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Love, Heartache, and Art

This month we will discuss what is, perhaps, the most potent of inspirational topics--romance. We'll discuss love, the quest for it, as well as heartbreak, because where one goes the other typically follows. All have created some of history's most famous works of art, music, and literature.

This famous letter, written August 15, 1846, by Gustave Flaubert was sent to his mistress, French poet Louise Colet, with whom he had an eight-year affair while she was married to another.

I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports...

When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.

Through their letters and physical union, the pair influenced each others work. Their romance ended bitterly, however, with Colet's novel "Lui--A View of Him" rumored to have been penned to spite her former lover.