Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Sunday, 14 February 2010

Glamorgan archive uncovers Victorian Valentines

Victorian Valentine card
The cards describe the trials Victorian lovers faced

A collection of Valentine cards and letters describing the trials and tribulations of Victorian lovers has been uncovered by an historian.

The cards, which feature lace, cherubs and declarations such as "my heart is yours forever", were found at the Glamorgan Archives.

One series of letters sees a young man announce his engagement in one only to retract it, citing "money matters".

The archive is opening its new home to the public in the spring.

Archivist Heather Mountjoy said the cards were all hand-made and in a very different style to modern cards, lacking hearts or much red decoration.

Her search also unearthed some letters describing the trials and tribulations of young love.

In a series of letters in a collection from the Edmondes family of Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, a friend of Miss Charlotte Edmondes writes to tell her of his engagement.

However Thomas Deere Salmon was not successful in his attempt to marry on this occasion.

A series of love letters
Letters reveal how one man called off his engagement

Ms Mountjoy said: "In the letters sent in 1865, Thomas announces his engagement to a Miss Adelaide Gorton, but unfortunately for Thomas, in his next letter he gives Charlotte the news that the engagement is off, citing 'money matters' as the reason.

"Adelaide might have also been persuaded to break off the engagement by the offer of a new horse and piano from her teacher if she didn't marry Thomas."

At the other end of the age scale, an account in a different letter tells of how Mrs Colonel Edmondes was proposed to by her fourth husband, Lord Dormar.

The writer noted that Lord Dormar "was so old and stiff, that when he proposed to her, he fell on his knees", and Mrs Edmondes was "obliged to ring for the footman to help him up".

The account was written sometime before 1886.

Ms Mountjoy added: "The cards and letters give a great insight into love in the Victorian age and shows how our ancestors had the same troubles as us when it comes to finding romance."

Glamorgan Archive is opening its new base in the Leckwith area of Cardiff in the early spring.

Print Sponsor

50-year Valentine's card puzzle
14 Feb 06 |  Staffordshire
In pictures: Be my Valentine
13 Feb 09 |  In Pictures

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific