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.
|Watch those hands, mister!|
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.
|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.
You didn't have to be in love with somebody to send a Valentine. There's nothing gooshy about this one.
|Greetings, indeed. If I got this from my husband, I'd say, Greeting back atcha, babe.|
|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?
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.
Happy Valentine's Day Greetings!