History is full of real romance: wild, sweeping, epic love stories that have stood the test of time. Whether they lived happily ever after, ‘til death did they part, or ended horribly, there is plenty of love to find in the annals of history. Take a look at these amazing couples from history.
John Adams and Abigail Adams
Founding Father, John Adams, was the second President of the United States, in between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He was also the father of 6th President, John Quincy Adams, one of many children he shared with his beloved wife and partner Abigail Adams. Abigail nee Smith was the daughter of a parson. She was home-schooled and exceptionally well-read. Abigail was renowned for her intellect, and unique among women of her time for her interest in politics and philosophy. Over the course of their lives together, John and Abigail wrote over 1,100 letters; he always began his letters to her with the phrase “My Dearest Friend.” Adams was known to rely on her to help him make important political decisions. They were remarkably close.
Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley
Mary Shelley is most famous for being the author of Frankenstein, but she was also a poet. Her husband, Percy Shelley, was a poet of international renown. Percy was known for pushing the envelope intellectually and philosophically: in fact, he was expelled from Oxford for telling one of his teachers that God should not be taught as fact in University. The famous couple was hugely supportive of one another. Percy constantly encouraged Mary to write more. They eloped and it was her writing that supported them during their marriage.
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was first drawn to Mary Anne Todd because of how intelligent she was, how interesting, and well-versed she was in politics. The 16th President and his wife were both strongly abolitionist, and bonded over their shared beliefs. Perhaps as a result of the heartbreaking deaths of three of their four children, Mary Todd Lincoln was mentally ill. Her mental health only deteriorated after the tragic assassination of her husband.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King
Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for his role as a civil rights leader in the fifties and sixties. Coretta Scott King, who held two degrees, met King in Boston. Martin Luther King leaned on his wife and she was extremely supportive, making a number of civil rights speeches of her own. Though he was accused (by the FBI) of cheating on her, she never doubted Martin, saying his conscience was much too strong to ever have betrayed her.
Juan Peron and Eva Duarte de Peron
Eva Duarte came from a very poor family, and rose to fame and prominence as a film and radio star. Juan Peron was a career military man who met Eva at a social event. They married — much to the chagrin of the ruling class in Argentina — before he became the President of Argentina in 1946. Eva was loved by the Argentine people and she did a lot for them: she gained the right for women to vote in Argentina and gave a lot of money to the poor. Sadly, she died very young. Her life was immortalized in the musical Evita.
Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe
The famous actress and the world-renowned baseball player were married in 1954. They were the Brangelina of their day. In fact, they received so much press that DiMaggio pulled back from public life. He hated the intrusion of publicity on their private life. Their passion ran hot, but she alleged emotional cruelty when she filed for divorce from him only 9 months after they got married. When she filed, DiMaggio didn’t even show up in court. But he never got over her. For twenty years after her untimely death, he sent white roses to her gravesite twice a week. He could never forgive those he believed were responsible for her death.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Writer Gertrude Stein met Alice Toklas in Paris, and they lived together as a married couple for 39 years, at the turn of the twentieth century. This was, of course, long before lesbians had the right to be legally married, but that didn’t stop them from living together as though they were. Stein spent her days writing while Toklas typed up her manuscripts for her, as well as kept the house in order. The two brilliant women were lifelong lovers, companions, and friends.