In February 1931 an article in the Lincolnshire Echo welcomed the revival of the Valentine during the previous three or four years. The writer then reflected
“ How different , however, are these lovely sentimental messengers from the crude and rather repulsive caricatures which did duty in early Victorian days and which died a deserved death!”
In 1882 The Lincolnshire Chronicle reported : [in Alford]“St Valentines day, with the postal officials, was this year, as usual a busy one. Judging by the bulky mail bags and messengers bags, swollen out to enormous dimensions, the votive offerings, indicative, let us hope , of requited tender passion, were exceedingly numerous.”
The above adverts for Valentines in Victorian Alford made me wonder what they looked like. The first things that come to mind are the traditional chocolate box victorian card with a loving verse.
Personally the Comic Valentine promised in the second advert seems a much more interesting option.
The cards below are from 1875 , they are sometimes known as “Vinegar Valentines” , it is easy to see why.
My favourite find for the satirical Victorian Valentine verse was in the 1875 publication:
Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses for Young and Old
To a Cod-eyed Spinster
The very last that I should take
To Village church or minster,
For purposes connubial,
Would be a cod-eyed spinster.
I’m fond of cod for dinner,’tis
With me a favourite dish,
But I shouldn’t like to own a wife
With eyes just like a fish.
Time’s hourglass now is running low,
So be no longer jealous,
Make way for younger girls and cease
To hunt up us smart fellows.
I’d sooner marry a giraffe,
Hedgehog, or porcupine,
Than from the female sex select
A cod-eyed Valentine.
Happy Valentines Day