WASHINGTON (ABC News) - Around a thousand pages of often erotic correspondence between President Warren Harding and his mistress of 15 years, Carrie Phillips, were released today at the Library of Congress.
Written between 1910 and 1920, the letters are revealing not only of Harding’s ambivalence about World War I, but his unrelenting obsession with Phillips, who the historian James Robenalt believes was a German spy. The correspondence is filled with lustful adjectives, euphemisms and even some poetry.
Harding discusses in not-so-subtle terms the desires and passions that preoccupied the mind of a philandering politician while separated from his mistress. Harding even makes frequent allusions to his friend “Jerry” — a nickname for a certain male body part. Ahem.
Here are ten steamy highlights from the Harding-Phillips love letters:
1) “Wouldn’t you like to get sopping wet out on Superior — not the lake — for the joy of fevered fondling and melting kisses? Wouldn’t you like to make the suspected occupant of the next room jealous of the joys he could not know, as we did in morning communion at Richmond?”
2) “Honestly, I hurt with the insatiate longing, until I feel that there will never be any relief until I take a long, deep, wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowing breasts.”
3) “Oh, Carrie mine! You can see I have yielded and written myself into wild desire. I could beg. And Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you, that you are the only, only love worthwhile in all this world, and I must tell you so and a score or more of other fond things he suggests, but I spare you. You must not be annoyed. He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all. I fear you would find a fierce enthusiast today.”
4) “Jerry — you recall Jerry, whose cards I once sent you to Europe — came in while I was pondering your notes in glad reflection, and we talked about it. He was strongly interested, and elated and clung to discussion. He told me to say that you are the best and darlingest in the world, and if he could have but one wish, it would be to be held in your darling embrace and be thrilled by your pink lips that convey the surpassing rapture of human touch and the unspeakable joy of love’s surpassing embrace. I cordially agree with all he said. Perhaps it is not important maybe it is not even interesting, but he is devotedly, exclusively, for you.”
Items 1 through 4 from the New York Times Magazine.
5) “Jerry sends Christmas greetings! He would come too, if I might: would he be welcomed cordially?”
6) “Wish I could take you to Mount Jerry. Wonderful spot.”
Items 5 and 6 from the NY Daily News.
7) "I am ever wanting to kiss and fondle, to embrace and caress, to adore and possess. I can’t help it. That is not spiritual, I grant, but very real.”
8) “All the love a man can know and feel and endure, and gladly, oh, so gladly give.”
Items 7 and 8 from historian James Robenalt.
9) “There are no words at my command sufficient to say the full extent of my love for you — a mad, tender, devoted, ardent, eager, passion-wild, jealous, reverent, wistful, hungry, happy love — unspeakably encompassing, immeasurably absorbing, unendingly worshipping, unceasingly exalting, unwillingly exacting, involuntarily excluding, everlastingly compensating.”
10) “If I have interpreted correctly, you do not wish me to bring the Mrs. to Ohio.”
Items 9 and 10 from the Library of Congress.