I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Victorian Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day, or Singles Awareness Day...whichever you like)!

In the spirit of the holiday and in keeping with all the research I'm doing into my latest Victorian-set romance, I thought I'd share a few Victorian Valentines I've found online. And boy, did the Victorians like their Valentines. Just google it and you will find zillions.

These are a few of my favorites.

This post card is sort of what you'd expect Victorians to exchange. Flowers. A dove. A clean, proper sentiment: "I ask this boon in friendship's name. Will you be My Valentine?"
Sure thing, friend!

But I was surprised to see a few Victorian Valentines that get right to the heart of the matter: sex. This Valentine is pretty racy with its nighttime setting and almost-but-not-quite smooch.
Vintage Victorian Valentine Couple in heart ~ "I am tired, Beloved,  of chafing my heart against  the want of you;  of squeezing it into little inkdrops,  And posting it."  ~Amy Lowell, "The Letter"
Watch those hands, mister!
This one from 1915 has the same idea.
To My Valentine, c.1915
found here


For the less, er, married Victorian, there were far more genteel purchase options. Courtly love. Courting love. Flashes back to the past. This Valentine may be Victorian, but the clothes the folks are wearing are Regency-era. It seems then, as now, the past was considered romantic.
With Love Victorian Couple Postcard ~ Silk Fabric
Mr. Darcy had charm then and now.

Another nostalgia piece? Looks like it. The hair and dress are definitely not Victorian. His hat and dress remind me of the Quaker Oats Man, but he is far too suave and young.
Victorian Valentine Cards
Aww.
This one is romantic in its text, but very properly-so, and the image of a child definitely removes one from a romantic frame of mind. It's the sort of thing one's mother would have approved of your receiving from a suitor. Winsome ways and manners fine, indeed!
4284863571 f882d48e60 1880s Victorian Valentines Day Card O
found here

You didn't have to be in love with somebody to send a Valentine. There's nothing gooshy about this one.
Victorian Woman Valentine
Greetings, indeed. If I got this from my husband, I'd say, Greeting back atcha, babe.
 
Children figured prominently in Valentines. I'm guessing from the bicycle that this one was made in the 1890s-through the Edwardian era. I love the boy's socks.
Pretty valentine cards
And the border! Wow!

Nothing says Victorian-era Valentines like Cherubs. Although this 1912 cherub is a bit creepy. I mean, he's crafted a spider web? To trap you? In a web of love?
Victorian Valentine
Found here

I suppose then, as now, the most important thing was telling someone they're important to you. That you're thinking of them. That they are in your heart. That they're worth the extravagance of flowers and cards and tokens of affection.
Victorian Valentine
found here
So here's my greeting to you, friend to friend.

Happy Valentine's Day Greetings!
Clapsaddle Valentine card O
 

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