Romance is something the Victorians loved, so it was only natural that they would take to this amorous holiday. The festivity originated from the Roman fertility celebration of Lupercalia, which the Church changed to St.Valentine's day in the 5th century. There are several saints named Valentine, and it is debatable which one the day is named after, but the older association with fertility and ultimately romance remained.
Valentine greetings in the form of letters date back to at least the 15th century. Lovers would exchange notes and sometimes small gifts. Hand drawn cards started to become popular in the 1700s and became increasingly more so during the 1800s.
Not only were many Victorian cards hand drawn and painted, but were often decorated elaborately with lace, ribbons, flowers and feathers. Stationary makers began to capitalize on the Valentine's market and made intricate cards, some included pockets for putting a lock of hair in, others had a small mirror on them, while other cards included pop up pictures.
In the 1830s the London stationary manufacturer Joseph Addenbrooke figured out how to make paper lace and added these to cards, which became a popular addition especially as more cards became manufactured items.
During the later Victorian era, Valentines cards were not just given to lovers but family and friends as well. Many took on a more friendly nature, and there were even comical ones printed, like the one below.
By the time the Edwardian era rolled around, manufactured Valentine's cards outnumbered the hand drawn variety and it continues to be so today.
What are your preferences with Valentine's cards? Personally I like them, everything from the kiddy kinds you get in a box (like Spongebob) to the cute mushy romantic ones (like the one I got from my BF with two little bulldog puppies on it).
Also I am announcing the winner to my thank you draw. Drum roll... The winner is......Mormelar! Please email me at louvalcourt@Hotmail.com with your details and I will send it to you.
And thanks again to everyone for reading my little blog! :)
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