When asked by Time magazine a few years ago to name the five great love affairs of all time, the Texas-born gossip columnist Liz Smith didn't even have to think about who would occupy first place. The Burtons, of course. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor "were the most vivid example of a public love affair that I can think of. The Burtons and the Lindbergh baby being kidnapped and Kennedy's assassination - these are the biggest stories of our time. Whenever somebody says, `So and so is a big star,' I say, `Have they been condemned by the Vatican?'"
PREFACE "I am forever punished by the gods for being given the fire and trying to put it out. The fire, of course, is you." -RICHARD BURTON "Since I was a little girl, I believed I was a child of destiny, and if that is true, Richard Burton was surely my fate." -ELIZABETH TAYLOR
But then again, Elizabeth knew something about love letters. She received her last one in Bel Air. Richard had mailed it on August 2, 1984, so it arrived a few days after his death. It was waiting for Elizabeth when she returned from London, after attending Richard's memorial service there. It was his final letter to her, the he had slipped away to write at Celigny, surrounded by his books. It was a love letter to Elizabeth, and in it he told her what he wanted. Home was where Elizabeth was, and he wanted to come home. She's kept that letter by her bedside ever since.