose enduring love affair with Richard Burton was well documented.

In one letter, dated March 28 1949, she tells Mr Pawley: "My heart aches and makes me want to cry when I think of you, and how much I want to be with and to look into your beautiful blue eyes, and kiss your sweet lips and have your strong arms hold me, oh so tight, and close to you.

"I want our hearts to belong to each other through out eternity. I want us to be 'lovers' always, even after we've been married seventy-five years and have at least a dozen great-great-grandchildren."

In another she tells him she is "completely convinced that you are the only man in the world that I shall ever love".

By September, she was writing about giving back her diamond engagement ring at Mr Pawley's request, but appeared reluctant to end the relationship.

"I know with all my heart and soul that this is not the end for us. It couldn't be. We love each other too much," she said.

The letters, some on pink notepaper, also cover two films she took part in during the time - A Place In The Sun and The Big Hangover.

Bobby Livingston, a spokesman for RR auctions of Amherst, New Hampshire, said the collection was bought two years ago from Mr Pawley, who is now retired.

Mr Livingston said: "We'd been planning a special Hollywood auction for about six months anyway.

"We had expected the letters to fetch between 25,000 dollars (£15,510) and 30,000 dollars (£18,612), but now the sky's the limit. They could go for two or three times that amount.

"We rarely come across a collection as rich as this. The letters are in a pristine condition. William Pawley clearly loved and cherished them for all these years."

British-born Dame Elizabeth went on to have seven husbands, including Welsh actor Burton, whom she married twice.

She died from congestive heart failure on March 23 aged 79.

The online auction will take place between May 12 and 19.