Where Did the Idea of Paper Valentine's Start?
(legend #1)

Paper valentines differed from those of today in that most were printed without messages, leaving the eighteenth-century lover to pen his own sentiment. Since the occasion would render all but the practicing poet speechless, professionals soon published "Valentine Writers" to help untangle the tongues of the lovelorn. These inexpensive books offered lovers flowery verses, disarming prose, or simple questions to which the intended could reply. Messages were written on behalf of men or women, the young or the old, even those in various professions.

A wealthy Elizabethan lover could afford to hire a writer to craft a personal verse, or pay a songster to compose special lyrics to popular tunes of the day. A songster would even deliver the lover's message, filling the streets and alleys with romantic serenades on Valentine's Day.
Paper valentines became popular in the eighteenth century. Before commercial printers created the colorful heirlooms we now have from Victorian times, people created their own valentines from paper scraps. American colonist spent cold winter nights making paper cutouts featuring knot patterns and interlocking hearts. Special verses were written inside the interlocking paths of these "love knots." Since the verse had no precise beginning or end, the recipient could begin reading the message starting at any line.
~Rae Byuel~
2 Responses
  1. Julianna Says:

    Thanks for the history lesson!

  2. G.R.I.T.S. Says:

    No Problem...I thought for holiday's I would look up different Legends and things for them...Since they are kind of like a story anyway.

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