10 Of The Most Passionate Love Stories You Haven't Heard Of. But Should

Passionate love will go on to shape the lives of the lovers themselves – for better or for worse – but sometimes it can also affect the destinies of entire kingdoms and nations. We take a look at 10 such passionate love stories that the world has ever seen. These passionate love stories went on to change the course of lives of these individuals as well as the history in same cases.

1. Pericles And Aspasia

The first on our list of passionate love stories takes us back to ancient Greece – to the city state of Athens in which Pericles enjoys his position as a distinguished general, statesman and orator. He would first meet Aspasia at a symposium, and it would not take long for him to be besotted by her wit and beauty.

Aspasia was afforded more respect and influence than most of the women of the time, and had her share of detractors and supporters – the most prominent of the latter category being Socrates himself.

The wives of many an influential Athenian man would visit Aspasia for her advice and wisdom pertaining to domestic matters, but no one would visit her more than Pericles who is said to have kissed her everyday until his death in 429 BC.

Unfortunately, Pericles and Aspasia could never marry as an Athenian law (championed by Pericles) forbade Athenians to marry outsiders. Never would such a mistake be committed by an Athenian again.

2. Frederick Douglass And Helen Pitts

Life during the years of slavery in the United States was rough for a black man, and Frederick Douglass – the social reformer and statesman – would escape his life as a ship caulker with Helen’s help before going on to change the course of America’s history in his own way, making this tale one of the most passionate love stories of all time.

Helen, who disguised him as a sailor as well as procured a train ticket for him to make good his escape, would go on to raise 5 of their children while Douglass worked tirelessly to champion the rights of African Americans and deliver reverting abolitionist speeches throughout the country.

Together, the duo loved and fought for their dream of racial equality.

[Read More: Successful Love Stories ]

3. Emperor Gaozong And Wu Zeitan

Passionate Love Stories - Emperor Gaozong And Wu Zeitan

Gaozon was the son of erstwhile emperor Taizong who himself was a much revered (in china and surrounding states) statesman, and he ascended to the throne after his father’s passing in 649 AD.

One day, as he happened to be passing through a convent, a woman’s gaze caught his eye. Intrigued by her charm, the emperor inquired about her and found that she was a junior concubine to his father – which explained her shaved head: a mark of respect for the dead emperor.

Nonetheless, Gaozong had her delivered to his court and he made her his concubine. This act shocked the court as Chinese nobility, but Wu Zeitan would go on to beat all of the emperor’s other concubines to become Empress in 655 AD, and shared a deep and loving bond with the emperor until his death, after which she ruled through some of China’s greatest and most progressive years; undoubtedly one of the most hauntingly passionate love stories from the East.

4. Saint Valentine

Not so much boasting a great love story of his own, but more a saviour of love, it would be folly to leave out Saint valentine as having shaped history and the course of love everywhere.

In 270 AD, the Roman Empire was under siege and fresh recruits were needed. However, most men preferred a life of comfort at home with their lovers as opposed to enlisting with the army, so emperor Claudius had a masterplan: to outlaw marriage so as to diminish love.

The Catholic priest Valentine found the whole notion ludicrous and came to couple’s aid, marrying them in secrecy and being the only witness to their wedding. Claudius tried to deter Valentine and have him preach to Roman gods, but Valentine remained steadfast in his loyalty to Christ and to love – an act for which he was executed.

Before his execution, however, he had the chance to pen a letter, and the famous “by your Valentine” signature that prevails till today first came about. Our sainted hero has now gone on to be a reason many many more passionate love stories came into being!

5. Justinian And Theodora

It’s not often that two passionate lovers rule over a kingdom together, but that is the story of Justinian and Theodora rulers of the Byzantine kingdom. Justinian wasn’t the most popular of all rulers – he has a devastating plague named after him after all – but it was his romance with Theodora that the public at large couldn’t stomach – and his political opponents tried to use to their advantage.

Justin and Theodora met in Constantinople, she was a reformed courtesan and “actress,” though the word conveyed not nearly the same respect that it commands today. Justinian was smitten and wanted to marry her right away, but the current empress, wrought with jealousy quickly pointed out that people of nobility weren’t allowed to marry the lower classes, much less a courtesan.

The duo waited for the death of the empress before Justinian changed the law and married Theodora and the two ruled with an iron fist thereafter. Once there was news of a revolt at the Hippodrome and just as Justinian prepared to flee Theodora walked in and said that nothing would make her give up her title of empress. That filled Justinian with courage and the two quelled the protest before ruling for many a year more, helping shape the Byzantine kingdom into the tour de force that it is today.

