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VICTORIANA - Enjoy articles relating to the Victorian Era. A regular column in each issue of The Tea House Times. Written by Patrice LePera - Authority, Victorian Era, Historical Writing - www.afterimage-art.com

February 2010 Posts

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Victoriana
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J/F 10 - Victorian Valentines and Romantic Flowers

posted by TeaHouseTimes Admin, ADMINThursday, February 11th 2010 @ 5:20 PM

From the Jan/Feb10 issue of The Tea House Times.  To view the most recent issue, please log-in at http://www.theteahousetimes.com/ for free access.

 

The antidote to the gloomy, sniffly days of winter:  Hot tea, a few friends, a new friend, and a pretty project.  Even in these days, Gentlemen spend twice as much on Valentines as women, so why not have friends over for tea and a Valentine-making afternoon, make a few special Valentines, and send or give them to treasured loved ones and friends?  A Valentine’s project with creative work means so very much to people you care about.  Not only romance, but friendship was highlighted with loving Victorian missives. 

Queen Victoria herself wrote and signed around 200 Valentines a year.  Originally, Valentines were hand-made and often trimmed in real lace, ribbons and gold & silver foil and later, incorporated beautiful prints using the new 4-color printing process.  Paper lace was introduced in the mid-1800s, called doilies - originally the name of a fabric from Doiley - a London draper and lace manufacturer.

Queen Victoria declared Valentine’s day an official holiday in honor of Brother Valentine (later sainted) in the era of Roman Emperor Claudius II (Claudius the Cruel) who was having difficulty getting men to leave their homes, their loves and their families to join his armies.  Therefore, he cancelled all marriages and engagements (and it is said, named a huge marriage price). The Monk Valentine married couples secretly, and was beaten & beheaded for it on 14th day of February, about the time of the very ancient Lupercalia festival, also a tribute to young lovers, where names of young women were drawn by young men, who were then linked romantically for the coming year.

See also cover image and Craft on pg. 7 of the JanFeb10 issue.

Treasured paper ephemera is a collectible, and actual, original pieces are available through Beryl Peters Designs http://www.victorian-imagery.com  We’d like to thank Beryl for allowing us to reproduce many of the Valentines in this article, as well as preserving the original Victorian ephemera.

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