“Dear H. G., he was a devil, he ruined my life. …, he was an unexhaustible source of love and friendship to me for thirty five years, we should never have met…” -Rebecca West
Valentines Day is objectively the worst holiday behind Arbor Day.
Even if you’re one of the misguidedly hopeful, you’re likely exhausted by all the musings on roses and listicles of naughty places to stash sweethearts so I’ve compiled a list of the historical figures that boasted a more accurate portrayal of “love” and all of its sordid potential.
Vincent and Sien
The only thing that comes close to resembling romance in the relentlessly miserable life of the post impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, is bookended by poverty and illness.
Short on cash and desperate to work, Van Gogh decided to employ the talents of a homeless seamstress named Clasina Hoornik (Sien) as a model for some of his portraits and sketches. He even named one of his famous masterpieces after her, it’s called Sorrow, (isn’t that just the cutest thing?!)
When Vincent’s family learned of Sien’s “extracurricular activities,” they effectively cut him off. Vincent doubled down on his commitment to Sien and her young daughter for two whole years. The troubled genius eventually left Sien at the behest of his dearest brother Theo, but he would always hold on to the memento she gave to him.
Lord Byron and Caroline Lamb
In 1812, Lord Byron, the most influential poet of the romantic movement entered a highly publicized affair with a one Caroline Lamb–and it was disastrous.
The aftermath saw them hurl a series of “diss-poems’ at each other over the course of several decades with the occasional interruption of lude pranks, suicide attempts and substance abuse.
Caroline at some point unlawfully obtained a portrait of Byron from his publisher. She promised to return it to him in exchange for a locket of his hair. He sent her a strand of his new girlfriend’s instead.
Rebecca West And H.G Wells
The eventful love affair between these two literature titans is detailed thoroughly in J.R. Hammonds biographical epic, simply titled H.G Wells and Rebecca West. The stalwart author of Black Lamb And Grey Falcon, was only 19 when she met Wells, (46 and already as famous as a writer could be). He fathered her illegitimate son and authored the mercurial waves of passion that defined their fraught romance.
Their son, the talented, Anthony West, published a fictionalized biography of the entanglement that birthed him, resulting in a rift between him and his mother that would never be mended.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
“I just thought it would be too much if we had done it when we were supposed to. It became this huge thing and I was like, ‘What are we waiting for? We know this is the real thing, why not just do it now?’ That’s why I wanted to sneak and do it our little way.” – Millionaire Pop Star, Britney Spears talking about the guy that penned PopoZao.
For an in-depth chronicle of the whirlwind romance, please refer to UPN’s Britney And Kevin: Chaotic –
Britney: “I want somebody who will take care of me and that sounds stupid. Is that stupid?
”Kevin: “It’s the furthest thing from stupid. It’s probably the smartest thing I’ve heard you say since I’ve been out here.”
Please watch this show. It rules.