'I wish I could tell you of my pure animal pleasure of you': Elizabeth Taylor's steamy letter to Richard Burton goes up for auction

  • Letter written on March 15 1974, the couple's 10th anniversary
  • Has a minimum bid of £1,000 and is expected to sell for several times more
  • Bidding ends on December 12 at 7.09pm

Fifty years after their scandalous affair rocked the world, the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is still regarded as one of the most passionate of all time.

And little wonder, judging by a love letter from Miss Taylor to Burton, written only days before their first marriage broke up.

In the letter, which is set to be sold at auction, the actress describes her ‘pure animal lust’ for Burton, and confesses that she can only ‘boil and bubble’ inside at the thought of him.

She wrote the note on the tenth anniversary of their first marriage.

Elizabeth's devotion: 'I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight'

In it, she also describes her jealousy, a possible reference to his reported affairs with movie co-stars Genevieve Bujold and Mary Ure.

The letter was found inside a book left behind at a house in Oroville, California, that Burton and Miss Taylor rented while he was filing The Klansman.

It is dated March 15, 1974, when Miss Taylor was 42 and Burton was 48.

It begins: ‘My darling (my still) My husband. I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight, my pure animal pleasure of you.’

True love: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in The Comedians, 1967

In her own words: Taylor's note to Burton

'My darling (my still) My husband.

'I wish I could tell you of my love for you, of my fear, my delight, my pure animal pleasure of you - (with you) - my jealousy, my pride, my anger at you, at times. Most of all my love for you, and whatever love you can dole out to me - I wish I could write about it but I can't.

'I can only 'boil and bubble' inside and hope you understand how I really feel. Anyway I lust thee,

'Your (still) Wife.

'P.S. O'Love, let us never take each other for granted again!

'P.P.S. How about that - 10 years!!'

It ends with two post-scripts:  ‘P.S.O’Love, let us never take each other for granted again! P.P.S. How about that – 10 years!!’

Their lease on the Oroville home began on February 15, 1974. Miss Taylor’s note is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Toni Hennings, the woman who rented the house to them.

It says: ‘This letter written by Elizabeth Taylor while renting my home from Feb 15th til April 18th 1974. It was left behind – inside a book in a drawer under the master bedroom bed.’

The couple met in 1960, when they were filming Cleopatra together. Burton, who grew up in a mining community in South Wales, was married to his first wife Sybil at the time, while American-raised Taylor was with her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher.

Their affair caused public outrage and was condemned by the Vatican. The couple, who had a  tempestuous relationship, married in 1963.


Taylor at a gala with husband Burton: 'Let us never take eachother for granted' she wrote

They divorced in 1974 but remarried the next year, although that marriage also broke down, and they divorced again in 1976. Burton, who battled alcoholism for decades, died from a brain haemorrhage at the age of 58 in 1984.

Miss Taylor married twice more, and died of heart failure in 2011 at the age of 79.

The letter is being sold by online auctioneers picollecta.com, and is expected to fetch several thousand pounds. Bidding is due to end on December 12.

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