This article represents the first dedicated study of Valentine’s Day in England over the long eighteenth century. It argues that the years from c. 1660 to 1830 were central to the refashioning of the celebration as a modern ritual. During this shift, older customs such as lotteries were superseded by new traditions such as the exchange of valentine cards, with the commercialisation of festivities fuelling a consequent boom in homemade cards. By charting how a folk tradition evolved with the rise of consumer society, the article illuminates how commercial culture can augment, challenge – and ultimately change – material practices of love.
Department of History, Philosophy and Culture
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-07-17