In researching the history of Valentine’s Day, many theories surface of how this lover’s holiday came to be. According to my trusty Encylopaedia Britannica, the custom of sending a greeting card has no connection with the two St. Valentines or with any stories connected with their lives. It’s believed that the valentine was the first of all greeting cards. The paper valentine dates from some time in the sixteenth century. In the early 1800s hand-painted copperplates were made to meet large demands. The copperplates were followed by woodcuts and lithographs.
According to http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm, Chaucer had a significant role in creating this romantic tradition. This site says, “In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day. In medieval France and England it was believed that birds mated on February 14, and the image of birds as the symbol of lovers began to appear in poems dedicated to the day. In Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Fowls,” the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine’s Day are linked:
“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”
Whatever the origins, it’s a special day for those who believe in the joy of romance. If you’d like to celebrate by reading one of my historical romances, or by presenting it as a gift to someone special in your life, I would be honored. My website features a chapter one excerpt of both Emerald Silk and Tabor’s Trinket, complete with reviews and where to order.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!