The rude and insulting ‘Vinegar Valentines’ of the Victorian Era

In the Victorian era, and also into the 20th century, lovers exchanged elaborate lace-trimmed cards on Valentine’s Day, expressing their supposedly undying love and devotion with sentiments and poems. But what to do if you didn’t love the person who had set their eyes on you? For those not on good terms or who wanted to fend off an unwanted suitor, “vinegar valentines” offered a stinging alternative. “To My Valentine / Tis a lemon that I hand you and bid you now skidoo, Because I love another—there is no chance…

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