Many things may be said about Rudolph Valentino, but the man had wonderful penmanship and wrote beautiful letters.
Here’s a beautiful example of both Valentino’s handwriting and his fine manners.
The transcription reads:
on board the RMS Aquitania
July 24, 1923
Dear Mr. Rosen,
The wonderful basket you sent came very much unexpected and we are very sorry that it came long after the boat had sailed depriving us of the pleasure of thanking you personally.
I do not know exactly how I shall ever be able to return the many courtesies you have extended to Mrs. Valentino and myself.
Trusting to see you upon my return. Please let me know if [I] can do anything for you abroad. With kindest regards to your Mother and yourself from Mrs. Valentino and myself.
I am very sincerely
Polite, courteous, what a lovely little missive. Valentino was a regular correspondent to family, friends and acquaintances across the globe. This was likely a benefit of the slower modes of travel in the 1920s. Crossing the ocean on the Aquitania or Leviathan, across the U.S. by rail, long waits during filming. Busy man that he was, Valentino took time to pen his thoughts and keep his friends and family up to date. In the letters I have been privvy to read, Valentino always wrote with a consistent hand, some humor and was polite and generous. Another common theme in some of his letters, lack of funds.
This letter is soon to be auctioned by Profiles in History in their Hollywood Memorabilia Auction #40.