Valentines in the 19th century

Oh hey, Amy. You startled me for a second. What do you mean, "What are you doing up at three in the morning?" I'm writing. And I wasn't expecting you to suddenly pop up in the middle of the night.


Please tell me nothing's wrong.

Image via Victoria & Albert Museum

Image via Victoria & Albert Museum

You were in the new maid's room and you two were talking about Valentine's Day? She told you she had a fiance in England who gave her the most romantic card on Valentine's Day? But he dumped her right after her injury? He couldn't stand to look at her hand? 
Wow, how sad. That doesn't sound like love to me. Who cares is someone you love loses a finger or two?
Right. He did. And then she couldn't stand to look at him? She boarded a ship and came to Canada?
Her name is Charlotte?

I can only  imagine that Charlotte feels fortunate to have you to talk to right now. It can't be easy to come to a new country where you don't know anyone. It can't be easy to try to fit in, especially with a disability. It can't be easy to do anything when you have a broken heart ... until it heals.

With industrialization taking place in England early in the 19th century, advances in printing gained momentum. It became simple to mass produce Valentine's Day cards. Around 1820, approximately two hundred thousand Valentines were purchased in London. 
In the mid-1800s, when you currently exist, there is a distinct increase happening in Canada and the United States regarding the giving of cards. Valentine's Day is being promoted by the manufacturers to increase sales.

Even male friends are sending cards to one another, but these are not romantic - they're humorous - and feature put-downs (about baldness, for example), teasing and sarcasm.

The origin of Valentine's Day isn't totally known. Some believe it started with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, an annual fertility celebration held on February 15th. Around the year 496, Pope Gelasius changed the festival to a Christian feast day on February 14th. Others believe Valentine's Day represents the time of year when birds choose their mates. 

In England, the first printed Valentine came out in 1797. At first, envelopes weren't used; the card was simply folded with the recipient's name and address written on the outside. But in the 1840s, cheaper mailing rates came into effect which allowed for mailing heavier letters at a decent price. This is when envelopes were introduced.

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I am simply going to suggest that you plan something for you and Charlotte to do on Valentine's Day.