Love Letter #108


I was thinking about headlong mad-dashes.

Peter Bruun

break grayer

Violet Keppel declared her love for Vita Sackville-West when she was just 14, giving her older schoolmate a ring and pledging devotion. This was no fleeting crush – Violet remained true to her pledge for the next 13 years, facing societal and family pressure including Vita’s marriage to a social peer and start of a family. Still, the two took long holidays together and the heat of their romance intensified; each time they parted, the urgency of Violet’s need to possess Vita exclusively increased. Violet sent Vita a letter on the eve of their attempt at elopement – a desperately vulnerable plea with a hint of ultimatum. “I want you hungrily, frenziedly, passionately,” she wrote. “Something will go ‘snap’ in my brain if we wait any longer.” The two ran to France, but their families went after them after news of their “loose” behavior reached England. Vita and Violet were ultimately separated for good by their scandalized families, Vita moving on to a more famous lover in Virginia Woolf, and Violet standing as a beacon of courage, willing to ignore society and live as her heart demanded.

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