[Read More: Historical Love Stories ]

6. Johnny Cash And June Carter

Johnny Cash’s struggles with drugs and depression are well documented, but less so is the rock in his life that helped him overcome his troubles – a rock in the form of June Carter. Long after family had abandoned the troubled singer, Johnny relied on June Carter to help get him through his troubles and give him strength, and that’s exactly what she did. After the death of his wife, Johnny Cash approached June for marriage, but she refused asking him to clean up his act first. He duly obliged, and one of the greatest passionate love stories of our times was sealed in holy matrimony, plus Johnny got to enthrall audiences the world over and saved himself from an untimely death.

7. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

The fact that Henry VIII was 16 years into his marriage to Catherine of Aragorn, his queen, didn’t stop him for falling for Anne Boleyn the second he laid eyes on her. Unfortunately for him, Anne wasn’t your run of the mill maiden enamored to be coveted by the king, and she rejected all of his advances for 7 years on the grounds that if she were to marry him, she wanted to be queen. She promised the king that she would deliver the male heir he so desperately coveted.

Finally, for fear that Henry might look elsewhere to satisfy his extramarital cravings, she rendezvoused with him one fateful night and proceeded to get pregnant, while Henry conveniently declared himself the new head of the Church of England, which even more conveniently allowed for divorce.

Freeing himself of Catherine, Henry married Anne only for the baby to turn out to be… a girl. Shock, horror and several miscarriages followed, and then an argument, and then the eventual beheading of Anne Boleyn on (false) ground that she had committed adultery. Henry turned his attention to a new woman, Jane Seymour, bringing to an end one of the country’s most passionate love stories to a hollow close. Tragically enough, her highness, Lady Catherine,continued to love Henry long after.

If you’ve ever thought that Kings and Queens have it good, well, you’re probably right. But the old adage stays true even for them – they cannot buy or otherwise force love, and the ultimate happiness that peasants and royalty alike remains elusive even for some of the most powerful people that have ever lived.

8. Frieda Kahlo And Diego Riviera

Tempestuously passionate love stories take on new meaning when two highly creative and artistic souls separated by 20 years of age decide to marry each other. Frieda and Diego were both excellent artists in their own right, with Frieda’s autobiographies and Diego’s murals to stand the test of time, and the two married when she was 22 and Diego 42.

This was Diego’s third marriage and he quickly set out to prove that it meant no more to him than his previous two by bedding a whole host of women, one of whom happened to be Frieda’s sister (we don’t have the time to discuss her decision making here), which of course didn’t go down too well with Frieda.

She decided the most rational and sensible course of action was to have several affairs of her own., and the bitterness between the couple saw them split up and reunite several times, including divorcing in 1939 only to remarry in 1940.

However, when the frail Frieda was on her deathbed in 1954, Diego was with her and would later go on to say that the day she died was the saddest in his life. It’s a pity that his realization that “the most wonderful part of my life had been my love for Frida” would only take place after she had already been cremated, although Diego did request that his ashes be placed next to hers after he was gone.

9. Czar Nicholas II And Alexandra Federovna

Marxists and sympathisers know all about the toppling of the Czar in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, but do they know the couple they executed were just two lovebirds who although tasked with running country (and who were rather making a hash of things) were only interested in each other right up until their end?

That’s right Nicholas saw the German princess Federovna and it was love at first sight with the couple going as far as to engage in public displays of affection, much to the horror of the royal family. The couple were engaged in 1893 and just after Nicholas’ father’s death in 1894, the couple were united in matrimony.

And boy did they make the most of it. Lavish parties, royal balls and outings on yachts in each other’s company followed, while WWI saw the Russian populace starve. No wonder it didn’t go down too well with the Russian public, and the couple met with a sticky end on July 16 of 1918, having been executed by the Bolsheviks who were now in power.

[Read More:  Tragic Love Stories ]

10. Gertrude Stein And Alice B Toklas

This great love story begins the same way that many other passionate love stories begin – with an accidental meeting. Having once met by chance, the two women began living together in their apartment in Paris. Stein, an eccentric and brilliant writer was a heavy set woman and her partner, Toklas, worked as her secretary and cook who enjoyed her cigarettes and fancy dresses. This seemingly unlikely couple were inseparable, and their apartment became the hub for many a brilliant artist of the time including Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso, the incomparable Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.